Microsorum - Polypodiaceae

Microsorum punctatum (L.) Copel.

Photo: BT. Wursten

Photo: BT. Wursten

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: BT. Wursten

Photo: BT. Wursten

Photo: P. Ballings






Polypodium iridoides sensu Sim
Phymatodes irioides (Poir) C. Presl
Microsorum irregulare Link.
Pleopeltis sessilis (Kaulf. ex Kunze) T.Moore

Common name


Rhizome shortly creeping, thick, c. 8 mm in diameter, embedded in a thick felt of roots; rhizome scales black, peltate, lanceolate, entire, acuminate, up to 4 mm long. Fronds closely spaced, apparently tufted, rigid, glabrous, coriaceous. Stipe short to absent. Lamina very narrowly elliptic-oblong, simple, margins entire to irregularly wavy, apex rounded to tapering to a point, gradually decrescent to a broadly or narrowly winged base, midrib raised on both sides; venation obscure, anastomising with included veinlets. Sori circular, minute, ± 1 mm in diameter, distributed irregularly on the undersurface of the fronds.



punctatum: dotted or marked with spots, referring to the minute sori which are irregularly distributed over the underside of the fertile fronds.


Seasonally dry to moist evergreen forest.

Distribution worldwide

Distribution in Africa

Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania , Uganda, Zimbabwe.

Growth form

Epiphytic, lithophytic, terrestrial.


  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 199 - 200. (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 550 - 551. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 312 - 313. (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 161.
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 101. (Includes a picture).
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta. Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Pages 156 - 158. (Includes a picture).