Nothoperanema - Dryopteridaceae

Nothoperanema squamiseta (Hook.) Ching

Photo: JE. Burrows






Dryopteris squamiseta (Hook.) Kuntze
Nephrodium buchananii Baker
Aspidium squamisetum (Hook.) Kuhn
Nephrodium squamisetum Hook.

Common name


Rhizome erect to suberect, up to 7 mm in diameter; rhizome scales brown, up to 9 mm long, lanceolate in outline, margin entire, tapering to a drawn-out point. Fronds tufted, arching, herbaceous. Stipe up to 53 cm long, straw-coloured, reddish-brown near the base, densely set with stiff dark brown scales standing out at right angles to the stipe. Lamina up to 50 × 40 cm, 3-pinnate to 4-pinnatifid on the basiscopically developed basal pinnae, deltate to roughly ovate in outline. Pinnae narrowly oblong-attenuate, spaced apart, almost equally sided. Ultimate lobes oblong, margins weakly lobed or entire, apex lobed or entire, rounded, subglabrous with few brown, upright scales above and below. Rhachis straw-coloured, set with scales similar to rhizome. Sori round, up to 1.2 mm, 12-20 per lobe set in the upper half of the pinnules; indusium kidney-shaped to subcircular, c. 1mm in diameter, membraneous, entire.


Can be distinguished from other Dryopteris-species by having a combination of stiff scales that stand out at right angles on the stipe, entire rounded pinnule lobes and sori that are grouped towards the end of the pinnules.


squama: scale, seta: bristle; refers to the stiff scales on the stipe.


Deep shade in or along streams in evergreen forest, usually in high rainfall areas where mist is frequent.

Distribution worldwide

Known from southern Africa, extending ro central and tropical Africa; also on Madagascar and Mascarene Islands.

Distribution in Africa

Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan and South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania , Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Growth form



  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 306 - 308. As Dryopteris squamiseta (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 470 - 471. (Includes a picture).
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 440 - 441. As Dryopteris squamiseta (Includes a picture).
  • Kornas, J. (1979) Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia. Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych. Page 109. As Dryopteris squamiseta
  • 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 136 - 137.
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 123. (Includes a picture).
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta. Flora Zambesiaca, 0 Pages 223 - 225. As Dryopteris squamiseta