Cheilanthes - Sinopteridaceae

Cheilanthes similis F. Ballard






Cheilanthes heterophylla sensu Tardieu

Common name


Rhizome c. 8 mm. in diameter, short, creeping; rhizome scales light-brown, very narrowly linear in outline, margin entire, concolorous, up to 10 x 1 mm. Fronds tufted, dimorphous, thinly coriaceous, the fertile more dissected and with longer stipes than in the sterile fronds. Stipe castaneous, up to 1.7 cm. in sterile fronds and 12–22 cm. in fertile fronds, thinly pubescent with pale hairs 1–2 mm. long. Sterile lamina up to 6.5 x 5.7 cm., triangular in outline, deeply pinnatifid above becoming pinnate at the base, the lowest pinnae with basiscopically developed lobes; pinna lobes oblong in outline, apex rounded to pointed, margin entire to crenate, thinly pilose on both surfaces with pale flexuous hairs; venation obscure. Fertile lamina up to 10.7 x 7.6 cm., triangular in outline, pinnate above to pinnatifid below, the lowest pinnae with basiscopically developed entire to sinuate lobes; middle pinnae pinnatifid into oblong to triangular obtuse entire lobes thinly pilose on both surfaces with pale flexuous hairs. Sori small, submarginal, discrete, developing into a soral line later; indusium membranous, hyaline, mostly continuous, longly ciliate.




On dry rock slopes with grasses and few shrubs, in full sun or light shade, on shallow skeletal soils.

Distribution worldwide

Burundi, DRC, Tanzania, Zambia

Distribution in Africa

Burundi, Dem. Republic of Congo, Tanzania , Zambia.

Growth form



  • Kornas, J. (1979) Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia. Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych. Pages 51 - 52.
  • 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 185.
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 66.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta. Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Page 124.
  • Verdcourt, B. (2002) Adiantaceae. Flora of Tropical East Africa, Page 34.