Gleichenia polypodioides (L.) Sm.

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Gleichenia polypodioides

Photo: Petra Ballings
Chimanimani, Corner

Gleichenia polypodioides

Photo: Petra Ballings
Chimanimani, Corner

Gleichenia polypodioides

Photo: Petra Ballings

Gleichenia polypodioides

Photo: Petra Ballings
Tessa's pool, Chimanimani

Gleichenia polypodioides

Photo: Petra Ballings
John Meikle Forestry Estate, Stapleford

Gleichenia polypodioides

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: Calymella polypodioides (L.) Ching
Gleichenia argentea Kaulf.
Gleichenia glauca Sw.
Mertensia coeruleoglauca Poir.
Onoclea polypodioides L.
Common names:
Status: Native
Rhizome widely creeping, branched, 1-5 mm in diameter; scales dark brown, up to 1 mm long. Fronds spaced 2-20 cm apart, 30-90 cm long. Stipe up to 60 cm long, stiff, wiry, glabrous, shiny. Lamina dichotomously divided, circular in outline. Pinnules pinnatifid with small, 2-3 × 1.5-2 mm, triangular ultimate lobes, glabrous, joined to the costules. Sori embedded in the lobes at the apical side near the costa, creating a raised impression of the sori on the upper surface of the lobe.
Notes: Differs from Stricherus umbraculiferus by having pinnules that are only present on the distal lamina axes; differs from Dicranopteris linearis by having sori that are sunken into the lamina. Futhermore the ultimate segments are small and rounded to triangular.
Derivation of specific name: polypodioides: resembling a Polypodium, a fern genus that also have the sori sunk into frond surface
Habitat: Full sun or light shade in crevices of cliffs, along stream- and earthbanks and on road embankments, disturbed areas, in cool regions of high rainfall or frequent mist.
Altitude range: (metres) Up to 1920 m
Worldwide distribution: Angola, Burundi, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Eswatini, Tanzania, Zimbabwe. Also Amsterdam Isl., Madagascar, Mauritius, Réunion.
Zimbabwe distribution: N,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: Thursday 8 December 2011

Burrows, J.E. (1990). Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Page 52. (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 31. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 28.

Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011). Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide Struik Nature Pages 174 - 175. (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 11.

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983). The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 182 - 183. (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 39. (Includes a picture).

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Page 50.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970). Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca Page 48.

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 78.

Other sources of information about Gleichenia polypodioides:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Gleichenia polypodioides
Flora of Malawi: Gleichenia polypodioides
Flora of Mozambique: Gleichenia polypodioides

External websites:

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

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: Gleichenia polypodioides., retrieved 21 May 2024

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