Blechnum - Blechnaceae

Blechnum capense Burm. f.

Photo: BT. Wursten
Mozambique

Photo: BT. Wursten
Mozambique

Photo: P. Ballings
Mozambique

Photo: BT. Wursten
Mozambique

Photo: P. Ballings
South Africa

Photo: P. Ballings
South Africa

Photo: P. Ballings
South Africa

 

 

 

 

Synonyms

Lomaria procera sensu Sim
Blechnum sylvaticum Schelpe
Blechnum capense (L.) Schltdl.
Osmunda capensis L.
Onoclea capensis (L.) Sw.
Spicanta capensis (L.) Kuntze

Common name

Description

Rhizome creeping, up to 2 cm thick; scales brown, ovate-acuminate, up to 20 mm long, margins entire. Fronds closely packed, dimorphic, thinly herbaceous. Stipe up to 55 cm long, straw-coloured to almost black, glabrous or set with a few scales towards the base, shiny. Sterile lamina 45-63 cm × 2-3 cm, oblong-lanceolate in outline with terminal pinnae equal in shape to the lateral pinnae, lower pinnae not reduced; pinnae narrowly lanceolate in outline, apex tapering to a point, margins finely toothed, base asymmetric broadly wedge-shaped to truncate, short petiole, widely spaced to overlapping, glabrous above, small scales on costae and veins below. Fertile lamina smaller or same size as sterile lamina; pinnae widely spaced, thin, narrowly linear. Sori linear, cover almost the whole length of the fertile pinnae; indusium continuous, lacerate, c. 1.5 mm wide.

Notes

Differs from similar species by having thinly textured fronds, crenate-serrate sterile pinnae margins and a shortly creeping rhizome.

Derivation

capense: of the Cape; this fern was first collected in the southern tip of Africa.

Habitat

Terrestrial fern of wet shaded earth banks and along streambanks.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe.

Growth form

Terrestrial.

Literature

  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Page 331. (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 732 - 733. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 464 - 466. as Blechnum sylvaticum Schelpe (Includes a picture).
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 154.
  • 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 102.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta. Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Page 239.
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