Asplenium - Aspleniaceae

Asplenium prionitis Kunze

Photo: JE. Burrows
South Africa

Photo: JE. Burrows
South Africa






Asplenium dufourii Fée
Asplenium pachysorum C.Chr.

Common name


Rhizome erect, short, up to 6 cm thick; rhizome scales dark brown, narrowly lanceolate in outline, shortly hair-tipped, up to 14 mm long, margins entire with scattered hair-like outgrowths. Fronds tufted, erect or arching, herbaceous to thinly coriaceous, non-gemmiferous. Stipe 9-24(-35) cm long, pale brown when dry, lightly set with small hair-like scales when young, becoming glabrous at maturity, with a longitudinal groove below. Lamina 20-60 x 13.5-29 cm, pinnate, ovate to obovate in outline. Pinnae 3-8 (-14?) pairs, oblong-lanceolate in outline, up to 15 x 4.5 cm, apex sharply pointed or tapering to a point, base unequal with midrib forming the basiscopic margin for some distance, petiolate, dark glossy green above, pale matt below, margins sharply toothed. Sori linear, 6-20 mm long, parallel along the veins; indusium entire, less than 1 mm broad, membranous.



prionitis: like a saw, this fern has toothed pinna margins.


On ground or boulders along streams or river courses, deep shade in wet coastal forests.

Distribution worldwide

Africa, Madagascar, Comoro and Mascarene Islands.

Distribution in Africa

South Africa.

Growth form

Lithophytic, terrestrial.


  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Page 217. (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 594 - 595. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 338 - 339. (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. Page 94.