Cyathea - Cyatheaceae

Cyathea fadenii Holttum






Alsophila schliebenii Reimers, non Cyathea schliebenii Reimers

Common name


Caudex 1–3 m tall, 3.5–5 cm diameter, bearing persistent stipe bases, but these eventually deciduous. Fronds 1.5–2.5 m long. Stipes 12–33 cm long, bearing near base of stipe 2 to many small 3–4-pinnate, flaccid and skeletonised or partly skeletonised reduced pinnae, 5–17 cm long, occasionally above these 1 or 2 reduced but more normal pinnae with obvious lamina. Lamina bipinnate, 1.6–2.2 x ± 0.6 m. Pinnae up to 24–48 cm long; largest pinnules 5–9 x 1-2.2 cm; basal 1 to 2 pairs of lobes free, sometimes minutely stalked, the remaining costules also 4–5 cm apart, but connected by a narrow green wing; basal lobes lobulate half way to the costule, the remainder gradually less deeply cut to crenate; veins 5–7 pairs, forked once or twice. Scales on lower surface of pinnules; on lower surface of costae near base reddish brown, narrow, to 2 mm long, grading into smaller, more scattered, brown, bullate-lanceolate scales, costules commonly with bullate scales, veins with scattered appressed hairs. Sori at the forks of veins, exindusiate.



fadenii: named after Faden.


Montane forest, high altitude mist forest with Melchiora schliebenii, Allanblackia sacleuxii and A. uluguruensis, extending up into the subalpine heath; 1700-2100 m.

Distribution worldwide

Endemic to the Uluguru and Ukaguru area in Tanzania.

Distribution in Africa

Tanzania .

Growth form



  • Edwards, Peter J. (2005) Cyatheaceae.Flora of Tropical East Africa, Pages 12 - 13. (Includes a picture).
  • 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 66. As Alsophila schliebenii Reimers.