Pteris - Pteridaceae

Pteris hamulosa (H. Christ) H. Christ






Pteris quadriaurita Retz. var. hamulosa H. Christ
Pteris acanthoneura Alston

Common name


Rhizome up to 7 mm. in diameter, suberect, woody; rhizome scales up to 5mm long, narrowly linear in outline, subentire to lacerate, with a dark central stripe and pale margins. Frond tufted, erect to arching, thinly coriaceous, 0.6-1.5 m tall. Stipe straw-coloured to pale brown, darker at the base, 30-90 cm long. Lamina up to 43 x 25 cm., oblong to broadly ovate in outline, pinnate-pinnatifid to 2-pinnate with 2-4 pairs of pinnae, lower pinnae forked with the shorter lobe produced basiscopically. Rhachis spinulose Pinnae 10-25 x 2.5-7 cm, set at an angle of c. 45º to the rhachis, elliptic to narrowly oblong in outline, apex abruptly ending in a short tip, the upper pinnae narrowly decurrent; costae and sometimes costules spinose on the undersurface; ultimate lobes in 12-26 pairs, 0.3-4 x 0.3-1 cm, narrowly oblong in outline, apex rounded to sharply tipped, slightly curved like sickle, glabrous on both surfaces, sterile margins toothed; veins anastomosing only along the costa to form narrow areoles. Sori marginal, extending for most of the length of the ultimate lobes; indusia entire, membranous.


This species can be recognized by a 2-pinnate lamina, anastomosing veins and costae that have small spines on the undersurface.


hamulosa: hooked, referring to the spinose rhachis and costae on the undersurface of the fronds.


In shade on wet forest floors, lowland forest.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Dem. Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sudan and South Sudan, Tanzania , Uganda.

Growth form



  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 243 - 244. (Includes a picture).
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta.Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 81.
  • 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 173.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta.Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Pages 120 - 121.
  • Tardieu-Blot, M.-L. (1964) Ptéridophytes vol.3.Flore du Cameroun, Pages 164 - 165.
  • Thardieu-Blot, M.L. (1964) Ptéridophytes vol.8.Flore du Gabon, Page 119.
  • Verdcourt, B. (2002) Pteridaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Page 14. (Includes a picture).