Diplazium - Woodsiaceae

Diplazium proliferum (Lam.) Kaulf.






Callipteris prolifera (Lam.) Bory
Asplenium proliferum Lam.
Athyrium proliferum (Lam.) Milde
Diplazium incisum Schumach.
Diplazium serratum Schumach.
Diplazium decussatum sensu Peter

Common name


Rhizome ascending to erect, fleshy; rhizome scales lanceolate in outline, apex gradually tapering to a point, 7–10 x 1–2 mm, pale brown to eventually black at margins and with stiff bifid trichomes. Fronds monomorphic, tufted, 1.5–2.1 m tall, proliferous; bulbils in upper 3 pinna axils and sometimes below in 7th, producing young plants in situ. Stipe 15–90 cm tall. Lamina oblong-lanceolate in outline, 15–120 x 26–44 cm, with terminal segments 10–21 x 7–10 cm with teeth or lobes up to 2.5 x 1.5 cm; pinnae alternate, oblong in outline, apex tapering, base truncate, 6.5–24 x 3–6.5 cm, emarginate or subcordate (in young plants) at the base, the lowest the smallest, coarsely toothed or crenate, the teeth or crenae 4×6 mm; venation anastomosing. Sori brown, numerous, narrow, appearing like contiguous branched trees from each side of the midribs of the pinnae in each area bounded by a lobe with 7–8 pairs of sori per tree; the whole gives a series of parallel zig-zag lines along the length of the pinna; indusia linear.



prolifera: proliferous; producing small plantlets along its axils.


Riverine forest, swamps with Raphia, sometimes in shallow water; rain forest, rock-faces.

Distribution worldwide

Guinea to Nigeria, Cameroon, São Tomé, Principe, Bioko, Gabon, DRC, Uganda, Tanzania Sudan, Angola, Mascarene Is.; Malesia, Queensland, Polynesia.

Distribution in Africa

Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Dem. Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sudan and South Sudan, Tanzania , Togo, 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. Page 218.
  • Verdcourt, B. (2003) Woodsiaceae. Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 13 - 15. As callipteris prolifera (Lam.) Bory (Includes a picture).