Asplenium - Aspleniaceae

Asplenium christii Hieron.

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: BT. Wursten

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings






Asplenium amaurophyllum Peter

Common name


Rhizome erect, c. 4 mm thick; rhizome scales brown, entire, lanceolate to narrowly triangular in outline, up to 3 x 0.5 mm. Fronds strongly dimorphic, fertile fronds twice as long as sterile fronds, tufted. Stipe matt-grey-green, subglabrous, 5-12 cm (sterile), 6-26 cm (fertile). Sterile lamina not-gemmiferous, 6-15 × 3-8 cm, pinnate, lanceolate-ovate in outline. Fertile lamina gemmiferous on the rhachis below the terminal segment, 13-27 × 5-8.5 cm, pinnate and lanceolate in outline. Pinnae 5-12 pairs, smaller and more widely spaced towards the apex, oblong to narrowly triangular in outline, base unequally cuneate, apex pointed or gradually tapering to a point, margins crenate to serrate, hairless on both surfaces except for a few small brown scales on the costa below. Rhachis similar to stipe. Sori linear, set at 45 degrees to the costa, 3-8 mm long; indusium entire, membranous, 0.4-0.8 mm wide.


Confused with A. mossambicense; A. christii has more strongly dimorphic fronds and pinnae that are smaller and more widely spaced distally.


christii: named after K.H.H. Christ, a German plant geographer & taxonomist.


Deeply shaded forest floor in evergreen forest.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania , Uganda, Zimbabwe.

Growth form



  • Beentje, H.J. (2008) Aspleniaceae. Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 23 - 24. (Includes a picture).
  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 220 - 221. (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 596 - 597. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 332 - 333. (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 82.
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 163. (Includes a picture).
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta. Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Page 172.