Asplenium - Aspleniaceae

Asplenium septentrionale (L.) Hoffm.






Acrostichum septentrionale L.

Common name

Forked spleenwort.


Rhizome erect, much branched; rhizome scales clathrate, dark reddish brown to black throughout, narrowly deltate in outline, to 4 mm long. Fronds 15 x 1 cm, evergreen, tufted, monomorphic or nearly so, blade/stipe ratio: 1:3 to 1:5. Stipe dark reddish brown at base, fading to green upwards, small hairs at base, otherwise hairless. Lamina linear in outline, forking for 2 times into narrow segments, cleft at the tips, leathery, hairless, margins entire, sometimes toothed at the tips, veins free, forking. Sori linear, parallel, alternating irregularly across the midrib; indusium thin, flap-like, often covered during maturation, on one side of the sorus, opening towards the midrib.



septentrionalis: of the North.


Open sites, various substrates.

Distribution worldwide

Northern Europe, mountains of central Europe, elsewhere in Asia and North America scattered, often rare.

Distribution in Africa

Morocco and Western Sahara.

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 97.
  • Stuart, T. (2004-) Hardy Fern Library. Published on the internet: Page 0. (Includes a picture).