Asplenium - Aspleniaceae

Asplenium sandersonii Hook.

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings






Asplenium hanningtonii Baker
Asplenium debile Mett. ex Kuhn
Asplenium melleri Mett. ex Kuhn
Asplenium punctatum Mett. ex Kuhn
Asplenium vagans Baker
Asplenium comorense C.Chr.

Common name


Rhizome (sub)erect, c. 3 mm diameter; rhizome scales brown, margin entire, lanceolate in outline, 2-4 mm long, apex gradually tapering to a point. Fronds tufted, arching, uniform, proliferous, fleshy. Stipe up to 4(-9) cm, subglabrous. Lamina pinnate, 5-30 × 1.5-4 cm, linear to lanceolate in outline. Pinnae 12-23 pairs, distally slowly decreasing in size and ending in a naked extension of the rhachis that bears a proliferating bud. Pinnae rhombic, midrib forming the basiscopic margin for some distance, basal margin entire, distal and acroscopic margins with broadly rounded lobes, base unequal, 0.6-2 x 0.3-1 cm, upper surface glabrous, surface below with a few brown scales. Rhachis straw-coloured, with narrow green wings, sparsely set with scales. Sori up to 8 per pinna, oval, covering most of the pinnae, to 3 mm long; indusium oblong, fimbriate, semi-transparent.


Differs from similar species by the naked extension of the rhachis that bears a proliferating bud, pinnae with very rounded acroscopic margins.


sandersonii: named after J. Sanderson (1820-1881), an amateur plant collector in Natal.


Shaded areas in wet, evergreen forest and forest margins.

Distribution worldwide

Africa, Madagascar, Comoro Isl.

Distribution in Africa

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

Growth form



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  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 229 - 230. (Includes a picture).
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