Drynaria - Polypodiaceae

Drynaria volkensii Hieron.






Drynaria volkensii Hieron. var. macrosora Hieron.
Drynaria volkensii Hieron. var. uondensis Fiori
Drynaria saccardoi Cufod.

Common name


Rhizome up to 1 cm in diameter, creeping, often encircling the boles of large trees; rhizome scales dark-castaneous, spinose, up to 6 mm long. Fronds spaced, dimorph. Sterile "nest" fronds up to 24 x 18 cm., sessile, erect, ovate in outline, chartaceous, with prominent veins, pinnatifid into narrowly oblong acute to obtuse lobes, glabrous except for minute brown laciniate scales along the midrib. Fertile fronds erect to arching, firmly herbaceous, stipitate. Stipe pale brown, up to 15 x 0.3–0.4 cm, glabrous. Lamina up to 67 x 32 cm, ovate-oblong in outline, with a narrow wing decurrent on to the stipe, pinnatifid almost to the midrib into cultrate acute-acuminate lobes up to 23 x 4 cm, base abruptly broadened adnate, margin minutely and irregularly notched, thinly set with brown laciniate scales when young, glabrous at maturity. Sori 2–2.5 mm in diameter, round, borne close to the costa about 3 mm apart.




Evergreen forest.

Distribution worldwide

Widespread in tropical Africa.

Distribution in Africa

Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Dem. Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan, Tanzania , Uganda, Zambia.

Growth form



  • Kornas, J. (1979) Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia. Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych. Page 75.
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 99.
  • 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 153.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta. Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Page 149. (Includes a picture).
  • Verdcourt, B. (2001) Polypodiaceae. Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 12 - 14. (Includes a picture).