Asplenium - Aspleniaceae

Asplenium volkensii Hieron.






Common name


Rhizome long-creeping, to 5 mm diameter; rhizome scales to 5 x 1.5 mm, dark or mid-brown, lanceolate in outline, margins subentire, colour uniform. Fronds widely spaced, 50–85 cm high. Stipe 23–32 cm long, with shiny brown triangular-ovate minutely toothed acute scales to 3 mm. Lamina dark green, lanceolate in outline, 32–44 x 18–20 cm, apex gradually tapering to a point, 3-pinnate to 3-pinnatifid, lower pinnae very slightly reduced. Pinnae in 20–25 pairs, opposite or alternate, triangular-lanceolate in outline, 10–13 x 3–4 cm, prolonged into a pinnatifid-lobed apex; pinnules obliquely ovate or ovate-oblong in outline, 5–7-lobed or -pinnatisect in lowermost pinnules, with basiscopic base dimidiate-cuneate, acroscopic base subtruncate to cuneate with enlarged lobe, apices irregularly subincised dentate-truncate, veins flabellate, subglabrous above, beneath with sparse shiny brown triangular-ovate scales to 1 mm, mainly on veins. Rhachis and pinnae rhachis with scales similar to stipe. Sori mostly along the pinnule centre and a few in the basal lobes, linear-oblong in outline, 2–5 mm long; indusium membranous, entire, ± 0.4 mm wide.



volkensii: the type specimen was collected by G.L.A. Volkens (1855-1917), German botanist and traveller, assistant of A. Engler at the Botanical Museum in Berlin, Curator of the Botanical Gardens in Berlin.


Moist forest, Hagenia woodland, gianth heath zone.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Burundi, Dem. Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania .

Growth form



  • Beentje, H.J. (2008) Aspleniaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 52 - 53.
  • Fisher, E. & Lobin, W. (2023) Synoptic Revision of Aspleniaceae (Asplenium, Hymenasplenium) of Rwanda. Magnolia Press, New Zealand. Pages 50 - 56. (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 101.