Cheilanthes - Sinopteridaceae

Cheilanthes dolomiticola (Schelpe) Schelpe & N.C.Anthony






Pellaea dolomiticola Schelpe

Common name


Rhizome shortly creeping to suberect, c. 4 mm in diameter; rhizome scales narrowly lanceolate in outline, pale brown, up to 4 x 0.75 mm. Fronds monomorphic, tufted, erect, thinly coriaceous. Stipe up to 10 cm long, brown, set with pale, creamy membranous scales, lanceolate in outline, margin entire to subentire, c. 3 x 0.6 mm, denser and almost white on new fronds. Lamina 2-pinnate to 3-pinnatifid, broadly elliptic to broadly lanceolate in outline, up to 9 x 5 cm; pinnae 3-6 alternate pairs, oblong-acute in outline, up to 2-1.2 cm, lowest ones reduced; pinnules subopposit to alternate, narrowly oblong in outline, apex pointed, upper surface glaucous, both surfaces glabrous; veins obscure; rhachis and costae set with scattered cream or white, broad, membranous scales. Sori continuous, marginal; indusium membranous, erose.



dolomiticola: growing on dolomite, a reference to the habitat favoured by this fern.


Growing in rock crevices or in soil at base of boulders of dolomitic limestone outcrops, in full sun or light shade of scrub.

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 144 - 145. (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 382 - 383. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Page 283.
  • 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.