Asplenium - Aspleniaceae

Asplenium abyssinicum Fée

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings






Asplenium tenuifolium sensu Peter
Asplenium cicutarium Hieron. non Sw.
Asplenium kuhnianum C.Chr.
Asplenium gracillinum Kuhn
Asplenium cicutarium Sw. var. abyssinicum (Fée) Hook.

Common name


Rhizome erect, dark brown; rhizome scales mid- to dark brown, up to 5.5 x 0.8 mm, linear in outline, apex gradually tapering to a slender point, margin entire. Fronds tufted, erect, not proliferous, herbaceous. Stipe dark brown, purplish or black, 3–30 cm long, base with scales similar to those of the rhizome, otherwise glabrous. Lamina membranous, delicate, bright green, ovate to lanceolate in outline, 10–40(–70) x 5–20 cm, 3-pinnate, the lowermost pinnae reduced, decrescent towards the apex. Pinnae mid-green, narrowly triangular in outline, up to 11 x 3.5 cm, unequally wedge-shaped at base, apex gradually tapering to a slender point. Pinnules ovate or rhombic-ovate in outline, lobed to pinnate, ultimate segments obovate in outline, apices rounded to obtuse, glabrous or with sparse scales to 0.1 mm long. Rhachis brown with thin green wings, hairless or nearly so. Sori 1–2 per segment, on the veins and facing towards the costule, ovoid, 0.5–2 mm long; indusium half-circular, membranous, entire, 0.7–1 mm wide.



abyssinicum: type specimen from Ethiopa (Abyssinia).


Moist forest, bamboo zone, woodland, occasionaly in moorland, but always in damp sites, along streams.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Burundi, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan and South Sudan, Tanzania , Uganda.

Growth form

Epiphytic, lithophytic, terrestrial.


  • Beentje, H.J. (2008) Aspleniaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 62 - 63. (Includes a picture).
  • Fisher, E. & Lobin, W. (2023) Synoptic Revision of Aspleniaceae (Asplenium, Hymenasplenium) of Rwanda. Magnolia Press, New Zealand. Page 7.
  • 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 75.
  • Tardieu-Blot, M.-L. (1964) Ptéridophytes vol.3.Flore du Cameroun, Pages 216 - 218. (Includes a picture).