Grammitis - Polypodiaceae

Grammitis pygmaea (Mett. ex Kuhn) Copel.






Polypodium pygmaeym Kuhn
Polypodium nanodes Peter
Grammitis nanodes (A.Peter) Ching

Common name


Rhizome short-creeping, sometimes branched, sometimes reproducing vegetatively by stolons ( Faden 69/846); rhizome scales lanceolate to narrowly lanceolate in outline, pale to medium red-brown or medium yellow-brown, glabrous. Fronds simple, very closely spaced; stipes 0.1–1 mm apart in each row. Stipe 1–16 mm long, with translucent to pale red-brown simple hairs ± 0.1 mm long. Lamina narrowly oblanceolate to linear-oblanceolate in outline, 1.4–6.5 x 0.2–0.5 cm, apex bluntly pointed to roundedd, base long-attenuate; hairless or with translucent to pale red-brown hairs on both surfaces of lamina and mid-vein and on margin; lateral veins 1-forked, each branch ending marked by a round to elongate hydathode on upper surface of lamina, free. Sori in apical 1/4 to 2/3 of lamina, 1–19 in each row.


From F.T.E.A., Paris (2005): "The descriptions and illustrations of G. nanodes in Schelpe (1970), Jacobsen (1983) and Burrows (1990) are referable to G. cryptophlebia". The name G. nanodes (Peter) Ching is put as a synonym under G. pygmaea (Kuhn) Copel.


pygmaea: of or pertaining to a pygmy or dwarf, referring to the small size of the fern.


Moist motane forest, sometimes associated with Dicranolepis, Maccaranga, Newtonia, sometimes growing with bryophytes, lichens and Hymenophyllaceae.

Distribution worldwide

Africa, Madagascar. Mauritius, Réunion.

Distribution in Africa

Kenya, Tanzania .

Growth form



  • Parris, B.S. (2005) Grammitidaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Page 5. (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.