Odontosoria - Lindsaeaceae

Odontosoria africana F.Ballard






Odontosoria melleri sensu Brause & Hieron.
Stenoloma chinense (L.) Bedd. var. divaricatum sensu Demaret

Common name


Climbing fern to 1.5 m, without spines. Rhizome shortly creeping; rhizome scales dark brown, rigid, 4–6 cells wide at base, abruptly narrowing into a long jointed hair at apex. Stipe reddish or straw-coloured, 13.5–45(–65) cm long, channelled above. Lamina 3–4(–5 fide Ballard)-pinnate and pinnatifid, lanceolate-ovate or narrowly oblong in outline, 0.5–1.5(–4) m long, 18–38 cm wide. Pinnae alternate, spreading, lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate or triangular in outline; primary pinnules triangular to lanceolate; secondary and tertiary pinnules variable in outline but ultimate pinnule forked or flabellately or pinnately deeply cut; ultimate segments narrowly oblong, 1–3 x 0.5-0.75 mm, mostly 1-veined. Rhachis similar to stipe, flexuous. Sori elliptic to obovate in outline, about half as wide as segment; indusial flap about as long as lamina, edge of lamina and indusium entire.



africana: from Africa.


On rocks, in scrub, on red mud banks.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Burundi, Dem. Republic of Congo, Rwanda, 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 144.
  • Verdcourt, B. (1999) Dennstaedtiaceae. Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 26 - 28. (Includes a picture).