Cheilanthes - Sinopteridaceae

Cheilanthes scioana (Chiov.) J.P.Roux






Mohria scioana Chiov.
Negripteris scioana (Chiov.) Pic.Serm.

Common name


Rhizome short creeping or erect; rhizome scales 2–4 mm long, pale or darker with pale margins. Fronds 10–35, monomorphic, in dense tufts, (4–)10–22 cm tall. Stipe (2–)3–8 cm long, usually shorter than the lamina, densely brown scaly and with some white powder. Lamina 2-pinnate to 3-pinnatifid, pinnae in 2–5 pairs, sessile, the lower well spaced, oblong to triangular in outline, 1–4 x 0.5–2 cm; pinnules ± 7 pairs, 3–12 x 3–5 mm, green above, densely white-powdery beneath, the first basiscopic lobe usually longest; ultimate segments small and rounded; rhachis densely scaly. Sori superficial, marginal, black; indusia grey-green.



scioana: referring to Scioà, one of the governorates of the Italian Empire of Ethiopia where this fern was first found.


Shallow poorly drained whitish silty soil on limestone in Acacia-Commiphora bushland, also metamorphic rocks on mountain slopes.

Distribution worldwide

Africa, Oman, Socotra, Yemen.

Distribution in Africa

Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan.

Growth form



  • 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 185.
  • Verdcourt, B. (2002) Adiantaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Page 4. As Negripteris scioana (Chiov.) Pic.Serm (Includes a picture).