Asplenium - Aspleniaceae

Asplenium scolopendrium L.






Phyllitis scolopendrium (L.) Newman
Scolopendrium vulgare Sm.

Common name


Rhizome erect, short; rhizome scales clathrate. Fronds 40 x 6 cm, evergreen, monomorphic, blade/stipe ratio: 3:1 to 5:1. Stipe short, purplish-brown, continuing into the rhachis, eventually becoming green, scales narrow, pale brown. Lamina simple, lanceolate in outline, base heart-shaped, glossy, bright green, somewhat leathery, silvery scales, falling soon, margins entire, becoming undulate with age; veins free, forking, stopping short of the margin. Sori linear, paired along a vein, in the upper half of the blade; indusium thin, flap-like, opening toward the vein, whitish, on one side of the sorus.



scolopendra: centipede, alluding to the two rows of sori which resemble the feet of a centipede.


Rocky woodlands on limestone.

Distribution worldwide

Central and southern Europe, east to Iran, northwestern Africa, Korea, Japan, Sakhalin, scattered populations in eastern North America.

Distribution in Africa

Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Western Sahara, Tunesia.

Growth form



  • 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 96.
  • Stuart, T. (2004-) Hardy Fern Library. Published on the internet: Page 0. (Includes a picture).