Zygophlebia - Polypodiaceae

Zygophlebia major (Reimers) Parris






Polypodium villosissimum Hook. var. majus Reimers

Common name


Rhizome short-creeping, not branched; rhizome scales narrowly lanceolate in outline, 3.8–5.2+ - 1–1.7 mm. Fronds closely spaced (0.4–2.5 mm apart). Stipe 4.7–15.2 cm long, with hairs 1.2–3.2 mm long. Lamina narrowly lanceolate, 12–30+ x 2–5+ cm, apex bluntly pointed, base long-tapering to broadly wedge-shaped, deeply pinnately divided to a distance 0.4–1.3 mm from the midrib. Pinnae 30–48+ pairs, lowest pair of pinnae occasionally reduced to auricles, usually 4–5 mm long, longest pinnae 11–26 x 4–8 mm, narrowly oblong-triangular to narrowly oblong in outline, apex rounded to pointed; with hairs 0.6–2.3 mm on both surfaces and on margin; lateral vein branchlets 1–2-forked, free or occasionally anastomosing at apex within and between branch pairs. Sori on 29–35+ pairs of pinnae, ± throughout lamina, 6–10 in each row on longest pinnae, apical 4/5 to ± throughout pinna, midway between pinna mid-vein and margin.




High altitude mist forest, growing with bryophytes; endemic to Uluguru Mts.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Tanzania .

Growth form



  • Parris, B.S. (2005) Grammitidaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Page 16. (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 166.