Dryopteris - Dryopteridaceae

Dryopteris fadenii Pic.Serm.






Common name


Rhizome short creeping, up to 16 mm in diameter; rhizome scales brown to dull rust coloured, larger scales up to 31 x 5 mm, smaller scales linear-acuminate to ovate in outline, irregularly set with short bifid teeth, glands, and irregular outgrowths. Fronds 5–7 per plant, tufted, erect to arching, up to 1.5 m long, firmly herbaceous. Stipe castaneous, stramineous higher up, up to 61 x 0.1 cm, near base with dense scales up to 24 x 10 mm, those higher up short-lived. Lamina ovate to broadly ovate in outline, up to 92 x 62 cm, 2-pinnate to 2-pinnate-pinnatifid. Pinnae up to 8 stalked pairs, subsessile and adnate towards apex, basal pinnae triangular, lanceolate, or oblong-acuminate towards lamina apex, basal pair longest, basiscopically developed, up to 32 x 14 cm; pinna-rachis narrowly winged for most of its length, subglabrous adaxially, initially moderately set with scales up to 5 x 2.5 mm on abaxial surface. Pinnules petiolate, narrowly lanceolate to oblong-acuminate in outline, often slightly basiscopically developed, acroscopic pinnule on basal pinnae up to 86 x 25 mm, basiscopic pinnule on basal pinnae up to 106 x 38 mm; segments sessile, lanceolate to oblong in outline, basiscopically decurrent, up to 18 x 8 mm, shallowly lobed to shallowly toothed, upper surface hairless or with a few scattered hairs along costule, lower surface sparsely to moderately set with hairs and filiform to subulate scales. Rhachis greenish to strawcoloured, narrowly winged towards apex, initially with sparse to moderate strawcoloured to rusty scales, up to 6 x 1.5 mm. Sori discrete or touching at maturity, circular, up to 2 mm in diameter; indusium absent or present, brown, firmly herbaceous, cordate to reniform, repand to erose, margin glandular or eglandular, up to 1 mm in diameter.



fadenii: named after R.A. Faden, botanist, taxonomist who collected the type specimen of this fern.


Wet montane forest, riverine forest, streambanks, Albizia-Podocarpus forest, bamboo Podocarpus forest, gianth heath zone.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania , Uganda.

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 121.
  • Roux, J.P.; Shaffer-Fehre, M. & Verdcourt, B. (2007) Dryopteridaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Page 39. (Includes a picture).