Arthropteris orientalis (J.F.Gmel.) Posth.

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Arthropteris orientalis

Photo: Mark Hyde
Mukuvisi Woodland

Arthropteris orientalis

Photo: Mark Hyde
Mukuvisi Woodland

Arthropteris orientalis

Photo: Petra Ballings
BR

Arthropteris orientalis

Photo: Petra Ballings
BR

Arthropteris orientalis

Photo: Petra Ballings
Mpinge pass, Great Dyke

Arthropteris orientalis

Photo: Petra Ballings
Mpinge pass, Great Dyke

Arthropteris orientalis

Photo: Petra Ballings
Mpinge pass, Great Dyke

Arthropteris orientalis

Photo: Petra Ballings
Christon Bank, Harare

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

Synonyms: Aspidium thonningii Schumach.
Dryopteris orientalis (J.F.Gmel.) C.Chr.
Nephrodium albopunctatum (Bory ex Willd.) Desv.
Polypodium orientale J.F.Gmel.
Common names: Msasa fern (English)
Frequency: Common
Status: Native
Description:
Rhizome widely creeping, up to 3 mm in diameter; rhizome scales dark brown, peltate, broadly ovate to circular, entire, up to 1.5 mm long. Stipe up to 25 cm long, articulated in upper half, pale matt brown, glabrous or with occasional pale brown scales, up to c. 1 mm long. Fronds spaced, erect, seldom arching, herbaceous to thinly coriaceous, scented. Lamina up to 11-40 × 5.5-17 cm, lanceolate-oblong in outline, deeply 2-pinnatifid. Pinnae up to 9.5 × 1.8 cm, opposite to alternate, basal pinnae possibly somewhat reduced, sessile, lanceolate in outline, articulated; ultimate lobes oblong, apex rounded, entire to shallowly crenate margins, thinly pubescent denser on costae and costules, white dots usually present at the end of the veins on the upper pinna surface. Sori circular, up to 9 per lobe borne about halfway between the costules and the margin; indusium c.0.6 mm in diameter, glabrous, entire.
Notes: A common and attractive fern in rocky Brachystegia woodland, where it forms large patches. The fronds shrivel up in the dry season and new green fronds appear in the rainy season.
Looks very much like A. monocarpa which has a stipe that is articulated in the lower half and is lacking the row of white dots near the margins on the upper surface of the pinna lobes. A. orientalis is a woodland species while A. monocarpa is a forest fern.
Derivation of specific name: orientalis: oriental, eastern; first described from Yemen, it was originally thought to be a plant from the East and named accordingly.
Habitat: Amongst rocks in open deciduous woodland, in dappled shade.
Altitude range: (metres) 800 - 1740 m
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in tropical Africa, reaching it southern limit in southern Zimbabwe and central Mozambique; also in Yemen, Réunion, Madagascar and Mauritius.
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W,C,E,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
Images last updated: Sunday 19 August 2012
Literature:

Burrows, J.E. (1990). Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 207 - 208. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 36. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. , Burrows, S.M. (1993). An annotated check-list of the pteridophytes of Malawi Kirkia 14(1) Page 91.

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 16.

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983). The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 325 - 326. (Includes a picture).

Kornas, J. (1979). Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych Pages 114 - 116.

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 8.

Roux, J.P. (2001). Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report 13 Page 143.

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Pages 192 - 193.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970). Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca Pages 163 - 165.


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Other sources of information about Arthropteris orientalis:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Arthropteris orientalis
Flora of Mozambique: Arthropteris orientalis
Flora of Zambia: Arthropteris orientalis

External websites:

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


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: Arthropteris orientalis.
http://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=102080, retrieved 28 August 2016

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