Elaphoglossum - Lomariopsidaceae

Elaphoglossum aubertii (Desv.) T. Moore

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings






Acrostichum aubertii Desv.
Acrostichum boivinii Mett. ex Kuhn
Elaphoglossum aubertii T. Moore var. reductum Bonap.

Common name


Rhizome short creeping to suberect, 3-8 mm in diameter; rhizome scales brown, lanceolate to linear in outline, entire, pointed, 3-5 mm long, phyllopodia absent. Fronds tufted, thinly herbaceous, erect or arching, simple, strongly dimorphous. Sterile fronds: 18-45 cm long, stipe up to 14 cm long, straminous to pale brown, with persistent twisted squarose scales, c. 2 mm long; lamina 16-40 × 1.1-2.5 cm, linear or very narrowly elliptic in outline, apex tapering to a point, base gradually tapering and then broadly wedge-shaped to the stipe, margins entire or slightly wavy with sparse brown scales, margins also with a continuous row of small dot-like hydathodes situated c. 1 mm from the margin; midrib with scales similar to those of the stipe; veins evident, c. 2 mm apart, at 45-50° angle to the costa. Fertile fronds: stipe mostly double but up to five times as long as the stipes of the sterile fronds; lamina 3-10 × 1.2-2 cm, resembling a spearhead, apex rounded to pointed, base square or truncate, intersporangial scales lacking, lamina entirely covered by sporangia on the underside.


Can be confused with E. hybridum; this species however has a continuous hair-like fringe of dark scales along the margin, the row of hydathodes is absent.


aubertii: this fern was first collected on Réunion by a French naturalist called Aubert du Petit-Thouars (1758-1831)


It grows on mossy boulders or on wet rock in deep shade in evergreen forest at high altitudes and in bamboo zone.

Distribution worldwide

Africa, Madagascar, Comoro Isl., Réunion, São Tomé, Mauritius.

Distribution in Africa

Cameroon, Congo, Dem. Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania , Uganda, Zimbabwe.

Growth form

Epiphytic, lithophytic, terrestrial.


  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Page 291. (Includes a picture).
  • Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011) Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide. Struik Nature. Pages 510 - 511. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Page 421. (Includes a picture).
  • Mickel, J.T. (2002) Lomariopsidaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 12 - 14. (Includes a picture).
  • Roux, J.P. (2009) Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands. Strelitzia 23, South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria. Page 126.
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta.Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 150.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta.Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Page 213.
  • Tardieu-Blot, M.-L. (1964) Ptéridophytes vol.3.Flore du Cameroun, Page 303. (Includes a picture).