Schizaea - Schizaeaceae

Schizaea dichotoma (L.) Sm.






Acrostichum dichotomum L.

Common name


Rhizome creeping; apical part covered with thick medium brown hairs ± 3 mm long. Fronds very close together, 2–8 times dichotomously branched, the main basal branches resembling the stipes, the upper smaller ones gradually changing into narrow blades by widening of the wings and reduction of the costa; ultimate lobes 1–1.5 mm wide. Stipes 25–50 cm long, sparsely hairy towards the base, narrowly winged towards the apex. Fertile lobes in small groups pinnately arranged at the apices of the terminal pinnules in about 5–10 pairs, the lowest 3–4 mm long; sporangia in two rows on each lobe mixed with conspicuous long brown hairs.



dichotoma: repeatedly dividing into two, dichotomous.


Exposed ridge-top forest, submontane forest, on forest floor.

Distribution worldwide

Africa, Madagascar, Mascarenes, India to Indochina, Malesia from Sumatra to New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand and S and W Pacific Is.

Distribution in Africa

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 54.
  • Verdcourt, B. (2000) Schizaeaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Page 2.