Cheilanthes - Sinopteridaceae

Cheilanthes multifida (Sw.) Sw.

Photo: P. Ballings
Zimbabwe

Photo: P. Ballings
Zimbabwe

Photo: P. Ballings
Mozambique

Photo: P. Ballings
Mozambique

Photo: P. Ballings
Zimbabwe

Photo: P. Ballings
Zimbabwe

Photo: P. Ballings
Zimbabwe

Photo: P. Ballings
Zimbabwe

 

 

 

 

Synonyms

Adiantum multifidum Sw.
Cheilanthes bolusii Baker
Adiantum globatum Poir.

Common name

Description

Rhizome short, creeping, up to 4 mm in diameter; rhizome scales brown with pale margins, awl-shaped, margin (sub)entire, up to 3.5 mm long. Fronds tufted, erect, rigid, herbaceous to coriaceous. Stipe dark brown to almost black, up to 42 cm long, shallowly grooved, glabrous but with brown narrow scales at the extreme base. Lamina 5-32 cm × 2.5-28 cm, ovate-deltate in outline, 3-pinnate to 5-pinnatifid; lowest pinnae together almost as long as the lamina, basiscopically developed. Pinnules triangular-oblong to deltate-lanceolate in outline, cut to the midrib into oblong-ovate, rounded, crenate lobes, venation obscure, free, both surfaces subglabrous. Rhachis and secondary rhachises castaneous to black, hairless. Sori small, round, marginal, discrete; indusium small, semicircular, pale, erose to lacerate, membranous.

Notes

Could be confused with C. bergiana or C. pentagona. C. bergiana is lightly hairy, has underground stolons and is a forest species. C. pentagona differs in having reddish-brown rhizome scales, a lamina that is less dissected (3- or 4-pinnatifid), pentagonal in outline and with visible venation.
Two subspecies may be distinguished depending on whether the indusium is erose (subsp. multifida, not in Zimbabwe) or lacerate (subsp. lacerata, in Zimbabwe).

Derivation

multifida: with many divisions, referring to the finely divided lamina.

Habitat

Rock crevices and around boulders in grassland, margins of sheetrock, forest margins in high rainfall areas.

Distribution worldwide

Distribution in Africa

Angola, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Sudan and South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania , Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Growth form

Lithophytic, terrestrial.

Literature

  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 150 - 152. C. multifida subsp. multifida and subsp. lacerata (Includes a picture).
  • Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011) Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide. Struik Nature. Pages 400 - 403. C. multifida subsp. multifida and subsp. lacerata (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 264 - 266. (Includes a picture).
  • Kornas, J. (1979) Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia. Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych. Page 51.
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 65.
  • Roux, J.P. (2009) Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands. Strelitzia 23, South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria. Pages 183 - 184.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta. Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Page 123.
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