Asplenium - Aspleniaceae

Asplenium preussii Hieron. ex Brause

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings






Asplenium pseudoauriculatum Schelpe
Asplenium thunbergii sensu Sim
Asplenium auriculatum sensu Sim
Asplenium preussii Hieron. subsp. austroafricanum Schelpe

Common name


Rhizome erect, up to 10 mm thick; rhizome scales 3-7 x 2 mm, brown, (sub)entire, subulate, hair-tipped. Fronds tufted, arching, thinly coriaceous, proliferous near the apex, the apical segment above the proliferating bud has more than 5 lobes. Stipe up to 20 cm long, stipe and rhachis sparsely set with dark brown scales, up to 2 mm long. Lamina 22-43 × 4.5-13 cm, 2-pinnatifid, lanceolate to narrowly elliptic in outline, basal pinnae hardly reduced. Pinnae up to 8.5 x 2 cm, petiolate, with 6 or more basiscopic pinnae lobes; the first arising between the 1st-2nd acroscopic lobes. Pinnae variable, from shallowly incised to strongly pinnatifid into narrow simple bifid lobes, basal lobe pointing towards the apex free, 4-fid and larger than the other lobes. Rhachis matt-greyish-green with minute dark brown scales. Sori one per lobe, linear, set along the veins, 2-7 mm long, slightly curved; indusium very narrowly oblong, membranous, entire.   


Confused with A. dregeanum; A. preussii has the first basal lobe arising between the 1st and 2nd acroscopic lobes.


preussii: named after Paul Rudolf Preuss, botanist, horticulturist, first director of Botanic Gardens at Victoria in Cameroon.


Moist evergreen forest.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Dem. Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Ethiopia, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan and South Sudan, Tanzania , Uganda, Zimbabwe.

Growth form

Epiphytic, lithophytic, terrestrial.


  • Beentje, H.J. (2008) Aspleniaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 44 - 45.
  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Page 234. (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 626 - 627. (Includes a picture).
  • Fisher, E. & Lobin, W. (2023) Synoptic Revision of Aspleniaceae (Asplenium, Hymenasplenium) of Rwanda. Magnolia Press, New Zealand. Page 34.
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 373 - 374. (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 94.
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta.Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 169.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta.Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Page 185. (Includes a picture).
  • Tardieu-Blot, M.-L. (1964) Ptéridophytes vol.3.Flore du Cameroun, Pages 221 - 222. (Includes a picture).