Dryopteris athamantica (Kunze) Kuntze

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Dryopteris athamantica

Photo: Petra Ballings
Near Dam 2, Nyika National Park

Dryopteris athamantica

Photo: Petra Ballings
Near Dam 2, Nyika National Park

Dryopteris athamantica

Photo: Petra Ballings
Near Dam 2, Nyika National Park

Dryopteris athamantica

Photo: Petra Ballings
Near Dam 2, Nyika National Park

Dryopteris athamantica

Photo: Petra Ballings
Near Dam 2, Nyika National Park

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Aspidium athamanticum Kunze
Lastrea athamantica (Kunze) T.Moore
Lastrea plantii T.Moore
Nephrodium athamanticum (Kunze) Hook.
Nephrodium eurylepium Peter
Common names:
Frequency: Common
Status: Native
Rhizome creeping, up to 25 mm in diameter; rhizome scales reddish-brown, narrowly lanceolate to linear, up to 22 mm long, margins with or without filamentous outgrows. Fronds tufted, erect, rigid, subcoriaceous. Stipe up to 37 cm long, straw-coloured, grooved, with scales similar to the rhizome towards the base. Lamina up to 75 × 27 cm, narrowly ovate-oblong to lanceolate in outline, 3-pinnatifid to 3-pinnate, basal pinnae hardly reduced. Pinnae up to 25 × 12 cm, usually forming an angle of less than 50° from the rhachis, narrowly triangular-oblong in outline, subglabrous on both surfaces. Pinnules narrowly oblong-lanceolate, deeply pinnatifid into oblong, obtuse ultimate lobes with shallowly crenate to subentire margins. Rhachis straw-coloured with a few hair-like, reddish-brown scales. Sori round, c. 1 mm in diameter, 1-3 per ultimate segment; indusia round to kidney-shaped, membranous, entire or slightly dentate.
Notes: Could be confused with the sun form of D. pentheri which has an ovate-triangular lamina, pinnae angled at 70-80° from the rhachis and pinnules that are ovate to round-oblong in outline.
Derivation of specific name: athamantis: brightness; this may refer to the preference of this species for sunny open habitats.
Habitat: Around boulder bases or at scrub margins in montane grassland, in ditches, along roads, exposed areas in full sun.
Altitude range: 1200 - 2300 m
Worldwide distribution: Tropical to subtropical Africa.
Malawi distribution: N,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: Monday 1 July 2019

Burrows, J.E. (1990). Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 300 - 302. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (1993). An annotated check-list of the pteridophytes of Malawi Kirkia 14(1) Page 98.

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 28.

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 23.

Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011). Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide Struik Nature Pages 472 - 473. (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 10.

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983). The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 433 - 435. (Includes a picture).

Kornas, J. (1979). Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych Page 107.

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 6.

Roux, J.P. (2001). Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report 13 Page 127. (Includes a picture).

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Page 120.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970). Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca Page 221.

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 78.

Other sources of information about Dryopteris athamantica:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Dryopteris athamantica
Flora of Mozambique: Dryopteris athamantica
Flora of Zambia: Dryopteris athamantica
Flora of Zimbabwe: Dryopteris athamantica

External websites:

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

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: Dryopteris athamantica.
https://www.malawiflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=101830, retrieved 22 July 2024

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