Asplenium - Aspleniaceae

Asplenium sulcatum Lam.

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings






Asplenium auritum Sw.
Adiantum martinii Pirotta

Common name


Rhizome erect to sub-erect, up to 10 mm; rhizome scales dark brown, entire, apex tapering to a point, up to 6 mm long. Fronds tufted, arching, thinly coriaceous, not proliferous, dimorph with the sterile fronds half the size of the fertile fronds. Stipe 5-22 cm, matt grey to greyish green, glabrous. Lamina 8-26 cm × 3.2-10 cm, pinnate to 2-pinnate, triangular-lanceolate in outline, basal pinnae not reduced, decrescent upwards into a deeply pinnatifid apex. Pinnae up to 15 pairs, 1.8-5.5 x 0.4-2 cm, petiolate, lanceolate in outline, apex obtuse to acute, base asymmetrical cuneate, margins incised more than 1/2 way to the costa becoming pinnatifid towards the pinnae base with a free basal acroscopic lobe; venation pinnate. Rhachis matt gery-green, subglabrous with scattered black hair-like scales, c. 1 mm long. Sori several, oval, set along the costa, 2-4 x 1.5 mm; indusium linear, membranous, entire, 0.6-0.8 mm wide.




Semi-deciduous woodland or riverine forests, deeply shaded moist evergreen forest.

Distribution worldwide

Africa, Madagascar, Mascarenes, tropical America.

Distribution in Africa

Dem. Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania , Uganda, Zimbabwe.

Growth form

Epiphytic, lithophytic.


  • Beentje, H.J. (2008) Aspleniaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Page 35. As Asplenium auritum Sw.
  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 244 - 245. As Asplenium auritum (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 351 - 352. As Asplenium auritum (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 98.
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta.Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 162. As Asplenium auritum
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta.Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Pages 177 - 178. As Asplenium auritum