Diplazium - Woodsiaceae

Diplazium proliferum (Lam.) Kaulf.

Photo: C. Jongkind






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.
  • Tardieu-Blot, M.-L. (1964) Ptéridophytes vol.3.Flore du Cameroun, Page 237.
  • Thardieu-Blot, M.L. (1964) Ptéridophytes vol.8.Flore du Gabon, Pages 147 - 148.
  • Verdcourt, B. (2003) Woodsiaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 13 - 15. As callipteris prolifera (Lam.) Bory (Includes a picture).