Odontosoria - Lindsaeaceae

Odontosoria afra (K.U.Kramer) J.P.Roux






Sphenomeris afra K.U.Kramer
Stenolema chinense (L.)Bedd. var. divaricatum sensu Tardieu
Odontosoria chinensis sensu Bonap.

Common name


Rhizome shortly creeping, 2–3 mm thick; rhizome scales very narrow, chestnut brown. Fronds close or tufted, thin. Stipe straw-coloured, 10–40 cm long. Lamina narrowly oblong in outline, 0.3–1.5 m long, 8–50 cm wide, 2–4-pinnate and pinnatifid. Primary pinnae in about 10–20 pairs, the longest up to 40 x 12 cm, with petiolules up to 2 cm long; ultimate pinnules almost linear, up to 4 x 0.75-1.25 mm, slightly spreading apart, not widened at the apex, uninerved, each with only 1 sorus. Rhachis straw-coloured. Indusium pocket-like, attached by the side, 0.3–0.5 mm long and wide.


Kramer mistakenly referred Stolz's specimen to Malawi where he never collected (F.T.E.A., Verdcourt, 1999), so occurance in Malawi in Roux (2009) probably wrong!



River valley, edges of rivers and waterfalls, in the forest or in the ravines; up to 1350 m altitude in Malawi.

Distribution worldwide

Africa, Sao Tomé.

Distribution in Africa

Angola, Congo, Dem. Republic of Congo, Malawi, Tanzania .

Growth form



  • Kramer, K.U. (1971) Lindsaeaceae.Flore du Congo, du Rwanda et du Burundi, Pages 3 - 4. (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 144.
  • Verdcourt, B. (1999) Dennstaedtiaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 28 - 30. As Sphenomeris afra Kramer (Includes a picture).