Elaphoglossum - Lomariopsidaceae

Elaphoglossum macropodium (Fée) T. Moore

Photo: BT. Wursten

Photo: P. Ballings






Acrostichum macropodium Fée
Acrostichum latifolium sensu Sim
Acrostichum conforme Sw. var. carmichaelii Baker

Common name


Rhizome short-creeping, thick, up to 5 mm (without scales); rhizome scales 4-5 mm long, pale brown or orange-tan, concolorous, narrowly lanceolate in outline, apex forming a long drawn out point, margins entire or with hair-like outgrows; phyllopodia present, c. 1 cm long, blackish. Fronds simple, dimorphic, closely spaced, erect to arching, thickly coriaceous. Sterile frond: stipe stramineous to pale green, up to 24 cm long, pale to reddish brown, glabrous with a few scales at the base, articulated at the base; lamina glossy green, (9-)17-37(-42) × 2-8 cm, ovate-lanceolate to narrowly elliptic in outline, apex broadly pointed to rounded, base wedge shaped, margins entire, glabrous except for minute scattered scales on the underside, midrib raised, convex below; veins inconspicuous, 1 mm apart, at 70° angle to the costa; hydathodes absent. Fertile frond: stipe up to 32 cm long, matt pale brown; lamina slightly smaller and narrower than the sterile lamina, very narrowly elliptic in outline, up to 3 × 21 cm, apex pointed, base wedge shaped, with distinct sterile margin; undersurface completely covered with sporangia, intersporangial scales absent.


The large frond size and thick rhizome usualy distinguishes this species from others.


makros: large, pous: foot; "with large feet", an allusion to the thick creeping rhizome.


Among boulders in rocky outcrops, on banks or in shade in forest.

Distribution worldwide

Africa, Comoro Isl. (Grande Comoro), Madagascar, Mauritius, Réunion, Seychelles.

Distribution in Africa

Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania , Zimbabwe.

Growth form

Epiphytic, lithophytic, terrestrial.


  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 282 - 283. (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 500 - 501. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 419 - 420. (Includes a picture).
  • Mickel, J.T. (2002) Lomariopsidaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 18 - 20. (Includes a picture).
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta.Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 149.
  • 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.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta.Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Page 211.