Osmunda regalis L.

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Osmunda regalis

Photo: Petra Ballings
Vumba, Essex Road

Osmunda regalis

Photo: Petra Ballings

Osmunda regalis

Photo: Petra Ballings

Osmunda regalis

Photo: Paul Hubbard
Along the path to Nanke Cave, Matobo Hills

Osmunda regalis

Photo: Paul Hubbard
Along the path to Nanke Cave, Matobo Hills

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

Synonyms: Osmunda capensis C.Presl
Osmunda regalis L. var. capensis (C.Presl) Milde
Osmunda schelpei A.E.Bobrov
Osmunda transvaalensis A.E.Bobrov
Common names: Royal fern (English)
Frequency: Frequent
Status: Native
Rhizome erect to suberect; fronds tufted, glabrous, 60-120 × 30-45 cm. Stipe up to 30 cm long. Lamina up to 1 m, bipinnate and ovate in outline. Sterile pinnules oblong-lanceolate in outline; apex rounded; base asymmetrically truncate; margin minutely serrate. Fertile pinnules situated on the end of the lamina and covered with sporangia.
Derivation of specific name: regalis: regal, royal; referring to the majestic growth of the plant or to King Osmund (Osmunda) of the South Saxons
Habitat: Along streams in woodland and forest with the rhizome continuously in water
Altitude range: (metres) Up to 2100 m
Worldwide distribution: Malawi, Mozambique, Eswatini, Lesotho, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe. Also high mountains of tropical Africa, temperate parts of Europe, Asia, America, Madagascar, Mascarene Islands
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 24 January 2010

Burrows, J.E. (1990). Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 49 - 50. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (1993). An annotated check-list of the pteridophytes of Malawi Kirkia 14(1) Page 82.

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 38. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 41.

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 27.

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.

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.

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 36. (Includes a picture).

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970). Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca Pages 44 - 46. (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 Osmunda regalis:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Osmunda regalis
Flora of Malawi: Osmunda regalis
Flora of Mozambique: Osmunda regalis
Flora of Zambia: Osmunda regalis

External websites:

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

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: Osmunda regalis.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=100390, retrieved 30 May 2024

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