Gleichenia - Gleicheniaceae

Gleichenia elongata Baker






Gleicheniastrum elongatum (Baker) Nakai
Gleichenia ruwenzoriensis Brause

Common name


Rhizome wiry, brown to black and shiny, naked, 2 mm in diameter. Fronds erect, oblong in outline, 0.3–1.4 m tall, coriaceous. Stipe matt, brownish straw-coloured, 13–30 cm long, glabrous. Rhachis continuing growth through up to 2 false dichotomies. Pinnae suberect, broadly lanceolate in outline, up to 14 × 5 cm; tufts of brown hair-scales 1.5(–4) mm long in the axils of the false dichotomies and sparsely on the pinnae costae. Pinnules up to 38 pairs per pinna, linear-attenuate in outline, to 3 × 2.5 cm, hairless, divided to the midrib into up to 25 pairs of rounded triangular lobes up to 1.5 × 1.5 mm. Sori solitary, not sunken, at the end of simple veins, consisting of 6–14 sporangia.


Similar to Gleichenia polypodioides which has sori that are sunken into the lamina; a lamina that is dichotomously divided with 1 level of false dichotomy and is circular in outline.


elongata: long, lengthened.


Banks of a small stream in light shade, forest edges and Erica zones on mountains.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Dem. Republic of Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania , Uganda.

Growth form



  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta.Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 39.
  • 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 50.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta.Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Pages 48 - 50. (Includes a picture).
  • Verdcourt, B. (2000) Gleicheniaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 2 - 4. (Includes a picture).