Asplenium - Aspleniaceae

Asplenium balense Chaerle & Viane






Common name


Rhizome long-creeping, up to 11.5 cm long and 4 mm in diameter, sparsely branched; rhizome scales lanceolate-caudate to narrowly lanceolate-caudate in outline, apex tapering to a sharp point, base heart-shaped, margin entire, up to 7.5 x 1.6 mm, dark brown, clathrate. Fronds monomorphic, closely spaced, up to 36 cm long, firmly herbaceous. Stipe up to 18.5 cm long and 2 mm in diameter, dark brown at base, paler towards lamina base, shallowly sulcate adaxially, with many scales at the base and with scales and glands higher up; scales dark brown, clathrate, lanceolate to narrowly lanceolate, or filiform in outline, up to 6 x 1 mm, base heart-shaped, margin entire except for a few glands, or few-celled filiform outgrowts at base. Lamina 1-pinnate-pinnatifid, up to 20 x 8 cm; pinnae up to 12 pairs, petiolated, near opposite to alternate, the proximal pinnae more widely spaced than those higher up, not or slightly reduced, rhomboid to oblong in outline, up to 4.3 x 1.7 cm, proximal pair pinnatifid with ultimate segments oblong to linear in outline, set at an acute angle, distal margins with linear to acute teeth, with a few pale brown, filiform, glandular scales; rhachis proximally sulcate, with low dorso-lateral ridges higher up, moderately set with glands and scales, scales dark brown, papery, clathrate, narrowly lanceolate-caudate to filiform, up to 6.5 x 0.8 mm, base often with filiform outgrowths; venation free, evident, with false veins. Sori linear, up to 6 mm long; indusium linear, hyaline, entire, up to 0.5 mm wide, margine entire but glandular.




Endemic to the Arsi & Bale region of Ethiopia; at high altitude in the upper ericaceous and lower afroalpine belts.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa


Growth form

Epiphytic, lithophytic.


  • Hedberg, I; Friis, Ib & Persson, E (2009) Lycopodiaceae to Pinaceae.Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea, vol.1 Pages 132 - 133.
  • 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 79.