Pteris - Pteridaceae

Pteris preussii Hieron.






Pteris prolifera Hieron.
Pteris deistelii Hieron.

Common name


Rhizome woody, erect or shortly creeping; rhizome scales dark, linear-lanceolate in outline, 5 mm long, with narrow paler erose margins. Fronds tufted, (0.5–)1–2 m tall. Stipe straw-coloured, darker at base, 50–85 cm tall. Lamina ovate-lanceolate in outline, pinnate, 0.6(–1) m long, up to ± 50 cm wide, with apical gemma, near top pair of pinnae; pinnae in 11–18 pairs, narrowly oblong in outline, the lower bifid, 7.5–35 x 2–6 cm, with 12–46 pairs of narrowly oblong ultimate segments, 2.3–5 x 0.2–0.5 mm, apex rounded; terminal segments 6 x 0.4 cm ; sinuses usually wide; pinna segments sometimes replaced by a pinnatifid pinnule; costal spinules present above at junctions with costulae and often along costulae as well; veins free. Sori extending for ± 1/2–4/5 the length of segments, the sterile margins beyond entire.


P. diestelii is sometimes used as a synonym, this must be a writing mistake. The type specimen was collected by H. Deistel, the protologe describes P. deistelii (Botanische Jahrbücher 53(1915):400).
Tardieu-Blot, M.-L. (1964) in Flore du Cameroun has both P. preusssii and P. prolifera as accepted species.


preusii: named after Dr. Paul Rudolf Preuss (1861- ), German botanist, traveller and collector, participated in the 1888-1891 Zintgraff Expedition to Cameroon.


Evergreen forest and bamboo forest, sometimes in swampy places.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Dem. Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Kenya, Liberia, Rwanda, Sudan and South Sudan, Tanzania , Uganda.

Growth form



  • 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 175.
  • Tardieu-Blot, M.-L. (1964) Ptéridophytes vol.3.Flore du Cameroun, Page 160. (Includes a picture).
  • Tardieu-Blot, M.-L. (1964) Ptéridophytes vol.3.Flore du Cameroun, Pages 158 - 159. As Pteris prolifera Hieron.
  • Verdcourt, B. (2002) Pteridaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 27 - 28.