Schizaea tenella Kaulf.

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Schizaea tenella

Photo: Petra Ballings

Schizaea tenella

Photo: Petra Ballings

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Synonyms: Microschizaea tenella (Kaulf.) C.F.Reed
Common names:
Frequency: Rare
Status: Native
Rhizome shortly creeping, horizontal; rhizome scales golden brown, up to 1.5 mm long. Fronds closely spaced. Stipe round, dark brown to black. Sterile fronds up to 30 cm long, narrowly linear, grass-like, twisted, simple, glabrous. Fertile fronds like sterile fronds but bearing a tightly folded, pinnate, fertile segment at the apex, up to 12 mm long, ascending. Pinnae 5-8 pairs, up to 3 mm long and 1 mm wide, decreasing towards the apex. Rhachis of the fertile portion straight, held at 45° to erect stipe. Sporangia closely packed in two rows on both sides of the costa.
Notes: Can be confused with Schizaea pectinata which has a curved, horizontally held rhachis, up to 18 pairs of pinna which are up to 12 mm long with the longest situated in the middle. It occurs away from water.
Derivation of specific name: tenella: small, dainty
Habitat: Terrestrial or lithophytic, along perennial montane streams, partially or deeply shaded.
Altitude range: (metres) 200 - 1200 m
Worldwide distribution: South Africa, occurence in Zimbabwe based on a single record.
Zimbabwe distribution: E
Growth form(s): Terrestrial.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Burrows, J.E. (1990). Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Page 56. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 49.

Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011). Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide Struik Nature Pages 188 - 189. (Includes a picture).

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983). The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 172 - 173. (Includes a picture).

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Page 54.

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 80.

Other sources of information about Schizaea tenella:

Our websites:

Flora of Mozambique: Schizaea tenella

External websites:

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

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: Species information: Schizaea tenella., retrieved 1 December 2023

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