Asplenium - Aspleniaceae

Asplenium simii A.F. Braithw. & Schelpe

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings






Asplenium cuneatum Lam. var. angustatum Sim.
Asplenium splendens Kunze var. angustatum (Sim.) C.Chr.

Common name


Rhizome shortly creeping, 7 mm thick; scales dark brown-black, margin entire, narrowly lanceolate, hairpointed, 6-12 mm long. Fronds closely spaced to tufted, not proliferous. Stipe 8-23 cm long, scales similar to but shorter than rhizome scales at the base, matt brown, shorter than the lamina. Lamina 10-28 cm × 3.5-9 cm, pinnate to 2-pinnate, linear-lanceolate in outline. Pinnae deeply pinnatifid into 3-5 obcuneate lobes, pinnate towards the base, venation flabellate, segments crenated along the outer margin, base unequally cuneate, glabrous except for small, dark, twisted scales near the lobe bases, along the costae and on the rhachis. Sori numerous, linear, up to 12 mm long, set along the veins, indusium entire.


Confusion possible with other members of the A. aethiopicum group. A. simii has long (6-12 mm), almost black rhizome scales; lamina is less divided. The A. aethiopicum complex has rhizome scales that are up to 7 mm long with a deeply 2-pinnatifid to 3-pinnate lamina division.


simii: named after T.R. Sim, Scottish botanist & author of "The Ferns of South Africa" (1892), the first comprehensive fern book on this region.


Deeply shaded moist evergreen forest. Epiphyte or lithophyte.

Distribution worldwide

Distribution in Africa

Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe.

Growth form

Epiphytic, lithophytic.


  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 250 - 251. (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 654 - 655. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 369 - 370. (Includes a picture).
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta.Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 170.
  • 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 97.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta.Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Page 181.