Elaphoglossum - Lomariopsidaceae

Elaphoglossum conforme (Sw.) J.Sm.

Photo: C. Jongkind






Acrostichum conforme Sw.
Elaphoglossum conforme Schott ex J.Sm. var. glandulosum Carmich. ex T.Moore

Common name


Rhizome long-creeping, 4–6 mm diameter; rhizome scales ovate- to linear-lanceolate in outline, margin entire or irregularly toothed with occasional hair-like processes, 4 mm long, yellow-brown to brown, dull to lustrous; phyllopodia 1 cm, blackish. Fronds dimorphic, spaced c. 1cm apart, coriaceous. Sterile fronds 15–32 cm long; stipe ± 1/2 the sterile frond length, straw coloured, 1 mm diameter, with lanceolate to ovate scattered scales, 1.5 mm, yellow-brown with processes; lamina simple, elliptic in outline, apex rounded to pointed, base wedge-shaped to broadly so, 4–18 x 1.6–3.2 cm; veins ± 1 mm apart, at 70° angle to costa; hydathodes absent; costa scales scattered, nearly ovate with irregular processes, yellow-brown, lanceolate, ± 1 mm; laminar surfaces with scattered minute dot-like scales exuding a sticky resin or rarely minute peltate scales to glabrous on the undersurface, upper surface less so; young unrolling fronds sticky. Fertile fronds slightly shorter to than the sterile; stipe 2/3 the fertile frond length; lamina lanceolate-oblong to elliptic in outline, 11–12 x 2.7 cm, apex pointed, base rounded; porangia covering the whole underside of the fertile lamina; intersporangial scales absent.



conforme : similar to, probably referring to the similarity of this species to several others in the genus.


Moist montane forest and Hagenia woodland, wer rock overhangs, rock crevices on cliff faces, recesses in boulder scree.

Distribution worldwide

Africa, St. Helena and Madagascar.

Distribution in Africa

Congo, Dem. Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Kenya, Liberia, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania , Uganda.

Growth form

Epiphytic, lithophytic.


  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 284 - 285. (Includes a picture).
  • Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011) Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide. Struik Nature. Pages 502 - 503. (Includes a picture).
  • Fisher E. & Lobin W. (2024) Checklist of Lycopodiopsida (clubmosses and quillworts) and Polypodiopsida (ferns) of Rwanda.Willdenowia, 53 Page 162.
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 416 - 417. (Includes a picture).
  • Mickel, J.T. (2002) Lomariopsidaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Page 14. (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 127.