Cheilanthes - Sinopteridaceae

Cheilanthes botswanae Schelpe & N.C. Anthony






Common name


Rhizome shortly creeping to ascending; rhizome scales apex slowly tapering to a point, margin pale, entire, up to 4 mm long, pale brown or more frequently black. Fronds monomorphic, closely spaced. Stipe 6-14 cm, brown, grooved above, set with brown, hairlike scales up to 3 mm long. Lamina 2-3 pinnate, narrowly ovate to lanceolate in outline, 9-17 × 3.5-7 cm; ultimate segments oblong to narrowly hastate, venation obscure, free, hairless, undersurface occasionally set with a few scales along the costules; rhachis and secondary rhachises brown, grooved above, densely covered with lanceolate scales. Sori marginal; indusium continuous, subentire.


Very difficult to distinguish from both varieties of C. involuta, some feel that it should be treated as a variety of that species.


botswanae: from Botswana, the type specimen was collected in this country.


Dry, rocky outcrops in mixed woodland, in areas that have a long, hot dry period in the winter and spring months.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

Botswana, South Africa.

Growth form

Lithophytic, terrestrial.


  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 148 - 149. (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 388 - 389. (Includes a picture).
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta.Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 61.
  • 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 180.