Vandenboschia - Hymenophyllaceae

Vandenboschia radicans (Sw.) Copel.






Trichomanes radicans Sw.
Trichomanes giganteum Willd.
Crepidomanes radicans (Sw.) K.Iwats.

Common name


Rhizome creeping and up to 2 m long, 1–5 mm in diameter, with abundant rootlets and with dense dark articulate hairs to 3 mm long. Fronds spaced 2–10 cm apart. Stipe erect, 3–17 cm long, terete, winged throughout or only near the lamina, glabrous or with sparse hairs. Lamina dark green, broadly ovate to ovate in outline, 15–50 x 9–20 cm, 4(–5)-pinnatifid. Pinnae alternate, up to 22 on each side of the rhachis, petiolulate, falcate, to 14 x 4 cm; pinnules up to 15 pairs, to 3.5 x 2 cm, ultimate segments linear, to 1 mm wide, apex rounded. Rhachis winged or not winged, with sparse hairs; costae and costules winged, with occasional minute brown scales. Sori 1–4 per pinnule, sub-axillary; involucre urn to narrowly bell shaped, stalked to immersed, 1.5–2 mm long, to 0.5 mm in diameter, mouth truncate or dilated, very slightly bilabiate (two-lipped); receptacle exserted for up to 6 mm.




Moist forest, usually near stream, once in riverine forest near waterfall.

Distribution worldwide

Africa, Comoro Isl., Madagascar, Mauritius, Réunion, São Tomé.

Distribution in Africa

Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Dem. Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania , Uganda.

Growth form

Epiphytic, lithophytic, terrestrial.


  • Beentje, H.J. (2008) Hymenophyllaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 28 - 29. (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. Pages 48 - 49.