Elaphoglossum - Lomariopsidaceae

Elaphoglossum drakensbergense Schelpe

Photo: JE. Burrows
South Africa






Common name


Rhizome widely creeping, 1-2 mm in diameter; rhizome scales dark brown, lanceolate in outline, up to 5 mm long, margins subentire to bluntly and widely toothed. Fronds spaced apart (4-8 mm), dimorphic. Sterile fronds: stipe 1-10 cm long, densely set with pale brown, lanceolate scales; lamina 15-60 x 7-12 mm, elliptic to slightly oblong or narrowly ovate in outline, simple, upper surface variously set with pale brown, peltate, lanceolate to ovate scales, undersurface somewhat glandular, with scales similar to those on the upper surface along the midrib only, margin entire. Fertile fronds: stipe usually longer than the sterile stipe; lamina 17-32 x 7-10 mm, oblong-elliptic to narrowly ovate in outline, upper surface covered with scales. Sporangia completely covering the undersurface of the lamina, except the midrib.



drakensbergense: this species is an endemic of the Drakensberg Mountains.


Found in basalt clifs and rock screes at high altitudes along the upper eastern slopes of the Drakensberg range.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Lesotho, South Africa.

Growth form



  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 290 - 291. (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 508 - 509. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Page 426. (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 128.