Asplenium - Aspleniaceae

Asplenium monanthes L.

Photo: JE. Burrows
South Africa

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings






Asplenium monanthemum L.
Asplenium monanthes L. var. triangularipinnatum Bonap.
Asplenium repente Desv.

Common name


Rhizome erect to suberect, ± 3 mm diameter; rhizome scales black, margin paler, lanceolate in outline, apex gradually tapering to a slender hairpoint, subentire, up to 6 mm long. Fronds uniform, tufted, firmly herbaceous, erect, sometimes proliferous, gemmae on the upper half of stipe. Stipe up to 20 cm long, dark brown to almost black, with scattered scales when young, glabrous at maturity. Lamina 15-60 cm × 1.8-3.5 cm, pinnate, linear-oblong in outline, decrescent and acute. Pinnae up to 45 pairs, hairless on both surfaces, roughly rectangular, acroscopic margin and apex toothed, basiscopic margin entire with the costa running near the basiscopic margin, middle pinnae 1-1.7 x 0.5-0.8 cm. Rhachis black. Sori one (occasionally two), elongate-linear to oval in outline, situated near the costa and parallel to the basal margin of the pinna, to 5 mm long; indusium whitish, membranous, entire, linear, to 1 mm wide.


Differs from similar species by having a gemmiferous stipe, black rhachis and only 1-2 sori per pinna


monanthes: ´one flower`, this fern has a single sorus per pinna.


Shaded floors in evergreen forest, often near stream, bamboo or podocarpus forest; less often in riverine woodland or in the heath zone near streams.

Distribution worldwide

Distribution in Africa

Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan and South Sudan, Tanzania , Uganda, Zimbabwe.

Growth form



  • Beentje, H.J. (2008) Aspleniaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 16 - 17. (Includes a picture).
  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Page 226. (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 610 - 611. (Includes a picture).
  • Fisher, E. & Lobin, W. (2023) Synoptic Revision of Aspleniaceae (Asplenium, Hymenasplenium) of Rwanda.Phytotaxa, 608 (1) Page 33.
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 342 - 343. (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 91.
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta.Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 168.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta.Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Page 175. (Includes a picture).