Elaphoglossum - Lomariopsidaceae

Elaphoglossum welwitschii (Baker) C. Chr.






Acrostichum welwitschii Baker

Common name


Rizome creeping, 3-6 mm in diameter; rhizome scales linear to lanceolate in outline, castaneous to ferrugineous, concolorous, shiny, up to 3.5 × 0.7 mm; phyllopodia present, c. 1 cm, blackish. Fronds tufted, simple, firmly membranous to coriaceous. Sterile frond: c. 15-60 cm; stipe 1/4-2/5 of frond lenght, pale brown to orange tan, 1-1.5 mm diameter, densely set with pale reddish-brown scales; lamina up to 12-38 × 1-2.4 cm, very narrowly elliptic in outline, apex tapering to a point, base wedge-shaped, margins usually recurved, both surfaces with ciliate ovate to oblong scales up to 0.8 mm long becoming glabrous with age; costa prominent with scales; veins inconspicuous, 1 mm apart, at 60° angle to costa; hydathodes absent. Fertile frond equalling the sterile in lenght; stipe 1/2-3/5 the fertile frond; lamina linear-elliptic in outline, 17-28 x 0.5-0.9 cm, apex tapering to a point, base narrowly wedge-shaped to tapering; intersporangial scales absent.



welwitschii: named after the Austrian botanist, Friedrich Martin Welwitsch (1806-1872)


Brachystegia woodland, along streams and waterfalls in montane regions, shaded

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Angola, Malawi, Tanzania , Zimbabwe.

Growth form



  • Kornas, J. (1979) Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia. Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych. Page 111.
  • Mickel, J.T. (2002) Lomariopsidaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Page 27. (Includes a picture).
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta.Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 152.
  • 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 133.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta.Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Page 216.