Actiniopteris - Pteridaceae

Actiniopteris semiflabellata Pic.Serm.






Actiniopteris australis sensu Tardieu

Common name


Rhizome shortly creeping; rhizome scales linear-lanceolate in outline, margin entire, c. 4 mm long, colouration of two kinds, entirely light chestnut, or with a narrow thick black shining central stripe and broad light chestnut edges. Fronds dimorphic, with the fertile frond generally twice as long as the sterile frond, closely spaced to tufted, after their death becoming dry and having the lamina scarcely turned to one side; sterile frond: stipe 1.5-4 cm long, straw-coloured, base darker and with a few scattered scales, lamina: 1.3-3.5 cm long, repeatedly dichotomously divided into 8-12 linear segments, margin entire with a few shallow teeth, apex acute with 3-6 teeth, glabrous, venation prominent below; fertile fronds: stipe up to 4 cm long, lamina 3.5-6.5 (20 FTEA) cm, similar to the sterile lamina but with the segments slightly narrower and the apex terminating in a single tooth. Sori linear, submarginal, continuous; indusium present.




Crevices in limestone, granite and lava rocks in open bushland and woodland, also dry evergreen forest and derived scrub.

Distribution worldwide

Africa, Madagascar, Mauritius, Réunion, Arabia, Yemen, possibly also E. Nepal.

Distribution in Africa

Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Dem. Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan, Tanzania , Uganda.

Growth form



  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 178 - 180. (Includes a picture).
  • Lawalrée, A. (1969) Actiniopteridaceae.Flore du Congo, du Rwanda et du Burundi, Pages 3 - 4. (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 167.
  • Tardieu-Blot, M.-L. (1964) Ptéridophytes vol.3.Flore du Cameroun, Page 150. As Actiniopteris australis (L.f.) Link (Includes a picture).
  • Verdcourt, B. (1999) Actiniopteridaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 5 - 6.