Bolbitis - Lomariopsidaceae

Bolbitis auriculata (Lam.) Alston

Photo: C. Jongkind






Acrostichum auriculatum Lam.
Leptochilus auriculatus (Lam.) C.Chr.
Gymnopteris auriculata (Lam.) Engl.
Campium auriculatum (Lam.) Copel.

Common name


Rhizome creeping, 3–7 mm diameter; rhizome scales scattered, dark brown or blackish, deltate-lanceolate in outline, margin subentire, 2–3 mm long. Fronds 15–40 mm distant, 30–115 cm long. Stipe 1/2 –7/10 the frond length, straw coloured, scales linear-lanceolate in outline, black, with occasional short teeth, scattered, especially near stipe base. Sterile fronds 22–38 cm long, 28–40 cm wide; apex subconform, without buds; pinnae in 2–5 (mostly 3) pairs, elliptic, 15–28 cm x 3.8–6.3 cm, lower pinnae stalked to 8 mm, usually with auriculate bases, upper pinnae broadly adnate, medial pinnae with narrowly cuneate base, acuminate or rarely long-acuminate apex, more or less symmetrical, rarely with axillary bud, margin entire to finely serrulate, crenate to irregularly lobed; veins netted without or rarely with a few included veinlets. Fertile fronds with stipe 3/4 the frond length; pinnae 6–11 cm x 1.2–2.4 cm, often with basiscopic lobes on basal pinna pair; sori acrostichoid.


Bolbitis auriculata is distinct by its usually auriculate lower pinnae, few large pinnae, and a bud borne axillary at base of basal pinnae.


auriculata: having one or more structures shaped like an ear lobe, referring to the base of the lower sterile pinnae.


Moist forest, often in moist sites.

Distribution worldwide

Africa, Madagascar, Réunion, Comoro Is., Mauritius.

Distribution in Africa

Angola, Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Dem. Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sudan and South Sudan, Tanzania , Togo, Uganda.

Growth form

Lithophytic, terrestrial.


  • Mickel, J.T. (2002) Lomariopsidaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Page 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 114.
  • Tardieu-Blot, M.-L. (1964) Ptéridophytes vol.3.Flore du Cameroun, Pages 318 - 319.
  • Thardieu-Blot, M.L. (1964) Ptéridophytes vol.8.Flore du Gabon, Pages 187 - 188.