Cystopteris - Woodsiaceae

Cystopteris fragilis (L.) Bernh. ssp. A sensu Verdc.






Common name


Fronds 10–20 cm tall. Stipe 3–10 cm long, very slender. Lamina lanceolate in outline, 5–9.5 x 1.5–3 cm, simply pinnate with 4–8 pairs of pinnae and apical lobed segment; pinnae and apical segment ovate or triangular in outline, 0.6–1.5 x 0.4–1.1 cm , shallowly to deeply lobed; veins mostly running into lobes or teeth but sometimes into sinuses. Spines on spores more sparse, ± further apart than the length of the spines.


Verdcourt (2003) has subdivided this taxon in subspec. A and B based on the division of the fronds, the number of pinnae, wether the veins run into the teeth or sinuses of the pinnules and on the ornamentation of the spores. Other autors (Crouch et all., 2011) believe that the various forms grade into each other and no stable set of characters has been given to substantiate subdivision.



Distribution worldwide

Distribution in Africa

Tanzania , Uganda.

Growth form



  • Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011) Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide. Struik Nature. Page 706. Mentioned in note.
  • 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 215.
  • Verdcourt, B. (2003) Woodsiaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Page 5. (Includes a picture).