Blechnum - Blechnaceae

Blechnum tabulare (Thunb.) Kuhn

Photo: BT. Wursten
Mozambique

Photo: P. Ballings
Mozambique

Photo: BT. Wursten
Zimbabwe

Photo: P. Ballings
Zimbabwe

Photo: P. Ballings
Zimbabwe

Photo: BT. Wursten
Mozambique

Photo: BT. Wursten
Mozambique

Photo: P. Ballings
Zimbabwe

 

 

 

 

Synonyms

Pteris tabularis Thunb.
Lomaria coriacea Schrad.
Lomaria cycadioides Pappe & Rawson
Lomaria dalgairnsiae Pappe & Rawson
Lomaria boryana (Sw.) Willd.
Blechnum dalgairnsiae (Pappe & Rawson) Kuhn

Common name

Description

Rhizome erect, sometimes forming a caudex of up to 1 m tall; rhizome scales brown with dark central stripe and paler margin, linear-lanceolte in outline, 15-50 mm long, margin entire. Fronds dimorphic, in whorls, texture leathery. Stipe up to 30(-52)cm, longer in fertile than in sterile fronds, strawcoloured, glabrous but with a few scales at the base. Sterile lamina 40-140 × 3-35 cm, pinnate, elliptic-oblanceolate in outline with a series of reduced pinnae at the base, the lowermost pinnae rudimentary; pinnae linear to oblong, base unequal, free or joined on the basiscopic margin to the rhachis, margins entire, glabrous above, with hair-like scales set along the costa below. Fertile lamina smaller or the same size as the sterile lamina; pinnae linear, joined directly onto the rhachis, pinnae standing at an acute angle to the rhachis and sometimes strongly inrolled. Sori linear, extending the whole length of the pinnae; indusium continuous, lacerate, 0.5-2 mm wide.

Notes

Differs from similar species by its stiff habit and leathery texture; it also has pinnae with an unequally shaped base.

Derivation

tabulare: Mont tabularis in Latin, this fern was first collected on Table Mountain, Cape Town.

Habitat

Montane grassland along streams or rocky outcrops, along the margins of evergreen forest, bamboo forest, disturbed forest, peat bogs & swamps.

Distribution worldwide

Africa, Madagascar and Mascarene Islands.

Distribution in Africa

Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania , Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Growth form

Terrestrial.

Literature

  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 331 - 332. (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 734 - 735. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 463 - 464. (Includes a picture).
  • Kornas, J. (1979) Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia. Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych. Pages 119 - 120.
  • Parris, B.S. (2006) Blechnaceae. Flora of Tropical East Africa, Royal botanic Garden, Kew. Page 5. (Includes a picture).
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Pages 155 - 156.
  • 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 105.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta. Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Pages 237 - 239.
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