Cyathea - Cyatheaceae

Cyathea camerooniana Hook. var. camerooniana






Alsophyla camerooniana (Hook.) R.M.Tryon var. camerooniana
Cyathea aethiopica sensu Tardieu

Common name


Trunk to 3 m tall. Frond to 3 m long. Stipe 15–30 cm long; scales to 15 mm long, less than 2 mm wide, margins thin, dull. Lamina pinnate, thin-textured, to 2.5 m long; several pairs of lower pinnae gradually reduced and widely spaced. Pinnae lowest commonly 5–10 cm long, largest pinnae commonly 20–40 cm long, 3–8 cm wide; 1–few pairs basal lobes quite free, the remainder widened at their bases and meeting each other, usually with a distinct costal wing between them, almost at right angles to the costa, crenate at least distally; veins commonly 12–22 pairs, most veins forked once near the costule. Scales and hairs on pinnules: lower surface of costa always bearing stiff spreading hairs, 0.5–1.5 mm long; small scales sometimes present but rarely abundant; scattered, stiff and spreading hairs present on lower surface of costules. Sori at forks of veins, near but not touching the costules; indusia thin and complete and breaking at maturity or forming cups with definite edges which bear one or more flaccid hairs and scale-like extensions.
var. camerooniana: Rhachis rather pale distally and usually with many spreading hairs on its lower surface; pinnae to 25 x 4 cm; lobes with blunt or rounded tooth distally, their tips rounded; hairs on the lower surface of costae with very thick brown bases and slender pale tips, no setiferous scales present; indusia very thin, breaking irregularly, not forming distinct cups or discs.



camerooniana: from Cameroon, where this fern was first found.


Wet ground, river bank in high forest.

Distribution worldwide

Africa, Fernando Po.

Distribution in Africa

Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Liberia, Nigeria.

Growth form



  • Holttum, R.E. (1981) The Tree-Ferns of Africa.Kew Bulletin, 36(3) Page 479.
  • 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 61. As Alsophila camerooniana var. camerooniana
  • Tardieu-Blot, M.-L. (1964) Ptéridophytes vol.3.Flore du Cameroun, Pages 66 - 67. (Includes a picture).