Didymoglossum - Hymenophyllaceae

Didymoglossum erosum (Willd.) J.P. Roux

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: JE. Burrows

Photo: JE. Burrows

Photo: JE. Burrows






Trichomanes erosum Willd.
Microgonium erosum (Willd.) C.Presl.
Crepidomanes erosum (Willd.) G.Kunkel

Common name


Rhizome fine, wiry, wide creepingcovered with very small red brown to dark brown hairs to 1 mm long. Fronds spaced 0.3-5 cm apart, thinly membranous in texture. Stipe short, 0.1-2.5 cm long, dark brown, bearing small hairs like those on the rhizome when young. Lamina dark green, variable in outline, 1-6 × 0.3-3 cm, elliptic, oblong-ovate or obovate, simple to pinnatifid, margins variable, entire or irregularly lobed, base attenuate, glabrous but with simple or stellate hairs when young, especially on midrib and margins, midrib strong, pinnately or flabellately branched in larger fronds, false marginal vein present, false veinlets many. Sori borne in the upper half of the frond, tubular, narrowly bell-shaped, up to 2.5 mm long, with rounded entire valves and winged by the lamina throughout its length.


Probably often overlooked or confused with a liverwort. However easy to recognize by its very small, simple and membranous leaves.


erosum: with an irregurly toothed, lobed margin.


Deeply shaded moist evergreen forest, usually near water, on shaded rock, low on tree-trunks, or on moist stream-banks.

Distribution worldwide

Africa, Madagascar, Réunion, Comoro Is., Seychelles.

Distribution in Africa

Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Dem. Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania , Togo, Uganda, Zimbabwe.

Growth form

Epiphytic, lithophytic, terrestrial.


  • Beentje, H.J. (2008) Hymenophyllaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 13 - 15. (Includes a picture).
  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 89 - 90. (Includes a picture).
  • Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011) Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide. Struik Nature. Pages 154 - 155. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 187 - 188. (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 41 - 42.
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta.Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Pages 48 - 49. (Includes a picture).
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta.Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Page 76. (Includes a picture).
  • Tardieu-Blot, M.-L. (1964) Ptéridophytes vol.3.Flore du Cameroun, Pages 82 - 83. (Includes a picture).
  • Thardieu-Blot, M.L. (1964) Ptéridophytes vol.8.Flore du Gabon, Page 62. As Trichomanes erosum Willd. (Includes a picture).