Metathelypteris - Thelypteridaceae

Metathelypteris burrowsiorum N.R.Crouch






Common name


Rhizome erect with a short caudex (c. 8 x 8mm); rhizome scales sparse, c. 6 mm long, apex tapering to a point, margins with small projections, chestnut coloured. Fronds monomorphic, closely spaced, tufted to arching. Stipe up to 12 cm long, pale green, base with small scales, set with short acicular hairs. Lamina 2-pinnatifid, lanceolate in outline, 22-30 x 5-8 cm, basal pair or sometimes 2 pairs of pinnae gradully reduced, light green, pilose along the costa and costules with acicular hairs and sparsely set with minute orange-tipped glandular hairs; pinnae 15-22 free pairs, elliptic in outline, sessile, deeply lobed to more than 2/3 of the way to the costa; ultimate lobes oblong in outline, apex rounded, often slightly falcate, margin hairy and irregular crenate-sinuate; veins free, not anastomosing below the sinus, with simple branches, not forked, ending short of the margin; rhachis pale green, with shallow sulcus, pilose. Sori round, up to 7 per lobe, situated on the veins halsway between the costule and margin; indusium kidney shaped to subcircular, pilose above, up to 0.5 mm wide.



burrowsiorum: named after John and Sandra Burrows, collectors of the type specimen and autors of several outstanding reference books in Botany.


Shaded forest floor bordering seasonally dry watercourses in medium-altitude (c. 500m), semideciduous forest.

Distribution worldwide

See African distribution

Distribution in 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 702 - 703. (Includes a picture).