Asplenium - Aspleniaceae

Asplenium gemmascens Alston

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: JE. Burrows






Asplenium torrei Schelpe

Common name


Rhizome ascending to long creeping, up to 4 (7) mm thick; rhizome scales c. 3.5 mm long, dark brown to black, linear lanceolate in outline, apex with a long drawn-out point, margins entire. Fronds tufted, suberect, thinly coriaceous to herbaceous, proliferous, gemma born towards the apex of the lamina at the base of the apical segment. Stipe up to 30 cm, stipe and rhachis matt-black, subglabrous with minute scales. Lamina up to 35 x 10.5 cm, imparipinnate with terminal segment resembling the subapical pinna, basal pinnae hardly reduced, dark green, lanceolate in outline. Pinnae 10-16 pairs, up to 6-7.5 x 2-3 cm, elongate trapeziform in outline, glabrous on both sides, margins with sharply pointed teeth, base unequally wedge-shaped, apex sharply pointed, veins forked. Sori linear, up to 1.5 mm long, set at an acute angle towards a fairly prominent costa, indusium entire, membranous.




On moist, deeply shaded rocks or as a terrestrial in evergreen forests.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Angola, Cameroon, Dem. Republic of Congo, Guinea, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania , Uganda.

Growth form

Epiphytic, terrestrial.


  • Beentje, H.J. (2008) Aspleniaceae. Flora of Tropical East Africa, Page 15. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Page 358. As Asplenium torrei Schelpe (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 86.
  • Roux, J.P. (2000) Pteridophyta; a new combination and new records for the flora of Malawi. Bothalia, 30(2) Pages 155 - 156. (Includes a picture).
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 166. (Includes a picture).
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta. Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Page 180. As Asplenium torrei Schelpe