Cheilanthes - Sinopteridaceae

Cheilanthes namaquensis (Baker) Schelpe & N.C.Anthony






Pellaea namaquensis Baker

Common name


Rhizome shortly creeping to procumbent, thick; rhizome scales narrowly lanceolate in outline, margin entire, c. 3 mm long, dark reddish brown. Fronds monomorphic, tufted, erect, herbaceous. Stipe 1-6 cm long, castaneous to blackish brown, shiny, hairless except for some scattered, stiff, narrowly lanceolate scales up to 2 mm long towards the base. Lamina 2- or 3-pinnatifid, rarely to 4-pinnatifid, with the basal pinnae not basiscopically developed, narrowly elliptic to oblong-ovate in outline, 1-11 x 1.2-4.5 cm; pinnae 3-6 pairs; ultimate segments ovate to deltate in outline, apex rounded to pointed, margin entire, subglabrous; venation free; rhachis winged in the apical portion of the frond only, dark brown to blackish below, green above, scaly as the stipe. Sori marginal, continuous except for the sinuses which are barren; indusium continuous, erose, with margins of fertile lobes reflexed.



namaquensis: from namaqualand, the area were this fern was first collected.


On dry slopes in rock crevices, on ledges, aound the base of boulders, usually on granite, but also on sandstone or quartzite, in full sun or sheltered by low scrub.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Namibia, South Africa.

Growth form

Lithophytic, terrestrial.


  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Page 144. (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 380 - 381. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 280 - 281. As Pellaea namaquensis Bak. (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 184.