Cheilanthes - Sinopteridaceae

Cheilanthes parviloba (Sw.) Sw.






Adiantum parviloba Sw.
Cheilanthes hirta Sw. var. parviloba (Sw.) Kunze

Common name


Rhizome shortly creeping or shortly procumbent, 3-6 mm in diameter; rhizome scales linear to lanceolate in outline, margin entire, up to 7 mm long, pale brown with a dark central stripe. Frond monomorphic, tufted, up to 46 cm long, herbaceous to coriaceous, but very brittle. Stipe 3-15 cm long, dark brown, shiny, scaly at the extreme base, pilose with pale brown hairs. Lamina 2-pinnate to 4-pinnatifid, narrowly elliptic to oblanceolate in outline, 10-32 x 1-9 cm; pinnae 12-20 pairs, 1.8-7.5 x 0.5-1 cm, linear in outline, apex pointed; pinnules 6-10 pairs, lanceolate-oblong in outline, c. 0.3-0.5 x 0.1-0.3 cm, upper surface viscid, undersurface subglabrous, margins incised or pinnatifid; rhachis and secondary rhachises similar to stipe with scattered gland-tipped hairs. Sori marginal, beneath the inrolled margin, discrete, borne at apices of pinnule lobes; indusium absent.



parviloba: with small lobes, a reference to the small ultimate lobes of this fern.


Around rock bases in dry scrub and woodland, in grassland, on rocky hills, sometimes in coastal forest, preferably on sandstone and quartzite.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe.

Growth form

Lithophytic, terrestrial.


  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Page 139. (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 364 - 365. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 260 - 261. (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.