Asplenium - Aspleniaceae

Asplenium lividum Mett. ex Kuhn

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings






Asplenium bernieri Cordem
Asplenium laciniatum D.Don var. planicaule (Wall.) Bonap.

Common name


Rhizome suberect, up to 7 mm diameter; rhizome scales 1-3 x 0.2 mm, brown, lanceolate in outline, entire, pointed. Fronds not proliferous, tufted or slightly spaced, arching or hanging, firmly herbaceous. Stipe up to 20 cm, matt brown or green above and black beneath, often darker towards the base, set with scales similar to the rhizome, otherwise glabrous at maturity. Lamina 13-48 cm × 6-9 cm, 2-pinnate to weakly 3-pinnatifid, narrowly oblong-lanceolate in outline, lowest pinnae not reduced, apical pinnae decrescent, linear and much-lobed. Pinnae 15-21 pairs, subopposite to alternate, hairless, pinnatifid, incised more than 1/2 way to the costa in oblanceolate to linear lobes, the lobes of the pinnae more or less equal except for the basal acroscopic lobe that is larger than the rest; vennation pinnate, margins toothed. Sori 1-6 per lobe, situated alongside the costa between pinna lobes, linear, present on each lobe, linear, 1-7 mm long; indusium entire, linear, membranous, 0.3-0.5 mm wide.  


Differs from A. aethiopicum by having narrow fronds, small rhizome scales, long sori clustered along the costa.


lividus: a bluish-leaden colour, reference unclear.


On moss covered boulders in deep shade along streams in evergreen forest, moist forest.

Distribution worldwide

Africa, tropical America.

Distribution in Africa

Angola, Cameroon, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania , Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Growth form

Epiphytic, lithophytic.


  • Beentje, H.J. (2008) Aspleniaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 53 - 55. (Includes a picture).
  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 248 - 250. (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 652 - 653. (Includes a picture).
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  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Page 360. (Includes a picture).
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  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta.Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 167.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta.Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Page 181.
  • Tardieu-Blot, M.-L. (1964) Ptéridophytes vol.3.Flore du Cameroun, Pages 210 - 212. (Includes a picture).