Didymochlaena truncatula (Sw.) J. Sm.

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Didymochlaena truncatula

Photo: Petra Ballings
Ndundu Lodge, Vumba

Didymochlaena truncatula

Photo: Petra Ballings
Ndundu Lodge, Vumba

Didymochlaena truncatula

Photo: Petra Ballings

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Synonyms: Adiantum lunulatum Houtt.
Aspidium truncatulum Sw.
Didymochlaena dimidiata Kunze
Didymochlaena lunulata sensu Sim
Common names:
Status: Native
Rhizome erect, forming a short caudex up to 25 cm in diameter; rhizome scales up to 20 mm long, pale to dark brown, subentire. Fronds tufted, erect to arching, firmly herbaceous to coriaceous, up to 2.5 m long. Stipe up to 60 cm long, straw-coloured, set with reddish-brown, twisted scales up to 1 cm long. Lamina up to 2 × 0.5 m, bipinnate, oblong-elliptic in outline, with a pinnate apical segment. Pinnae alternate, spaced apart, shortly petiolate, up to 25 × 4 cm, narrowly oblong, pinnate into 26 pairs of pinnules. Pinnules dimidiate, almost rectangular in outline, shortly petiolate, articulated, apex rounded to truncate, lower margin entire, upper margin irregular to toothed, hairless, deep glossy green above, paler below. Rhachis and secondary rhachis straw-coloured with pale brown scales. Sori 1-6 per pinnule, broadly elliptic, sometimes deeply sunk into the lamina, set close to the upper margin; indusia peltate, brown with pale rims and with a narrowly elongated stalk, entire.
Notes: D. truncatula can not easily be confused with other ferns; it has very characteristic almost rectangular pinnules with a dimidiate and entire lower margin and an irregularly crenate upper margin.
Derivation of specific name: truncatula: cut of straight, referring to the square-shaped pinnule apices.
Habitat: Deeply shaded moist situations in wet evergreen forest, along margins of streams.
Altitude range: (metres) 300 - 1800 m
Worldwide distribution: Tropical Africa and subtropical southern Afrika; also known from Madagascar, Asia and America.
Zimbabwe distribution: E
Growth form(s): Terrestrial.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Sunday 9 September 2012

Burrows, J.E. (1990). Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 299 - 300. (Includes a picture).

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

Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011). Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide Struik Nature Pages 486 - 487. (Includes a picture).

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983). The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 432 - 433. (Includes a picture).

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 131. (Includes a picture).

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Page 119.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970). Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca Page 220. (Includes a picture).


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Other sources of information about Didymochlaena truncatula:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Didymochlaena truncatula
Flora of Mozambique: Didymochlaena truncatula
Flora of Zambia: Didymochlaena truncatula

External websites:

African Plant Database: Didymochlaena truncatula
Biodiversity Explorer (Biodiversity of southern Africa): Didymochlaena truncatula
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Didymochlaena truncatula
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Didymochlaena truncatula
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Didymochlaena truncatula
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network) taxonomy for plants report for Didymochlaena truncatula
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Didymochlaena truncatula
Ispot Southern Africa : Didymochlaena truncatula
JSTOR Plant Science: Didymochlaena truncatula
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Didymochlaena truncatula
Tropicos: Didymochlaena truncatula
West African Plants database: Didymochlaena truncatula

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-16

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2016). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Didymochlaena truncatula.
http://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=101950, retrieved 27 May 2016

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