Asplenium - Aspleniaceae

Asplenium platyneuron (L.) Britton, Sterns & Poggenb.

Photo: JE. Burrows
South Africa






Acrostichum platyneuron L.
Asplenium ebeneum sensu Sim

Common name


Rhizome shortly creeping to suberect, c. 4 mm thick; rhizome scales dark, almost black, lanceolate in outline, hairpointed, up to 5 mm long, margin subentire. Fronds tufted, erect, up to 37 cm long, herbaceous to thinly coriaceous. Stipe c. 2(-8) cm long, blackish brown, sparsely set with white hairs and with a few longer hairlike scales becoming glabrous at maturity. Lamina pinnate, linear-elliptic to linear-oblanceolate in outline, ± 24(-30) x 2.6(-4) cm, lower pinnae gradually reduced, upper pinnae reduced towards a pinnatifid apical segment. Pinnae up to 40 pairs, ± 12(-25) x 3(-6) mm, roughly rectangular in outline, somewhat falcate and angled downwards, apex rounded, base truncate, sessile, with an acroscopically developed lobe or auricle, glabrous above, with scattered, minute scales below, margin crenate to subentire. Rhachis glossy chestnut brown, thinly pubescent or hairless. Sori short, elliptic in outline, in 6-20 pairs set at 45° to, and along, each side of the midrib; indusium narrow, entire, membranous.



platy- :wide, -neuron: nerve, vein; unclear reference.


Kloof forest, dry forest or scrub forest, forest margin, open grassland at base of boulders and rocky outcrops.

Distribution worldwide

Africa, North America.

Distribution in Africa

Lesotho, South Africa.

Growth form



  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 226 - 228. (Includes a picture).
  • Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011) Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide. Struik Nature. Pages 612 - 613. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 343 - 344. (Includes a picture).
  • Roux, J.P. (2009) Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands. Strelitzia 23, South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria. Pages 93 - 94.