Grammitis - Polypodiaceae

Grammitis poeppigiana (Mett.) Pic.Serm.






Polypodium poeppigianum Mett.

Common name


Rhizomes short-creeping to ascending; rhizome scales golden brown, broadly subulate, up to 2 mm long. Fronds closely spaced, sessile, simple, somewhat leathery. Lamina very narrowly elliptic to oblanceolate in outline, 1.5–3.5 x 0.3–0.5 cm, apex bluntly pointed to rounded, base narrowly tapering, hairless on both surfaces except for a few scattered hairs below when young, margin entire, slightly wavy, venation obscure. Sori, up to 2.5 mm long, oval, up to 8 pairs, placed in two lines on either side of the midrib, in the distal half of the lamina, set at c. 20° from the midrib; exindusiate.



poeppigiana: named after E.F. Pöppig (1798-1868); while working for him W. Gueinzius first collected this fern in the Western Cape, SA.


Rare fern, growing in crevices of vertical, south-facing cliff faces on sandstones of the Table Mountain Series.

Distribution worldwide

Africa, Tristan da Cunha, most of the South Atlantic islands, southeastern Australia and New Zealand.

Distribution in Africa

South Africa.

Growth form



  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 183 - 184. (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 576 - 577. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 297 - 298. (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 155.