Cyathea - Cyatheaceae

Cyathea mildbraedii (Brause) Domin.






Alsophila mildbraedii Brause

Common name


Caudex to 4 m tall. Stipe 56 cm long, very dark, bearing copious blunt spines 1–1.5 mm long on the lower half; scales very dark, glossy with dull fragile margins, to 10 mm long; one pair of reduced pinnae near base of stipe. Lamina incompletely known; basal pinnae 29 cm long, next pair 32 cm long, others to 40 cm long. Rhachis below dark, glabrous, minutely verrucose, hairs on upper surface brown, thin, somewhat contorted; near base of pinna-rhachis some scales 3–4 mm long like those on the stipe, distally some entirely thin scales. Pinnules to 8 x 1.8 cm, shortly tapering to a point, 2 cm apart; basal pair of lobes free, then one pair adnate, rest of pinnule lobed almost to the costa; lobes slightly oblique and slightly falcate, the larger ones shallowly crenate throughout; costules 4–4.5 mm apart; veins to 8 pairs, mostly forked below the middle, slender, slightly prominent on the lower surface, not on the upper. Scales and hairs: on lower surface of costae brown flat elongate scales near base grading distally to brown bullate scales, no hairs; on costules brown bullate hair-pointed scales; on upper surface of costae contorted hairs as on pinna-rachis, costules hairless except near base of pinnules. Sori at forks of veins, exindusiate.



mildbraedii: named after G.W.J. Mildbraed (1879-1954), German explorer, botanist specialized in mosses and ferns. He was the plant collector on four German expeditions to Central Africa and keeper at the Berlin Botanical Museum in 1913.


Heath forest on ridge crest, endemic to Ruwenzori Mts.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Dem. Republic of Congo, Uganda.

Growth form



  • Edwards, Peter J. (2005) Cyatheaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Page 13.
  • 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 65.