Ceratopteris thalictroides (L.) Brongn.

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Ceratopteris thalictroides

Photo: Noah Ngwenya
University of Zimbabwe Research station, Kariba.

Ceratopteris thalictroides

Photo: Noah Ngwenya
University of Zimbabwe Research station, Kariba.

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Synonyms: Ceratopteris cornuta (P. Beauv.) Lepr.
Common names:
Rhizome erect, short. Fronds tufted, dimorphous. Stipe up to 16 cm long, succulent and brittle when fresh, glabrous. Frond erect to arching, succulent, brittle, dimorphous. Sterile lamina: up to 20 × 7 cm, obovate or narrowly triangular in outline, 2-pinnatifid, often proliferous; ultimate lobes triangular or lanceolate, apex sharply to bluntly pointed, glabrous on both surfaces. Fertile lamina longer and more dissected than sterile frond: up to 40 cm long, narrowly to broadly ovate in outline, usually 3-pinnatifid; ultimate lobes narrowly linear, pointed, up to 40 × 1-1.5 mm, glabrous on both surfaces. Sporangia scattered along the veins; indusium marginal, entire, membranous.
Notes: - In the photographed specimen both sterile and fertile fronds were proliferous
- Some authors distinguish 2 species: C. thalictroides and C. cornuta (Crouch et al. 2011, Burrows 1990, Jacobsen 1983). C. cornuta having less divided sterile fronds, shorter fertile fronds and broader ultimate segments. I have not been able to compare the 2 taxa and have for now opted to follow the broader approach, including C. cornuta under C. thalictroides.
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: Free-floating or rooted aquatic plant of hot regions, in backwaters of pools, lakes and slow-flowing streams, exposed.
Altitude range: (metres) Up to 780 m
Worldwide distribution: Widespread through tropical Africa and Asia.
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W
Growth form(s): Aquatic.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Saturday 16 June 2012

Burrows, J.E. (1990). Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 112 - 114. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (1993). An annotated check-list of the pteridophytes of Malawi Kirkia 14(1) Page 86.

Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011). Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide Struik Nature Pages 300 - 301. (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 218. (Includes a picture).

Kornas, J. (1979). Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych Pages 44 - 45.

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 55.

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Page 150.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970). Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca Pages 102 - 105. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 15.

Timberlake, J.R. & Childes, S.L. (2004). Biodiversity of the Four Corners Area: Technical Reviews Volume Two (Chapter 5-15) Appendix 5-1: Plant Checklist Occasional Publications in Biodiversity 15 Page 179.

Other sources of information about Ceratopteris thalictroides:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Ceratopteris thalictroides
Flora of Caprivi: Ceratopteris thalictroides
Flora of Malawi: Ceratopteris thalictroides
Flora of Mozambique: Ceratopteris thalictroides
Flora of Zambia: Ceratopteris thalictroides

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Ceratopteris thalictroides
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Ceratopteris thalictroides
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Ceratopteris thalictroides
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Ceratopteris thalictroides
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Ceratopteris thalictroides
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Ceratopteris thalictroides
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Ceratopteris thalictroides
iNaturalist: Ceratopteris thalictroides
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Ceratopteris thalictroides
JSTOR Plant Science: Ceratopteris thalictroides
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Ceratopteris thalictroides
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Ceratopteris thalictroides
Plants of the World Online: Ceratopteris thalictroides
Tropicos: Ceratopteris thalictroides
Wikipedia: Ceratopteris thalictroides

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: Ceratopteris thalictroides.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=100680, retrieved 21 March 2023

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