Pteridophyta: Polypodiales

Nephrolepidaceae - Sword ferns

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

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

Description of the family

Terrestrial, lithophytic or epiphytic plants. Rhizome short-creeping or erect, sometimes producing tubers, producing stolons that root and form shoots. Stipe not articulated; stipe and rhachis adaxially with a longitudinal groove. Fronds monomorphic, numerous, pinnate; pinnae articulated to the rhachis. Venation free, ending in a hydathode near the margin. Indumentum composed of peltate scales on the rhizome, axes and lamina surfaces, and 2-3 celled glandular hairs on the lamina. Sori round to oval or linear terminal on the veins, indusium kidney-shaped or linear, entire, opening towards the margin; homosporous.

Comment: Nephrolepis is sometimes placed within the family of the Davalliaceae or Oleandraceae, to which it is closely allied.

Worldwide: c. 30 species occurring throughout the warmer parts of the world, greatest number of species in south-east Asia (J.P. Roux, Swaziland ferns and fern allies)

Zimbabwe: 0 cultivated genera and 0 cultivated taxa.

No image of a cultivated species but there is an image of a native or naturalised species

Links to cultivated genera:     View: living plant images - herbarium specimen images - all images for this family


Other sources of information about Nephrolepidaceae:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Nephrolepidaceae
Flora of Mozambique: Nephrolepidaceae
Flora of Zambia: Nephrolepidaceae
Flora of Zimbabwe: Nephrolepidaceae

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Nephrolepidaceae
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network) taxonomy for plants report for Nephrolepidaceae
Wikipedia: Nephrolepidaceae

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-23

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2023). Flora of Zimbabwe: Cultivated plants: Family page: Nephrolepidaceae., retrieved 24 March 2023

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