Pellaea - Sinopteridaceae

Pellaea dura (Willd.) Hook. var. schweinfurthii (Hieron.) Verdc.






Pteridella schweinfurthii hieron.
Pellaea schweinfurthii (Hieron.) Hieron. ex Diels
Pellaea maxima Bonap.
Pellaea holstii sensu Tardieu
Pellaea dura (Willd.) var. holstii sensu Schelpe

Common name


Rhizome shortly creeping to semi-erect, up to 5-7 mm in diameter; rhizome scales linear-lanceolate in outline, apex slowly tapering to a point, subentire, 3-7 mm long, reddish brown. Fronds monomorphic, tufted, erect, 7-50 cm tall, coriaceous. Stipe up to 25(-40) cm long, dark brown, subglabrous with with dense short stiff hairs on upper surface and few hair-like brown scales near the base. Lamina pinnate but sometimes lower pinnae -3-pinnulate, ovate to lanceolate in outline, up to 24 cm × 10 cm; pinnae in 5-22(-25) pairs, ovate-lanceolate, apex and base rounded, margin entire, 4 x 1 cm; pinnules narrowly elliptic to lanceolate in outline, apex rounded, cordate to rounded base articulated to a short petiole, 1-7.5(-9) x 0.3-2.5 cm, densely to sparsely hairy on both sides or becoming hairless above, paler green below; veins hardly visible and anastomosing; rhachis and secondary rhachises black, with short, soft hairs above, hairless below. Sori marginal, continuous; indusium entire, membranous, continuous.



dura: hard, referring to the stiff fronds; schweinfurthii: named after Schweinfurth.


Rocky outcrops and pavements, shady gullies in woodland, wooded grassland and bushland.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Dem. Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Nigeria, Sudan and South Sudan, Tanzania , Uganda.

Growth form

Lithophytic, terrestrial.


  • 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 190.
  • Tardieu-Blot, M.-L. (1964) Ptéridophytes vol.3.Flore du Cameroun, Pages 141 - 142. (Includes a picture).
  • Verdcourt, B. (2002) Adiantaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 14 - 15.