Athyrium schimperi Moug. ex Fée

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Athyrium schimperi

Photo: Petra Ballings
Stream below Silvermist cottage, Troutback

Athyrium schimperi

Photo: Bart Wursten
Road to World's view, Troutbeck

Athyrium schimperi

Photo: Petra Ballings
Mount Chinaka, Juliasdale

Athyrium schimperi

Photo: Petra Ballings
Mount Chinaka, Juliasdale

Athyrium schimperi

Photo: Petra Ballings
Mount Chinaka, Juliasdale

Athyrium schimperi

Photo: Petra Ballings
Mount Chinaka, Juliasdale

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

Synonyms: Asplenium schimperi (Moug. ex Fée) A. Braun
Athyrium solenopteris (Kunze) T.Moore var. madagascarica Bonap.
Common names:
Rhizome creeping and branching, 5-8 mm in diameter; rhizome scales reddish-brown, lanceolate, slowly tapering to a point, entire, up to 7 mm long. Fronds closely spaced, erect, herbaceous. Stipe straw coloured to pale green, pink on new fronds, up to 38 cm long, sparsely set with long, pale brown, hair-like scales, more dense so towards the base. Lamina narrowly elliptic to ovate-lanceolate in outline, 26-70 cm × 8-28 cm, 3-pinnatifid to 3-pinnate, lower 4-5 pairs of pinnae reduced in size. Pinnae 6-10 pairs, alternate, set at 80-90° to the rhachis, widest at base, apex tapering to a point. Pinnules unequaly ovate, about twice as long as broad, with acroscopic lobe often enlarged, glabrous on both surfaces, margin deeply pinnatifid to sharply serrate-dentate lobes. Rhachis pale brown, hairless but with few hairlike scales at the base of the pinnae. Sori 0.8-1.5 mm, curved, elliptic to J-shaped; indusium pale brown, erose and membranous.
Derivation of specific name: schimperi: named after W.P. Schimper (1804-1878), German bryologist who first collected this species.
Altitude range:
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in tropical and eastern South 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

Burrows, J.E. (1990). Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Page 273. (Includes a picture).

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

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. (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 714 - 715. (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.

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983). The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Page 404. (Includes a picture).

Kornas, J. (1979). Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych Page 105.

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 Page 137.

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Page 214.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970). Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca Pages 202 - 204. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Athyrium schimperi:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Athyrium schimperi
Flora of Zambia: Athyrium schimperi
Flora of Zimbabwe: Athyrium schimperi

External websites:

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

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: Athyrium schimperi., retrieved 18 May 2024

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