Pneumatopteris - Thelypteridaceae

Pneumatopteris afra (H.Christ) Holttum

Photo: C. Jongkind






Dryopteris afra Christ.
Cyclosorus afer (Christ) Ching
Thelypteris afra (Christ) Reed
Dryopteris dewevrei C.Chr. ex Bonap.
Nephrodium abruptum Hook.

Common name


Rhizome long-creeping, ± 7 mm in diameter. Fronds monomorphic, spaced ± 5 cm apart, 1–2 m tall. Stipe 35–54 cm long with narrow hairy scales at base. Lamina simply pinnate, the basal 2–3 pairs of pinnae sometimes abruptly reduced and strongly auricled, the lowest only 1–2 cm long, ovate-oblong in outline, 30–60 x 25–34 cm; aerophores white and slightly swollen in living material; pinnae linear-oblong in outline, apex long tapering to a point, base broadly wedge-shaped, margin scalloped, largest 11–24 x 2–5 cm; lobes ovate-oblong in outline, 3–7 x 2.5–5 mm, lower surface of costa etc. shortly hairy; veins in 10–12 pairs with 4–6 pairs anastomosing. Indusia present, hairy.




Evergreen forest swamps, Khaya forest, streamside forest.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Dem. Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sudan and South Sudan, Tanzania , Uganda.

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. Pages 206 - 207.
  • Tardieu-Blot, M.-L. (1964) Ptéridophytes vol.3.Flore du Cameroun, Pages 250 - 251. (Includes a picture).
  • Thardieu-Blot, M.L. (1964) Ptéridophytes vol.8.Flore du Gabon, Pages 152 - 154. (Includes a picture).
  • Verdcourt, B (2006) Thelypteridaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 34 - 35.