Woodsia - Woodsiaceae

Woodsia angolensis Schelpe






Common name


Rhizome shortly creeping; rhizome scales linear-lanceolate in outline, margin subentire, 3-7 mm long, concolorous or sometimes with a dark central stripe. Frond monomorphic, closely spaced, arching. Stipe 5-12 cm long, strawcoloured, subglabrous or sparsely set with translucent, lanceolate scales c. 4 mm long, more so at the base of the stipe. Lamina 2-pinnatifid to 2-pinnate, narrowly elliptic in outline, c. 36 x 7.5 cm; pinnae not overlapping, reducing in size towards the base of the lamina; pinnules oblong in outline, apex rounded, margin shallowly lobed to subentire, base unequally adnate to the secondary rhachis; upper surface set with short pale hairs interspersed with occasional yellow glands, undersurface with subsessile yellow glands; rhachis straw-coloured, with a few scales and hairs. Sori round, usually single near the sinuses; indusium slightly lacerate, with a few yellow glands.



angolensis: from Angola, the country where this fern was first discovered.


High altitude grassland, at base of boulders or cliffs, seepage lines in kloof forest, forest margins.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Angola, South Africa.

Growth form



  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Page 298.
  • Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011) Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide. Struik Nature. Pages 710 - 711. (Includes a picture).
  • 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 220.