Elaphoglossum - Lomariopsidaceae

Elaphoglossum hybridum (Bory) Brack.

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings






Acrostichum hybridum Bory
Acrostichum ciliatum Desv.
Olfersia hybrida (Bory) C. Presl
Elaphoglossum tricholepis (Baker) C.Chr.

Common name


Rhizome shortly creeping, often appearing to be erect; rhizome scales blackish brown, lanceolate, tapering to a point, margins entire, up to 5 mm long. Fronds tufted, firmly herbaceous, simple, brittle, deep green, arching, strongly dimorphous. Sterile frond: stipe up to 20 cm long, straminous to pale brown, with many black, squarrose deciduous scales; lamina 14-22 × 2.5-5.5 cm, narrowly oblong to narrowly elliptic in outline, apex pointed, base wedge-shaped, margin and midrib set with small, deciduous, linear, black scales. Fertile frond: lamina much smaller than sterile lamina, narrowly oblong to narrowly ovate, veins parallel and visible; sporangia covering the whole undersurface of the lamina.


Can be confused with E. chevalieri, this fern however has rusty brown (not blackish) scales occuring over the whole lamina, above and below, and a densely hairy stipe.


hybridum: of hybrid origin, reference unclear.


Growing on moist earth banks next to water or on wet rock faces in deeply shaded ravines in evergreen forest.

Distribution worldwide

Possibly of circumpolar origin, occuring on the subantartic islands Gough & Tristan da Cunha, in tropical Africa on the highest mountain tops, moving into lower altitudes (1300-2250 m) in Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa (1500-3000m)

Distribution in Africa

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

Growth form

Epiphytic, lithophytic.


  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 291 - 292. (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 512 - 513. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Page 420. (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. Pages 128 - 129.
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 151.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta. Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Page 213.