Elaphoglossum - Lomariopsidaceae

Elaphoglossum kuhnii Hieron.

Photo: P. Ballings






Common name


Rhizome creeping; rhizome scales up to 5 mm long, ovate to lanceolate, subentire, tapering to a point, pale brown, sometimes with a dark margin. Fronds firmly herbaceous to coriaceous, simple, tufted, erect or arching. Stipes densely set with spreading, pale to reddish-brown ovate-lanceolate, ciliate scales of about 3 mm long. Stipes of fertile fronds (up to 25 cm) usually longer than those of sterile fronds (up to 11 cm long). Sterile lamina up to 9-30 × 1.3-2.7 cm, narrowly elliptic to narrowly oblanceolate in outline, apex rounded to pointed, base wedge-shaped to tapering, slightly oblique, thinly set on the upper surface and densely set on the undersurface with pale brown to reddish-brown, translucent, oblong-lanceolate to round, ciliate scales, becoming glabrous with age. Fertile lamina up to 8 × 1.2 cm, verry narrowly oblong to linear, apex rounded, base tapering, upper surface scaly, under-surface covered completely with sporangia.


Can be distinguished from E. deckenii by having pale brown (not dark brown to black) rhizome scales.


kuhnii: named after J. Kuehn, German botanist and author of Filices Africanae (1868) and Filices Deckenianae (1867).


Montane and riverine forest, montane grassland among boulders or light shade in woodland.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Liberia, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe.

Growth form

Epiphytic, lithophytic.


  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Page 288. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 424 - 426. (Includes a picture).
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta.Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 150.
  • 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 129.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta.Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Pages 215 - 216.
  • Tardieu-Blot, M.-L. (1964) Ptéridophytes vol.3.Flore du Cameroun, Pages 305 - 306.