Stenochlaena - Blechnaceae

Stenochlaena tenuifolia (Desv.) T. Moore

Photo: JE. Burrows
South Africa

Photo: JE. Burrows
South Africa

Photo: JE. Burrows
South Africa

Photo: JE. Burrows
South Africa






Lomaria tenuifolia Desv.
Acrostichum tenuifolium (Desv.) Baker
Polybotrya tenuifolia (Desv.) Kuhn
Lomaria meyeriana Kunze
Lomariobotrys meyeriana (Kunze) Fée

Common name


Rhizome up to 20 m long and 1-2 cm in diameter, creeping along the ground or ascending trees; rhizome scales sparse, thick, entire, dark brown, awl-shaped, non persistent, 1-5 mm long. Fronds dimorphic, up to 4 m long, arching, widely spaced. Stipe 30-60 cm long, pale brown, grooved, glabrous. Sterile lamina imparipinnate, firmly membranous, ovate-oblong in outline, 0.5-2 × 0.2-0.7 m; pinnae about 20 alternate pairs, firmly membranous, linear-lanceolate, glabrous, shortly petiolate, apex pointed, base unequally cuneate, margins minutely serrate, 15-35 × 2-3.9 cm. Fertile lamina 2-pinnate or rarely pinnate, usually slightly shorter than the sterile lamina, with 25-30 pairs of lateral pinnae; pinnae petiolate, up to 25 cm long, about 4 cm apart, pinnately divided into very irregular narrowly linear segments, up to 8 x 0.2 cm, adnate to the rhachis or petiolate at the base, glabrous above, completely covered with sporangia below, sori exindusiate.



tenuis: thin, folia: leaves; slender-leaved referring to the linear pinnae of the fertile frond.


Swamp forest, and swampy stream bottoms, mixed evergreen forest, also fringing forest.

Distribution worldwide

Africa, Madagascar, Galego I., Comoro Isl., Mauritius.

Distribution in Africa

Angola, Cameroon, Dem. Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania , Uganda, Zimbabwe.

Growth form



  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Page 336. (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 726 - 727. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 471 - 473. (Includes a picture).
  • Parris, B.S. (2006) Blechnaceae. Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 6 - 8. (Includes a picture).
  • Roux, J.P. (2009) Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands. Strelitzia 23, South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria. Pages 105 - 106.
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 156.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta. Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Pages 240 - 242. (Includes a picture).