Bolbitis - Lomariopsidaceae

Bolbitis gemmifera (Hieron.) C. Chr.

Photo: P. Ballings

Photo: P. Ballings






Leptochilus gemmifer Hieron.
Acrostichum punctatum L.f. var. angolense Welw. ex Carruth.

Common name


Rhizome widely creeping, c. 7 mm thick; rhizome scales dark brown, apex tapering to a point, fimbriate, clathrate, c. 3 mm long. Fronds spaced apart, dimorphous. Sterile frond: stipe 10-45 cm long, with few scattered scales, denser towards the base; lamina imparipinnate, gemmiferous below apical pinnule, 20-45 × 10-30 cm, ovate in outline; pinnae 8-10 pairs, elliptic - lanceolate, base slightly asymmitrical, apex pointed, margins wavy to coarsely crenate, glabrous. Fertile frond: stipe 20-50cm long, lamina pinnate, 15-35 × 7-15 cm; sporangia covering the lower surface of the pinnae.


Differs from B. heudelotii by having gemmiferous fronds that bear a clearly separated terminal pinna. This species is not aquatic.


gemmifera: the species produces gemmae (little plantlets) near the top of the frond.


Deeply shaded forest floor in tall semi-deciduous Newtonia buchananii/ Millettia stuhlmannii forest.

Distribution worldwide

Tropical Africa, also Madagascar

Distribution in Africa

Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea (incl. Bioko), Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania , Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Growth form



  • Burrows, J.E. (1990) Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 294 - 296. (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 115.
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13 Page 147.