Asplenium - Aspleniaceae

Asplenium ceii Pic.Serm.

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings






Asplenium atroviride Schelpe

Common name


Rhizome erect, c. 1 cm thick; rhizome scales greyish-brown, lanceolate in outline, subentire, up to 10x 1.5 mm, apex gradually tapering into a hair-like tip. Fronds tufted, erect, not proliferous, herbaceous to coriaceous. Stipe matt-grey-green to brown, subglabrous, up to 50 cm × 0.3 cm. Lamina 18-40 x 10-19 cm, dark shiny green, pinnate, oblong in outline, basal pinnae not reduced, 2-6 (-9) pairs of pinnae plus a terminal pinna similar to the other pinnae but slightly longer and wider. Pinnae 8-14 x 1.8-2.5 cm, hairless, petiolulate, lanceolate-oblong in outline, margins shallowly toothed, base unequally cuneate, apex gradually tapering to a point. Rhachis subglabrous with scatered fimbriate scales when young. Sori linear, set along the veins at 50 degrees to the costa, (4-)9-13 mm long; indusium entire, membranous, 0.5-0.8 mm wide.


Differs from similar species by not proliferous fronds and having only 2-6(-9) pairs pinnae.



Deep shade on forest floor away from water in moist evergreen forest.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sudan and South Sudan, Tanzania , Uganda, Zimbabwe.

Growth form

Epiphytic, lithophytic, terrestrial.


  • Beentje, H.J. (2008) Aspleniaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 35 - 36. (Includes a picture).
  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Page 218. As Asplenium atroviride (Includes a picture).
  • Fisher, E. & Lobin, W. (2023) Synoptic Revision of Aspleniaceae (Asplenium, Hymenasplenium) of Rwanda. Magnolia Press, New Zealand. Page 12.
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 336 - 337. As Asplenium atroviride (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. Page 81.
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta.Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 162. As Asplenium atroviride
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta.Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Pages 173 - 174. As Asplenium atroviride