Elaphoglossum - Lomariopsidaceae

Elaphoglossum lastii (Baker) C. Chr.

Photo: P. Ballings






Acrostichum lastii Baker
Acrostichum volkensii Hieron.
Elaphoglossum volkensii (Hieron.) C.Chr.
Elaphoglossum obtusum Peter

Common name


Rhizome creeping, 5-8 mm in diameter; rhizome scales 4-6 mm long, appressed, reddish-brown or black, narrowly lanceolate in outline with slender hair-like contorted tips, margins entire or with kinky hair-like processes; phylopodia present, 1-4.5 cm long, blackish. Fronds spaced apart, erect or arching, coriaceous, simple, dimorphous. Sterile frond: stipe up to 18 cm long, straw-coloured, with scattered brown scales like those on rhizome when young, often dense at stipe base and scattered distally; lamina up to 10-38 × 1.7-5.5 cm, narrowly elliptic-oblong in outline, apex rounded, base wedge-shaped, margin with a pale inrolled edge, subglabrous with minute brown scales below; veins 1.5 mm apart, at 85° angle to the costa; hydathodes absent. Fertile frond: 13-27 x 1.2-2.1 cm, stipe much longer than that of the sterile frond, lamina shorter and narrower than sterile lamina, apex rounded, base wedge-shaped, sori covering the whole undersurface of the lamina, intersporangial scales absent.


The rounded apex of the frond distinguishes this fern from other similar species.


lastii: named after J.T. Last (1847-1933), an English plant collector.


Moist evergreen mist forests.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Cameroon, Dem. Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Sudan and South Sudan, Tanzania , Zimbabwe.

Growth form



  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 283 - 284. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 418 - 419. (Includes a picture).
  • Mickel, J.T. (2002) Lomariopsidaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 16 - 18. (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 130.
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta.Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 149.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta.Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Page 211.