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This species is accepted, and its native range is Tropical & S. Africa.


Aspidiaceae, A. H. G. Alston. Flora of West Tropical Africa. Ferns and Fern-Allies Supplement. 1959

Terrestrial on banks and forest margins; 3, 500 to 5, 500 ft. alt.


Dryopteridaceae, JP Roux, M Shaffer-Fehre, B Verdcourt. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 2007

South Africa, ad portum Natalensem, Feb. 1842, Gueinzius s.n. (LZ†, holo.; K!, lecto., here designated)
Morphology General Habit
Terrestrial or epilithic.
Vegetative Multiplication Rhizomes
Rhizome short-decumbent to suberect, rarely branched, to 13 mm in diameter, with ferrugineous oblong-acuminate to narrowly lanceolate scales up to 18 × 2 mm, entire
Morphology Leaves
Fronds tufted, erect, up to 1.3 m long.
Morphology Leaves Stipes
Stipe stout, proximally castaneous, stramineous higher up, up to 54 cm long and 14 mm in diameter, with ferrugineous linear to oblong scales up to 24 × 2.5 mm, acuminate, entire, with long twisted filiform outgrowths or with a few scattered glandular cells.
Morphology Leaves Leaf lamina
Lamina firmly herbaceous, narrowly ovate, up to 78 cm long, up to 2-pinnate pinnatifid.
Morphology Leaves Rachis
Rachis stramineous to greenish, narrowly winged towards apex, moderately to sparsely set with twisted ferrugineous to stramineous linear to filiform scales up to 6 × 0.6 mm and hairs.
Morphology Leaves Pinnae
Pinnae up to 23 stalked pairs, basal pinnae inaequilaterally broadly ovate, those higher up symmetrically lanceolate, basal pinna pair mostly longest, mostly basiscopically developed, up to 19 × 12 cm, with up to 8 stalked pinnule pairs; pinna-rachis narrowly winged for most of its length, with sparse scales up to 4 × 0.4 mm, similar to, but smaller than those on rachis; pinnules lanceolate, acroscopically developed, acroscopic pinnule on basal pinnae up to 48 × 28 mm, basiscopic pinnule on basal pinnae up to 72 × 30 mm; costa narrowly winged; segments narrowly trullate, narrowly triangular, narrowly rhomboid or oblongobtuse, up to 20 × 7 mm, basiscopically decurrent, often shallowly lobed, lobes denticulate to crenate, adaxially glabrous or with a few filiform scales along the costae, abaxially sparsely set with filiform scales, uniseriate hairs bearing one or more glandular cells near base, isocytic hairs, and often also with unicellular glands (50–)78(–142) mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Sori
Sori inframedial on the predominantly anadromous vein branches, discrete or touching at maturity, circular, up to 1.6 mm in diameter at maturity; sporangium stalk simple or haired; indusium brown, firmly herbaceous, reniform, entire to erose, up to 1.7 mm in diameter
Morphology Reproductive morphology Spores
Spores ellipsoidal monolete, perispore with narrow to broad reticulate ridges, granulate, 38–52 × 26–36 mm
Grassland, scattered tree grassland, miombo woodland, often near water or in shade of rocks; (1000–)1200–2000(–3050) m
Widespread; least concern (LC)
Vida in Helv. Chim. Acta 56: 2129 (1973) report the species as diploid: 2n = 80 ±2.
Range: Throughout West and southern Africa Flora districts: U1 U2 U3 U4 U5 K3 K5 T1 T4 T7 T8


Against intestinal parasites (fide Tanner)

Native to:

Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Provinces, Central African Repu, Free State, Gabon, Guinea, Kenya, KwaZulu-Natal, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Northern Provinces, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

Dryopteris athamantica (Kunze) Kuntze appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Nov 1, 2008 Cheek, M. [13509], Cameroon K000580267
Sep 1, 1998 Onana, J.-M. [512], Cameroon K000746840
Peter, A. [37290], Tanzania K000675769
Peter, A. [37743], Tanzania K000675770
Bidgood, S. [5796], Tanzania K000468629
s.coll. [s.n.], South Africa K000675781 Unknown type material

First published in Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 812 (1891)

Accepted by

  • Roskov Y. & al. (eds.) (2018). World Ferns: Checklist of Ferns and Lycophytes of the World Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life Naturalis, Leiden, the Netherlands.
  • Roux, J.P. (2016). The Lycopods and Ferns of Drakensberg and Lesotho: 1-384. Briza academic books, Pretoria, South Africa.


Flora of West Tropical Africa

  • Tard in Mém. I.F.A.N. 28: 151, t. 29, fig. 7 (1953).
  • Sim F.S.A. 107, t. 19 (1915)
  • Rev. Gen. Pl. 2: 812 (1891)

Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • J.P. Roux, Conspect. southern Afr. Pterid.: 127 (2001).
  • U.K.W.F., ed. 2: 36, t. 175 (1994);
  • Burrows, S. Afr. Ferns.: 300, t. 50/ 4, fig. 70/ 305, map (1990);
  • Schelpe & Anthony, F.S.A., Pterid.: 247, t. 84/ 2, map 213 (1986);
  • B.J.B.B. 55: 157 (1985)
  • Jacobsen, Ferns S. Afr.: 433, fig. 326, map 159 (1983)
  • Korna´s, District: Ecol. Pterid. Zambia: 107, map 71a (1979)
  • Schelpe & Diniz, Fl. Moçamb., Pterid.: 237 (1979)
  • Schelpe, Expl. Hydrobiol. L. Bangweolo & Luapula: 89 (1973)
  • Schelpe, F.Z., Pterid: 221 (1970)
  • Tardieu-Blot, Fl. Cameroon, Pterid.: 262, t. 40/ 7 (1964)
  • Alston, Ferns W.T.A.: 70 (1959)
  • Mém. I.F.A.N. 28: 151, t. 29/ 7 (1953)
  • C.Chr., Ind. Filic.: 253 (1905)
  • Rev. Gen. Pl. 2: 812 (1891)

Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa

Flora of West Tropical Africa
Flora of West Tropical Africa

Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
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Kew Backbone Distributions
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Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at and
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.