Vittaria - Adiantaceae

Vittaria guineensis Desv. var. guineensis






Vittaria guineensis Desv. var. cancellata Hieron.
Vittaria congoensis H.Christ
Haplopteris guineensis (Desv.) E.H.Crane
Pteris guineensis (Desv.) Desv.

Common name


Rhizomes creeping, 2 mm in diameter; Rhizome scalesdark brown to black, 1.5–3.5 mm long, ovate or narrowly lanceolate to linear, apex tapering to a point, with or without a short hair-point, margin pseudo-serrate or entire. Fronds spaced 3–10 mm, simple, arching or hanging. Stipe chestnut or black, up to 3 cm long. Lamina narrowly linear- ensiform or linear-oblanceolate, 10–40 × 0.4–0. 9(–1.2) cm, apex gradually tapering to a point, base tapering towards the stipe; midrib obvious but not raised; venation obscure. Sori in 2 submarginal grooves up to 6.6 mm from the margin.


The dividing line between var. guineensis and var. orientalis needs futher study. There seems to be a gradual increase in the lenght of the rhizome scales and their hair point. Hair point absent in var. guineensis (Jacobsen, W.B.G., 1983).


guineensis: from Guinea (West Africa).


Distribution worldwide

See African distribution, also Principe and São Tomé.

Distribution in Africa

Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Dem. Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Togo, Uganda.

Growth form



  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Page 215. mentioned in comparison with V. guineensis var. orientalis
  • 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 73.
  • Thardieu-Blot, M.L. (1964) Ptéridophytes vol.8.Flore du Gabon, Pages 95 - 96.
  • Verdcourt, B. (1999) Vittariaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 3 - 5.