Blechnum - Blechnaceae

Blechnum ivohibense C. Chr.

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings






Blechnum bakeri C.Chr. var. glabra Bonap.
Blechnum bakeri C.Chr. var. glabrum Bonap.
Blechnum umbrosum Peter
Blechnum bakeri C. Chr. var. glabrum Bonap. ex Tardieu

Common name


Rhizome erect to short creeping, up to 5 mm thick; rhizome scales dark brown to black, 3-7 x 1 mm, narrowly lanceolate to linear in outline, margins entire. Fronds whorled, dimorphic. Stipe up to 28 cm, longer in the fertile than in the sterile fronds. Sterile lamina 41 × 10 cm, deeply pinnatifid, narrowly elliptic in outline; pinnae narrowly triangular-oblong in outline, slightly falcate, glabrous, margins finely toothed, apex acute to rounded, base sessile. Fertile lamina as for sterile lamina, 28 x 4.5 cm, pinnae linear. Rhachis sparsely set with a few brown scales. Sori linear, appearing to cover the pinnae completely at dehiscence; indusium continuous, 0.1-0.3 mm wide.


Differs from similar species by having long, lax fertile fronds and fine serrations on the pinnae tips.


ivohibense: named after Mt. Ivohibe in south-eastern Madagascar.


Shaded streambanks in wet evergreen forest, in gorges and caves, under bridges, on soil banks and shaded vertical rock walls.

Distribution worldwide

Africa, Madagascar.

Distribution in Africa

Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania , Zimbabwe.

Growth form



  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Page 330. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 462 - 463. (Includes a picture).
  • Parris, B.S. (2006) Blechnaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Page 4. (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 103.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta.Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Page 237. (Includes a picture).