Asplenium - Aspleniaceae

Asplenium fontanum (L.) Bernh.






Polypodium fontanum L.

Common name

Smooth spleenwort.


Rhizome thick, erect; rhizome scales brown, lanceolate in outline, apex filiform, to 4 mm long. Fronds tufted, 10-15 (30) cm long, elongated and narrow. Stipe equal to the lamina or shorter, black at the base, green above. Lamina 2-pinnate-pinnatifid, light green to gray-green, herbaceous, glabrous. Pinnae 10-20 pair, alternate, basal pinnae more distant and drecressent; pinnules up to 5 pair at the widest part of the frond, diminishing to 2 at the base; margins coarsely incised; veins free, forking. Rhachis green, hairless or sometimes with some glandular hairs. Sori 2-3 per pinnae, oblong to linear in outline, submarginal along the vein; indusium whitish, entire, opening outwards.



fontanum: growing in running water.


Rocks and high mountains. Exclusively calcareous in sheltered rock crevices, mostly under overhangs or on rock faces not directly in the sun.

Distribution worldwide

Africa, central Europe, Asia.

Distribution in Africa

Morocco and Western Sahara.

Growth form



  • Chatelain, C.; Medjahdi, B. et all. (2014-) Flore du Maghreb. Published on the internet: Page 0.
  • 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 85.
  • Stuart, T. (2004-) Hardy Fern Library. Published on the internet: Page 0.