Zygophlebia - Polypodiaceae

Zygophlebia villosissima (Hook.) L.E. Bishop






Polypodium villosissimum Hook.
Grammitis villosissima (Hook.) Ching
Ctenopteris villosissima (Hook.) W.J. Harley
Xiphopteris villosissima (Hook.) Alston
xiphopteris villosissima (Hook.) Alston var. laticelluta Benl

Common name


Rhizome c. 1.5 mm in diameter, erect to shortly creeping; rhizome scales linear, apex tapering to a fine point, glandular, base serrate, brown. Fronds monomorphic, tufted, texture thick, deeply pinnatifid. Stipe up to 4 cm long, brown, covered with long, stiff, reddish-brown hairs up to 3 mm long. oblong to oblong-lanceolate in outline, abruptly decrescent below, pinnatifid almost to the midrib, 6-12 x 3-4 cm; pinnae up to 1 cm long, oblong in outline, apex rounded, margin entire, covered on both surfaces with long, stiff, reddish-brown hairs up to 3 mm long; veins and midrib obscure. Sori rounded, submarginal, up to 8 per lobe.




On trees in forest; at higher levels, up to 1900 m alt.

Distribution worldwide

Africa, Madagascar, Mauritius.

Distribution in Africa

Cameroon, Dem. Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Gabon, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Malawi, Rwanda, Sierra Leone.

Growth form



  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 109.
  • 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 166.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta. Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Page 142. As Xiphopteris villosissima (Hook.) Alston
  • Thardieu-Blot, M.L. (1964) Ptéridophytes vol.8. Flore du Gabon, Pages 193 - 194.