Asplenium - Aspleniaceae

Asplenium uhligii Hieron.






Asplenium kassneri Hieron.
Asplenium nigrocoloratum Bonap.

Common name


Rhizome creeping, 2-3 mm thick; rhizome scales up to 5(-9) mm long, shiny brown, ovate-deltate in outline, entire, apex tapering to a point ending in a hair tip. Fronds clearly spaced apart, not proliferous. Stipe up to 23 cm long, purplish black, slender, stipe and rhachis glabrous or with few scales similar to rhizome. Lamina 5-30 cm × 2-16 cm, 2-pinnate to 3-pinnatifid, ovate-lanceolate in outline, basal pinnae longest, apical pinnae decrescent. Pinnae 6-13 pairs, dull green, wedge-shaped-rhomboid in outline, 1.5-8 x 0.6-3 cm, glabrous above, subglabrous below with pale brown scales along costule and veins, venation flabellate; ultimate segments narrowly obcuneate and with finaly toothed distal margins, apical segment of each pinna usually drawn out to a point. Sori oval to linear in outline, elongate, 1-2 per pinnule segment, set along the veins, 2-7 mm long; indusium brownish, entire, 0.4-0.5 mm wide.


Confused with A. aethiopicum group; A. uhligii has a thin, creeping rhizome, a very thin stipe, shiny brown ovate rhizome scales, ovate scales on the lower pinnule surface.


uhligii: named after V.K.Uhlig who first collected this fern on Mount Kilimanjaro.


Deeply shaded recesses among dolerite boulders, giant heath zone, Senecio-Hypericum woodland and Podocarpus forest.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Cameroon, Dem. Republic of Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania , Togo, Uganda, Zimbabwe.

Growth form

Epiphytic, lithophytic.


  • Beentje, H.J. (2008) Aspleniaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 50 - 51. (Includes a picture).
  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Page 254. (Includes a picture).
  • Fisher, E. & Lobin, W. (2023) Synoptic Revision of Aspleniaceae (Asplenium, Hymenasplenium) of Rwanda. Magnolia Press, New Zealand. Pages 46 - 49. (Includes a picture).
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta.Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 172.
  • 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 99.
  • Tardieu-Blot, M.-L. (1964) Ptéridophytes vol.3.Flore du Cameroun, Page 214. (Includes a picture).