Triplophyllum - Tectariaceae

Triplophyllum fraternum (Mett.) Holttum var. fraternum






Aspidium fraternum Mett.
Ctenitis fraterna (Mett.) Tardieu

Common name


Rhizome long-creeping, ± 4(–5) mm in diameter; rhizome scales dark brown, the smaller tightly appressed and ± 3 mm long, the longer narrowly lanceolate and curved and twisted, 7–8 mm long, tipped by a glandular hair. Fronds spaced, 1.5–2 cm apart, thin to subcoriaceous. Stipe ± 20–(40) cm long, 2.5(–4) mm diameter at base, decreasing to 1.5–2.5 mm diameter near apex, with dense long scales at base, rest of stipe with dense glandular hairs less than 0.5 mm long. Lamina 3-pinnate, narrowly deltoid in outline, 27–33 x 20–28 cm, dark green above, green to pale olive below; pinnae ± 7 and a gradually decreasing pinnatifid apex, the basal pair longest, to 16 cm, and with the first few basiscopic pinnules up to 8-pinnate and to 7 cm long, other pinnules pinnatifid (first acroscopic) but gradually decreasing in size and dissection to slightly crenate; next two pairs of pinnae slightly stalked, next four pairs adnate, grading into ± five adnate pinnules; margins crenate near base, entire near apex; pale sinus tissue ± 0.2 mm deep; rhachis above grooved, lower surface with hairs as on stipe; pinna-costae above grooved and green to strawcoloured, densely short-hairy; veins and veinlets almost invisible, not reaching margin. Sori median on acroscopic veinlet, 1.2 mm in diameter; indusium honey-brown, 1.2 mm in diameter, of thick-walled square cells, fringed moderately with thick, 2–3-celled glands.




Moist forest.

Distribution worldwide

Africa, Madagascar, Principe.

Distribution in Africa

Angola, Cameroon, Dem. Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Tanzania .

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 197.
  • Roux, J.P.; Shaffer-Fehre, M. & Verdcourt, B. (2007) Dryopteridaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Page 11. (Includes a picture).