Hypolepis - Dennstaedtiaceae

Hypolepis villoso-viscida (Thouars) Tardieu






Polypodium villoso-viscidum Thouars
Hypolepis rugosula (Labill.) J.Sm. var. villoso-viscida (Thouars) C.Chr.

Common name


Rhizome widely creeping, subterranean, up to 9 mm in diameter; rhizome hairs pale brown, c. 1 mm long. Fronds coriaceous, widely spaced, erect, with the pinnae held in the same plane as the lamina, up to 1-1.6 m tall. Stipe 30-60 cm long, glabrous at maturity, purple-brown, viscid. Lamina 1 × 0.8 m, triangular in outline, 2-pinnate to 4-pinnatifid, with the basal pinnae somewhat basiscopically developed. Ultimate pinnules oblong-lanceolate in outline, with bases joined to the costules, margins crenate to pinnatifid, with glandular hairs on both surfaces and along costules, sticky to the touch. Sori 0.5-1 mm wide, round to oval at dehiscence, borne on the acroscopic margins of lobes of ultimate segments; pseudo-indusium subentire, elongate.



villoso-viscida: this species has viscid glandular hairs at the base of the stipe that make it sticky to the touch.


Damp places along streams and watercourses, seepage zones and along roadsides, forest margins.

Distribution worldwide

South Africa, Gough Island, St. Helena, Inaccessible Island, Tristan da Cunha.

Distribution in Africa

South Africa.

Growth form



  • Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011) Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide. Struik Nature. Pages 288 - 289. (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. Pages 110 - 111.