Dryopteris pentheri (Krasser) C. Chr.

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Dryopteris pentheri

Photo: Petra Ballings
World's view road

Dryopteris pentheri

Photo: Petra Ballings
World's view road

Dryopteris pentheri

Photo: Petra Ballings
World's view road

Dryopteris pentheri

Photo: Petra Ballings

Dryopteris pentheri

Photo: Petra Ballings
Mt. Rukotso, Inyanga

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Synonyms: Dryopteris inaequalis sensu Schelpe
Common names:
Status: Native
Rhizome creeping, becoming erect at the growing tip, up to 300 × 30 mm; rhizome scales straw- to rust-coloured, narrowly ovate to linear-oblong, up to 37 × 6 mm, margins with long twisted outgrowths, apex thread-like, twisted. Fronds tufted to closely spaced at rhizome apex, erect to arching, up to 1.8 m long, herbaceous. Stipe up to 49 cm long, pale brown above, chestnut-coloured below, with straw- to rust-coloured scales, thread-like to narrowly lanceolate, up to 40 × 7 mm, denser near the base. Lamina up to 78 × 64 cm, ovate to triangular in outline, 3-pinnatifid to 3-pinnate, up to 16 pairs of pinnae, spaced below and somewhat overlapping near the lamina apex. Pinnae up to 32 × 19 cm, forming an angle of 70-80° from the rhachis, usually not reduced and basiscopically developed, basal pair inequilaterally ovate to narrowly ovate in outline. Pinnules: basiscopic pinnule shorter than the 2-3 adjacent pinnules on basal pinnae; ultimate segments ovate to oblong-obtuse, lobed, margins serrate, glabrous on both surfaces but with a few minute hairs and scales along the costules and costae, costules narrowly winged for most of the length. Rhachis straw-coloured with a few straw-to rust-coloured scales similar to but smaller than those on the stipe, narrowly winged towards the apex. Sori round, c. 1.8 mm in diameter, medial on the veins; indusia kidney-shaped, margin entire or wavy, persistent, pale brown, up to 1.6 mm in diameter, glabrous.
Notes: Could be confused with Dryopteris lewalleana which has basal pinnae inequilaterally triangular to deltate, with the basal basiscopic pinnule the longest and ovate to narrowly lanceolate stipe scales.
Derivation of specific name: pentheri: named after Arnold Penther (1865-1931)
Habitat: Light shade in scrub, forest edge, among rocks in grassland or in montane boulder scree.
Altitude range:
Worldwide distribution: Southern subtropical Africa, tropical Africa, also known from SaonTomé and Madagascar.
Malawi distribution: N,S
Growth form(s): Lithophyte, terrestrial.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Burrows, J.E. (1990). Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Page 302. Treated under the Dryopteris inaequalis complex

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. as Dryopteris inaequalis (Includes a picture).

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

Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011). Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide Struik Nature Pages 478 - 479. (Includes a picture).

Dowsett-Lemaire, F. (1989). The flora and phytogeography of the evergreen forests of Malawi. I: Afromontane and mid-altitude forests; Bull. Jard. Bot. Nat. Belg. 59(1/2) Page 25. As Dryopteris inaequalis

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983). The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 435 - 438. Treated under the Dryopteris inaequalis complex (Includes a picture).

Kornas, J. (1979). Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych Pages 108 - 109. Treated under the Dryopteris inaequalis complex

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 Pages 125 - 126. (Includes a picture).

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Page 123.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970). Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca Pages 221 - 222. Treated under the Dryopteris inaequalis complex

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

Other sources of information about Dryopteris pentheri:

Our websites:

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

External websites:

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

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 pentheri.
https://www.malawiflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=101880, retrieved 15 April 2024

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