Elaphoglossum - Lomariopsidaceae

Elaphoglossum angustatum (Schrad.) Hieron.

Photo: JE. Burrows
South Africa






Acrostichum angustatum Schrad.

Common name


Rhizome creeping, 4-7 mm in diameter; rhizome scales dark chestnut brown, ovate-lanceolate in outline, 3-5 mm, margins entire with filamentous outgrowths. Fronds spaced 1-15 mm apart, dimorphic, simple, thickly coracious. Sterile fronds: stipe 4-23 cm long, straw coloured, articulated near the base, subglabrous when young with a few, dark lanceolate scales, glabrous at maturity; lamina 14-27 x 3-5 cm, elliptic in outline, sometimes somewhat obovate, apex pointed to sharply rounded, base wedge-shaped and tapering into a narrow wing for a short distance, subglabrous on both surfaces with a few minute, substellate scales on the upper surface and near the midrib below, margin entire. Fertile fronds: stipe 11-29 cm long; lamina smaller and narrower than the sterile lamina, 8-17 x 1.2-2.2 cm, narrowly oblanceolate in outline, base narrowly wedge-shaped, apex subacute to rounded, margins curved. Sporangia covering the whole of the undersurface, but not reaching quite to the midrib.



angustatum: narrowed, a reference to the shape of the frond, applicable but not very distinctive in this genus of narrow leaved ferns.


Wet rock faces and boulders in forest, on trees in temperate coastal forest, on mossy earth banks near streams in mountain ravines.

Distribution worldwide

Africa, Madagascar.

Distribution in Africa

South Africa.

Growth form

Epiphytic, lithophytic, terrestrial.


  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Page 286.
  • Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011) Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide. Struik Nature. Pages 504 - 505. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 417 - 418. (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 126.