Dryopteris - Dryopteridaceae

Dryopteris filipaleata J.P.Roux






Common name


Rhizome short-decumbent, up to 12 mm in diameter, with closely set stipe bases; rhizome scales ferrugineous to castaneous, linear to narrowly lanceolate in outline, up to 15 x 5 mm, apex tapering to a point, irregularly set with scattered capitate glands and long outgrowths. Fronds tufted, suberect to arching, up to 1.1 m long. Stipe castaneous near base, strawcoloured higher up, up to 61 cm long and 7 mm in diameter, with ferrugineous scales up to 18 x 6 mm. Lamina ovate to broadly ovate in outline, up to 59 x 43 cm, 2-pinnate-pinnatifid to 3-pinnate. Pinnae up to 13 stalked pairs, increasingly more broadly attached and basiscopically decurrent along rhachis towards lamina apex, basal pair longest and mostly conspicuously basiscopically developed, inaequilaterally triangular, ovate, oblong-acuminate to lanceolate in outline, up to 27 x 13.5 cm, those higher up mostly near symmetrical, with up to 7 pinna pairs. Pinnules petiolate, increasingly more broadly attached and basiscopically decurrent along pinna-rhachis towards pinna apex, up to 78 x 26 mm, proximal basiscopic pinnules slightly basiscopically developed, narrowly lanceolate to oblong-acuminate; segments and lobes up to 15 x 7 mm, ovate-obtuse to oblong-obtuse, basiscopically decurrent, shallowly lobed to toothed, upper surface hairless or with few hairs and scales along costa, undersurface sparsely set with small hairs on and between veins. Rhachis strawcoloured, initially densely scaly, glabrescent, scales ferrugineous to castaneous, linear to filiform, up to 4 x 0.5 mm, irregularly denticulate; pinna-rhachis and costa narrowly winged with some scales. Sori predominantly in 2 rows along pinnules, in 2 rows on lobes in larger plants, medial to inframedial on predominantly anadromous vein branches; exindusiate.



fili-paleata: refering to the narrow lamina scales and the long marginal outgrowths of the larger rhizome and stipe base scales.


Moist to wet evergreen forests either on the forest floor or along streambanks with Cyathea manniana. Piper capense, Ensete ventricosa, Symphonia spp.. Melchiora schliebenii and Allanblackia ulugurensis.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Kenya, 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 121.
  • Roux, J.P. (2012) A revision of the fern genus Dryopteris (Dryopteridaceae) in sub-Saharan Africa.Phytotaxa, 70(1) Pages 52 - 53. (Includes a picture).
  • Roux, J.P.; Shaffer-Fehre, M. & Verdcourt, B. (2007) Dryopteridaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 39 - 41.