Cheilanthes - Sinopteridaceae

Cheilanthes erythraea Pic.Serm.






Common name


Rhizome shortly creeping, covered with dead stipe-bases; rhizome scales with a narrow pale erose-dentate margin, apex a row of cylindrical cells, 4.5-6 x 0.6-0.8 mm, dark brown. Fronds (10-12)-14-33 cm long, densely tufted, thick papery textured. Stipe 7-15 cm long, c. 1.5 mm in diameter, without grooves or ridges, shining dark-brown, set with tufts of up to c. 5 mm long woolly hairs especially near the base, but soon hairless. Lamina 3- to 2-pinnate, apex pinnatifid, lanceolate to oblong or oblong-lanceolate or broadly ovate in outline, 7-16 x 3-6(-10) cm, sparsely set with tufts of hairs to subglabrous above, very densely covered with soft intertwined hairs below; pinnae in (6-)8-10 pairs, obliquely triangular in outline, pinnate to deeply pinnatifid; lower pinnae markedly oblique with large basiscopic segments well developed, pinnatifid; middle pinnae more symmetrical, with gradual transition to the pinnatifid leaf-apex; rhachis similar to stipe, densely set with intertwined woolly hairs and sparsely set with scales larger and paler brown than those on rhizome, with no distinct different coloured margin, up to 7.5-10 x 1.2-2.5 mm; venation above obscure, below completely covered by dense indumentum. Sori marginal, distinct at first, but forming a continuous soral line at maturity and completely covered by the rust-brown mass of hairs; indusium continuous or slightly discontinuous, forming an wavy margin to the pinnule-lobes with brown hydatodes at the base of the curves, indusial-margin lobate-fimbriate.




Exposed areas, rock crevices in open grassland, granite outcrops with lichen, open Juniperus forest.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Eritrea, Ethiopia.

Growth form

Lithophytic, terrestrial.


  • Hedberg, I; Friis, Ib & Persson, E (2009) Lycopodiaceae to Pinaceae.Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea, vol.1 Pages 63 - 64. (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.