Ampelopteris prolifera (Retz.) Copel.

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Ampelopteris prolifera

Photo: Bart Wursten
Lilongwe Wildlife Sanctuary, Lilongwe

Ampelopteris prolifera

Photo: Bart Wursten
Lilongwe Wildlife Sanctuary, Lilongwe

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Synonyms: Dryopteris prolifera (Retz.) C.Chr.
Goniopteris prolifera (Retz.) C.Presl
Thelypteris prolifera (Retz.) P.J.Vorster
Common names:
Status: Native
Rhizome long creeping, up to 10 mm in diameter; rhizome scales black, triangular, entire. Fronds closely spaced, arching, proliferous at intervals along the rhachis, thinly coriaceous. Stipe up to 40 cm long, pale brown, hairless. Lamina up to 1 × 0.26 m, lanceolate in outline, pinnate, apex of indefinite growth, lower 3-4 pairs of pinnae gradually reduced in size. Pinnae narrowly oblong, shortly petiolate to sessile, base truncate, often with the basal acroscopic lobe overlapping the rhachis, margin shallowly incised into lobes with 5-7 pairs of veins anastomosing below the shallow sinus; undersurface sparsely set with minute hairs, upper surface hairless. Rhachis pale brown, hairless. Sori round to elongated, situated along the veins, with paraphyses; exindusiate.
Notes: Resembles Pneumatopteris unita which has a single gemmae positioned at the apex of the rhachis, an erect rhizome and 4-5 pairs of veins meeting below the sinus; this species is not found in full sun.
Ampelopteris prolifera look for: proliferous habit with several gemmae positioned along the rhachis, shortly creeping rhizome, 5-7 pairs of veins anastomising.
Derivation of specific name: prolifera: bearing plantlets; this plant produces adventituous shoots from the lamina.
Habitat: Among grass, sedges, reed banks of Phragmites on banks of rivers, ponds or lakes in hot deciduous woodland, sometimes in light shade of riverine forest.
Altitude range: Up to 1160 m
Worldwide distribution: Southern Africa extending to central and tropical Africa, throughout the tropics of the old world, also Madagascar and Mauritius.
Malawi distribution: C,S
Growth form(s): Terrestrial.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Thursday 4 October 2018

Burrows, J.E. (1990). Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 270 - 272. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (1993). An annotated check-list of the pteridophytes of Malawi Kirkia 14(1) Page 96.

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 5.

Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011). Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide Struik Nature Pages 700 - 701. (Includes a picture).

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 15.

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983). The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 398 - 399. (Includes a picture).

Kornas, J. (1979). Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych Pages 93 - 94.

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 10.

Roux, J.P. (2001). Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report 13 Pages 113 - 114. (Includes a picture).

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Page 201.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970). Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca Pages 200 - 202. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Ampelopteris prolifera:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Ampelopteris prolifera
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Ampelopteris prolifera
Flora of Mozambique: Ampelopteris prolifera
Flora of Zambia: Ampelopteris prolifera
Flora of Zimbabwe: Ampelopteris prolifera

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Ampelopteris prolifera
African Plant Database: Ampelopteris prolifera
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Ampelopteris prolifera
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Ampelopteris prolifera
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Ampelopteris prolifera
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Ampelopteris prolifera
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Ampelopteris prolifera
JSTOR Plant Science: Ampelopteris prolifera
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Ampelopteris prolifera
Plants of the World Online: Ampelopteris prolifera
Tropicos: Ampelopteris prolifera
Wikipedia: Ampelopteris prolifera

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Malawi: Species information: Ampelopteris prolifera., retrieved 13 June 2024

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