Asplenium - Aspleniaceae

Asplenium africanum Desv.

Photo: BT. Wursten
Dem. Republic of Congo

Photo: BT. Wursten
Dem. Republic of Congo

Photo: BT. Wursten
Dem. Republic of Congo

Photo: BT. Wursten
Dem. Republic of Congo

Photo: BT. Wursten
Dem. Republic of Congo






Asplenium sinuatum P.Beauv.
Asplenium venosum Hook.
Asplenium serratum sensu Bonap.

Common name


Rhizome erect or shortly creeping, fleshy; rhizome scales lanceolate in outline, apex tapering to a point and ending in a hair-tip, base swollen, margin entire to wavy or crenate, with thick, up to 11 x 1.5 mm, dark brown cell walls and translucent lumen. Fronds monomorphic, tufted, drooping, slightly fleshy, not proliferous. Stipe thick, grooved, gradually attenuate from lamina but sometimes seemingly to 25 cm long, with a few scales at the very base. Lamina simple, lanceolate or strap-shaped, 25–100 x (2.2–)3–8 cm, margin entire, base and apex tapering, glabrous; costa clear, flattened; veins many, free, forking, 6–7 per cm, at angle of 45–70° with costa, marginal vein absent. Sori many along the veins, linear, long ones alternating with occasional short ones, 9–30 mm long, reaching neither costa nor margin; indusium membranous, entire, pale, to 0.7 mm wide.


A. africanum is distinguished from other taxa in Asplenium by a simple lamina that has no marginal vein and is longer than 25 cm, rhizome scales with an entire margin.


africanum: from Africa.


Moist forest, often near water.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

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

Growth form

Epiphytic, lithophytic.


  • Beentje, H.J. (2008) Aspleniaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 10 - 11. (Includes a picture).
  • Fisher, E. & Lobin, W. (2023) Synoptic Revision of Aspleniaceae (Asplenium, Hymenasplenium) of Rwanda. Magnolia Press, New Zealand. Pages 9 - 10.
  • 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 78.
  • Tardieu-Blot, M.-L. (1964) Ptéridophytes vol.3.Flore du Cameroun, Pages 178 - 180.
  • Thardieu-Blot, M.L. (1964) Ptéridophytes vol.8.Flore du Gabon, Pages 122 - 123.