Pteris - Pteridaceae

Pteris usambarensis Hieron.






Common name


Rhizome shortly creeping, erect or ascending, woody, occasionally branched; rhizome scales dark brown, long, linear. Fronds 4–6-tufted, 0.9–1.5 m tall. Stipe yellow-brown to dark brown or ± black, 45–70 cm long, sometimes shiny, curved near to base. Lamina dark green, triangular in outline, up to ± 35–58 cm long and wide, imparipinnate near apex, bipinnate near base; pinnules oblong-lanceolate in outline, 5–27 x 1.5–5 cm , with a long terminal lobe 5.5–15 x 0.5-1 cm, narrowly lanceolate, often bilobed at base and 3–16-jugate; oblong lateral ultimate lobes 1–4 x 0.4-0.8 cm; sterile margins all toothed; lower pinnae with distinct stalks 1–6 cm long giving an open look to the frond; pinnule costae with small spines at junction of costules on upper surface; veins free. Sori extending from well above the sinus for about 3/4 length of the lobe.



usambarensis: from Usambara Mts., Tanzania, where the type specimen was collected.


Upland wet evergreen forest, mist forest.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Kenya, Tanzania .

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 176.
  • Verdcourt, B. (2002) Pteridaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 21 - 22.