Lygodium - Lygodiaceae

Lygodium smithianum C.Presl. ex Kuhn

Photo: BT. Wursten
Dem. Republic of Congo

Photo: BT. Wursten
Dem. Republic of Congo






Common name


Pinnae 12-14 cm apart, 20 cm long, petiole 3 cm, imparipinnate. Pinnules alternate, c.7 cm long, petiole 0.2-0.4 cm, not articulated, linear in outline, apex pointed, base decurrent on the winged petiole, margins toothed, with oblique, acute teeth, the pair of pinnules close to the terminal often adnate, decurrent on the petiole. Texture subcoriaceous, rhachis covered with short soft hair, especially in fertile pinnae. Veins 2- or 4-forked, free. Fertile pinnules similar to sterile ones, linear in outline, 5-9 cm long, base truncate, slightly decurrent; spikes of 0.2 to 0.3 cm.



smithiana: for Christen Smith (1785-1816), botanist and professor of botany at the University of Christiania (now Oslo), moved to Britain in 1814, collected this fern in Congo.


In full light along the edges of ditches.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Dem. Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria.

Growth form

Climbing, terrestrial.


  • 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 54.
  • Tardieu-Blot, M.-L. (1964) Ptéridophytes vol.3. Flore du Cameroun, Page 64. (Includes a picture).
  • Thardieu-Blot, M.L. (1964) Ptéridophytes vol.8. Flore du Gabon, Pages 46 - 47. (Includes a picture).