Cheilanthes - Sinopteridaceae

Cheilanthes deltoidea Kunze ssp. silicicola Klopper & A.E. van Wijk






Common name


Rhizome shortly creeping; rhizome scales lanceolate in outline, apex gradually tapering to a point, margin entire, 2-3 mm long, pale light brown. Frond monomorphic, closely tufted, erect. Stipe 1.7-2.2 (-4.5) cm long, dark reddish brown, becoming darker with age, glabrous. Lamina 2- to 3-pinnatifid with the basal pinnae basiscopically developed, broadly deltate in outline, 0.8-2.1(-3) x 0.9-2.6(-3.5) cm; ultimate segments broadly spathulate to oblong in outline, apex rounded to pointed, margins entire, glabrous on both surfaces; veins free, obscure; rhachis narrowly winged. Sori set along the distal margin of the ultimate lobes; indusium continuous.



silicola: silix=silica, -cola=living; this subspecies grows on chert and phonolithic lava, both substrates have a very high silica content.


In sheltered soil pockets and rock crevices in shert outcrops and phonolithic lava of Gauteng and Limpopo area.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution.

Distribution in Africa

South Africa.

Growth form



  • Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011) Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide. Struik Nature. Pages 376 - 377. (Includes a picture).
  • Klopper, R.R. & van Wyk, A.E. (2011) A new subspecies of Cheilanthes deltoidea from Gauteng and Limpopo, south Africa. Brothalia, 41(1) Pages 204 - 207. (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 181. As Cheilanthes deltoidea.