Microlepia - Dennstaedtiaceae

Microlepia fadenii Pic.Serm.






Common name


Rhizome tough, long-creeping, dichotomously branched, 7–11 mm diameter; rhizome hairs thick, rigid, up to 2.5 mm long. Fronds spaced at about 1.3 cm intervals, 1.6–2.5 m tall. Stipe ± circular in cross section, grooved above, ± 1 m long, 1 cm in diameter at base, covered in soft, very short hairs. Lamina ovate in outline, gradually narrowed to the apex, ± 1.5 x 0.80 m, 3-pinnatifid; lower and middle pinnae narrowly lanceolate-triangular in outline, 40 x 7 cm, apex long and gradually tapering to a point; upper pinnae linear-lanceolate in outline; pinnules narrowly triangular or lanceolate-triangular in outline, apex pointed or tapering to a point; acroscopic segments subdimidiate, unequally obovate or obovate-rhombic, narrowed at base, rounded at apex, basiscopic side very reduced and 1-veined, margin usually entire, acroscopic side several-veined with curved 2–4-lobulate margin; lowest segments up to 10 x 5 mm; veins evident on both surfaces, not reaching the margin, terminated by narrowly clavate hydathodes. Rhachis with soft short hairs above but at length glabrous, densely adpressed pilose at base; costae entirely hairless beneath. Sori 1–3 in each segment, borne on acroscopic side of segments only, terminal on the veinlets, ± remote from margins; indusium densely bristly set with short hairs similar to those on underside of segments.



fadenii: named after R.D. Faden who collected the type specimen in the Uluguru Mts. in Tanzania.


Evergreen rain forest, 1400-1700m.

Distribution worldwide

Only known from Tanzania.

Distribution in Africa

Tanzania .

Growth form



  • 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 111.
  • Verdcourt, B. (1999) Dennstaedtiaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 4 - 5.