Platycerium - Polypodiaceae

Platycerium stemaria (P.Beauv.) Desv.

Photo: BT. Wursten
Dem. Republic of Congo

Photo: BT. Wursten
Dem. Republic of Congo






Acrostichum stemaria P.Beauv.
Alcicornium stemaria (P.Beauv.) Underw.
Platycerium stemaria (P.Beauv.) Desv. var. laurentii De Wild.
Neuroplatyceros aethiopicus Fée
Platycerium aethiopicum Hook.

Common name


Rhizome-scales light brown, 5–14 x 0.5–1.7 mm. Fronds dimorphous. Sterile basal fronds erect, 30–60 x 15–30 cm, base wedge-shaped, apex truncate, margin upper part entire or irregularly toothed, lower part entire, densely white stellate-pubescent beneath. Fertile or sterile foliage fronds spreading or pendulous, 30–90 cm long, ± symmetrical, once to twice dichotomously forked, base wedge-shaped, apex entire or irregularly dentate, stellate-pubescent above, later glabrescent, velvety white stellate-pubescent beneath. Soral patches 2, dark red brown, situated around the ultimate sinuses or apically, horizontally placed, broadly triangular to U-shaped.




Trees in open or in secondary forest or rain forest at low elevations.

Distribution worldwide

Africa, Principe, Sao Tomé.

Distribution in Africa

Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Dem. Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Gabon, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Senegal, Sudan and South Sudan, Uganda.

Growth form

Epiphytic, lithophytic.


  • 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 162.
  • Tardieu-Blot, M.-L. (1964) Ptéridophytes vol.3.Flore du Cameroun, Pages 335 - 336. (Includes a picture).
  • Thardieu-Blot, M.L. (1964) Ptéridophytes vol.8.Flore du Gabon, Pages 198 - 199. (Includes a picture).
  • Verdcourt, B. (2001) Polypodiaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 3 - 4.