Lygodium kerstenii Kuhn

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Lygodium kerstenii

Photo: Bart Wursten
Leopard Rock Game Reserve, Vumba

Lygodium kerstenii

Photo: Petra Ballings

Lygodium kerstenii

Photo: Petra Ballings
Haroni-Rusitu, Makurupini river

Lygodium kerstenii

Photo: Petra Ballings
Road from Mt Selinda to Espungabera border post

Lygodium kerstenii

Photo: Petra Ballings
Road from Mt Selinda to Espungabera border post

Lygodium kerstenii

Photo: Petra Ballings
Road from Mt Selinda to Espungabera border post

Lygodium kerstenii

Photo: Petra Ballings
Road from Mt Selinda to Espungabera border post

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

Synonyms: Lygodium brycei Baker
Lygodium subulatum Bojer ex Kuhn
Common names: Climbing fern (English)
Status: Native
Climbing fern. Rhizome creeping, scales linear, blackish-brown, c. 1.5 mm long. Fronds spaced apart, growing to 6-12-20 m high. Stipe and rhachis of an elongated frond function as the climbing stem, from which short secondary rhachises with an opposing pair of pinnae arrise, apical bud densely covered with short brown hairs. Sterile pinnae bipinnate to 3-pinnate or 4-pinnatifid on the basal pinnae, margins toothed to lobed; pinnules lanceolate-oblong, up to 11 cm long,finely hairy along secondary rhachises and the pinnule midribs, veins with scattered hairs on both surfaces. Fertile pinnae bipinnate to 4-pinnate, veins hairy on both surfaces; fertile pinnules up to 9 cm long, with numerous protruding fertile lobes, up to 12 mm long; sporangia 4-14 pairs, arranged in 2 rows along the margins (pinnule apex without fertile lobes).
Notes: Differs from L. microphyllum by having hairy veins and more divided pinnae.
Derivation of specific name: kerstenii: named after Otto Kersten ( 1839-1900), a German plant collector
Habitat: Fringes of evergreen forest, along rivers in riverine forest or woodland; medium altitude, warm areas with high rainfall.
Altitude range: (metres) 50 - 1653 m
Worldwide distribution: Mozambique, South africa, Eswatini, Zambia, Zimbabwe, from central Africa northwards to Kenya, also in Comores and Madagascar.
Zimbabwe distribution: E,S
Growth form(s): Terrestrial.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species: Callopistria maillardi (Larval food plant)
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Sunday 18 December 2011

Burrows, J.E. (1990). Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 61 - 62. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 37.

Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011). Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide Struik Nature Pages 182 - 183. (Includes a picture).

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 12.

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983). The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Page 181. (Includes a picture).

Kornas, J. (1979). Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych Page 41.

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 50. (Includes a picture).

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Page 53.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970). Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca Pages 57 - 59. (Includes a picture).

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 79.

Other sources of information about Lygodium kerstenii:

Our websites:

Flora of Mozambique: Lygodium kerstenii
Flora of Zambia: Lygodium kerstenii

External websites:

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

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Lygodium kerstenii., retrieved 22 February 2024

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