Cyathea - Cyatheaceae

Cyathea schliebenii Reimers






Alsophila tanzaniana Tryon, non Alsophila schliebenii Reimers (1933:916)

Common name


Trunk to 4.5 x 0.15 m, massive. Fronds to 1.1 m long. Stipe 20 cm or more long, scaly throughout; basal scales to 12 x 1.5 mm, dark reddish brown with almost concolorous fragile margins, apex setiform; scales of upper part of stipe smaller and less dense. Lamina pinnate (sub-bipinnate), 70–85 cm long; a few pairs of lower pinnae progressively reduced and a little more widely spaced. Pinnae to 15 x 3 cm; basal pair of lobes free; almost all other lobes separately adnate to the costa; costules of lobes 4–5 mm apart; basal (free) lobes of larger pinnae deeply lobulate, other lobes irregularly slightly crenate or almost entire; veins 10–11 pairs, the lower ones twice forked. Scales and hairs on pinnules: lower surface of costa densely covered with narrow brown stiff scales and stiff spreading slightly curved hairs; many such hairs present on the lower surface of costules and veins. Sori near costules; indusia almost covering sori to maturity, then almost always breaking.



schliebenii: named after H.-J. E. Schlieben (1902-1975), German botanist, photographer, and writer who collected in Tanzania and South Africa.


Roadside banks in areas of wet forest.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Tanzania .

Growth form



  • Edwards, Peter J. (2005) Cyatheaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 4 - 6. (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 67. As Alsophila tanzaniana R.M.Tryon.