Pteris - Pteridaceae

Pteris similis Kuhn






Pteris congoensis H.Christ
Pteris molunduensis Hieron.

Common name


Rhizome erect to 15 cm; rhizome scales linear-lanceolate in outline, to 3 mm long, with black central stripe, margins pale, entire. Fronds 6–10, monomorphic, tufted or solitary, membranous, trailing or scandent to 3 m and hanging down apically, often rooting at tips, 1.8–4(–6) m long. Stipe straw-coloured, violaceous or brownish at the base, 30–50 cm long, channelled above, bristly. Lamina bipinnate, lanceolate in outline, 0.5–3.4(–5.5) m long, up to 60 cm wide; pinnae oblong-lanceolate in outline, in 10–30 pairs, 8–35 x 3.2–12.5 cm; ultimate segments in 12–28 pairs, oblong-lanceolate in outline, apex toothed, 1–8.5 x 0.3-1 cm, the terminal segments 1.5–4 cm long; sometimes a few basal segments are again pinnate; rhachis bristly or with fine spines and costae and costulae usually spinulose beneath; rhachis not or scarcely winged; veins forming narrow areoles along the costa and anastomosing in the lobes. Sori occupying 3/4–7/8 of the lobes, often extending right around the broad sinuses, the sterile apices toothed.




Primary forest, swamp forest.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Dem. Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sudan and South Sudan, Tanzania , Togo, 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, Pages 168 - 169.
  • Thardieu-Blot, M.L. (1964) Ptéridophytes vol.8.Flore du Gabon, Pages 114 - 116. (Includes a picture).
  • Verdcourt, B. (2002) Pteridaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 11 - 12. (Includes a picture).