Asplenium - Aspleniaceae

Asplenium variabile Hook.






Asplenium paucijugum Ballard
Asplenium variabile Hook. var. paucijugum (F.Ballard) Alston
Asplenium efulense Baker
Asplenium gautieri Hook.

Common name


Rhizome creeping or erect, 3–6 mm diameter; rhizome scales pale or dark brown, ovate in outline, apex gradually tapering to a point, clathrate, deciduous, 2–4 mm long, margins entire or sometimes (on same plant) with a few narrow teeth. Fronds shortly spaced or tufted, erect, slightly coriaceous, often proliferous at or near apex, occasionally proliferous at several pinnae apices. Stipe pale brown or green, once described as black with pale lines, 5–44 cm long, with scales similar to those of rhizome but soon glabrescent. Lamina dark green, simple or imparipinnate with 1–2 pairs of (sub-)sessile subopposite pinnae, pinnae or lamina oblong-elliptic to lanceolate in outline, 4–22 x 1.5–6.5 cm, the terminal pinna slightly larger than the laterals, base slightly cordate to cuneate, margin wavy to lobed-toothed, apex tapering to a point, glabrous; veins forked. Rhachis similar to stipe. Sori many, evenly spaced and closely parallel along the oblique veins, reaching neither costa nor margin, 7–29 mm long; indusium membranous, linear, ± 0.3 mm wide, entire or with minutely fimbriate margin.



variabile: variable; Ballard in his protologue states that this taxon is “not so homogeneous a species as one might wish".


Moist forest, often along streams and waterfalls.

Distribution worldwide

Africa, Madagascar.

Distribution in Africa

Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Dem. Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sudan and South Sudan, Tanzania , Uganda.

Growth form

Epiphytic, lithophytic, terrestrial.


  • Beentje, H.J. (2008) Aspleniaceae. Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 11 - 12. As Asplenium paucijugum Ballard (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 100.