Cheilanthes - Sinopteridaceae

Cheilanthes depauperata Baker






Common name


Rhizome creeping; rhizome scales c. 3 mm long, dark brown, margin pale, entire. Fronds monomorphic, closely spaced, rigidly erect. Stipe thin, wiry, 2.5-15 cm long, grooved, dark brown to almost black, subglabrous. Lamina 2- to 3-pinnatifid, narrowly linear in outline, 8-26 x 0.6-1.8 cm; pinnules linear-oblong in outline, apex rounded, 2-4 x 1 mm, subglabrous or minutely set with long hairs above, covered below with fine yellowish, sticky hairs, margins strongly inrolled, minutely toothed; rhachis dark brown, sparsely set with small, white, sticky hairs. Sori marginal, set beneath the inrolled margin; exindusiate.



depauperata: impoverished, reduced; refering to the appearance of this fern with its narrow fronds with very small pinnae.


Dry rocky hillsides, at boulder bases and on rocks, in full sunlight.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

South Africa.

Growth form

Lithophytic, terrestrial.


  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 139 - 140. (Includes a picture).
  • Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011) Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide. Struik Nature. Pages 366 - 367. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 249 - 250. (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 181.