Asplenium - Aspleniaceae

Asplenium actiniopteroides Peter






Asplenium goetzei Hieron. var. major Hieron.
Asplenium majus (Hieron.) Pic.Serm.

Common name


Rhizome long-creeping, 2–5 mm diameter; rhizome scales dark brown, 3–6 x 0.8–1.2(–2.8) mm, lanceolate in outline, margin subentire, apex ending in a hair-tip. Fronds spaced, sparse, erect, sub-coriaceous, not proliferous. Stipe 10–30 cm long, with a few to many scales 1.5–2 mm long, usually also with rather dense stalked glands. Lamina dark or dull green, narrowly ovate in outline, (6–)7–28 x 3.5–18 cm, 2-pinnate to 3-pinnatifid, rarely 4-pinnatifid. Pinnae in 5–19 pairs, obliquely ovate or trapezoid in outline, to 5 x 2.5 (–9 x 4.5) cm, the basal ones largest, apex decrescent. Pinnules deltate in outline, pinnatisect, with 2–7 segments, the ultimate segments with 2–4 narrowly linear obtuse apices to 0.4 mm wide, with occasional scales. Rhachis rather densely set with long-tapering scales, often with rather dense stalked glands – but these often absent on young/infertile fronds. Sori 1–2(–3) per pinnule or lobe, linear in , 1.5–3.5 mm; indusium present, entire, 0.2–0.5 mm wide.


A. majus is considered to be a seperated species by some autors (Pichi Sermoli 1983a, 1985; Viane 2021 and Fischer & Lobin 2023).
A. majus has dense viscid glands and ovate-acuminate rhizome scales with broad base, an acuminate apex and a fimbriate margin (versus lanceolate rhizome scales not distinctly wider in Asplenium actiniopteroides) (Fisher & Lobin, 2023).



Forest, Hagenia woodland, moorland, where restricted to rock crevices.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Dem. Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania , Uganda.

Growth form

Epiphytic, lithophytic, terrestrial.


  • Beentje, H.J. (2008) Aspleniaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 49 - 50. (Includes a picture).
  • Fisher, E. & Lobin, W. (2023) Synoptic Revision of Aspleniaceae (Asplenium, Hymenasplenium) of Rwanda. Magnolia Press, New Zealand. Page 21. As Asplenium majus
  • 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.