Pneumatopteris - Thelypteridaceae

Pneumatopteris prismaticus (Desv.) Holttum






Nephrodium prismaticum Desv.
Dryopteris prismatica (Desv.) C.Chr.
Cyclosorus prismaticus (Desv.) Ching
Thelypteris prismatica (Desv.) Schelpe
Aspidium caudiculatum Sieber ex Kunze

Common name


Rhizome not seen. Frond monomorphic, arching, non-proliferous, herbaceous. Stipe glabrous, surface smooth, pale-brown. Lamina up to 1 x 0.48 m., shallowly 2-pinnatifid, narrowly ovate-elliptic in outline, acute with c. 3 pairs of reduced basal pinnae; pinnae up to 24 x 2.2 cm., broadly linear or attenuate, base truncate, shallowly pinnatifid into short oblong broadly acute entire lobes up to 4 mm.; glabrous ventrally except for few white curved hairs along the costa, glabrous dorsally, the lamina with a rather warted appearance; 8 pairs of veins per lobe with 2 pairs of veins anastomosing below the sinus and with the fifth vein sometimes running into the sinus; rhachis pale-brown, glabrous. Sori up to 8 per pinna lobe borne nearer the costule than the sinus membrane, circular; indusium 0.5 mm. in diameter, glabrous.


This species is recognizable by having 2 pairs of veins anastomosing below the sinus, a lamina that is not proliferous, decrescent and has costae & costules that are glabrous.



Moist evergreen forests.

Distribution worldwide

Malawi, Mauritius, RĂ©union

Distribution in Africa


Growth form



  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta.Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 118.
  • 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 207.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta.Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Page 197. as Thelypteris prismatica