Cheilanthes quadripinnata (Forssk.) Kuhn

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Cheilanthes quadripinnata

Photo: Petra Ballings
Path to waterfall, Mtarazi Falls,Nyanga

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Synonyms: Allosorus quadripinnatus (Forssk.) C.Presl.
Cheilanthes atherstonii Hook.
Pellaea consobrina Kunze
Pellaea quadripinnata (Forssk.) Prantl
Pteridella quadripinnata (Forssk.) Mett. ex Kuhn
Common names:
Frequency: Common
Status: Native
Rhizome short, creeping, 6-7 mm in diameter; rhizome scales narrowly lanceolate, apex slowly tapering to a point, margin (sub)entire, up to 6 mm long. Fronds tufted, erect to arching, coracious. Stipe castaneous to blackish, shining, up to 40 cm long, about 1.2 times the length of the lamina, shallowly grooved in the upper part, hairless at maturity but set with long, reddish brown hairlike, narrow scales at the base. Lamina 20-60 cm × 20-40 cm, triangular in outline, 4-pinnatifid to 5-pinnate on the basal pinnae; lower pinnae ascending, deltate, basiscopically developed, with triangular, pinnatifid apex, uppermost pinnae pinnatifid. Ultimate segments oblong, rounded to pointed, venation free, obscure above except for midrib, both surfaces hairless, lobed and broader when sterile, narrow and (sub)entire when fertile. Rhachis and secondary rhachis castaneous, grooved, hairless. Sori linear, marginal, continuous except for the extreme apices and sinuses; indusium continuous, entire to erose, membranous.
Notes: May be confused with C. viridis var. viridis which is less divided (lamina 2- to 3-pinnate), has weakly developed basiscopically basal pinnae and veins that are distinct on the upper surface.
Derivation of specific name: quadripinnata: 4-pinnate, the fronds are divided four times.
Habitat: Around boulders and among tall grasses on forest margins and in grassland, in light shade or full sun.
Altitude range: (metres) 700 - 2050 m
Worldwide distribution: Southern Africa to central and tropical Africa, also known from Madagascar, Mauritius and the Comoro islands.
Zimbabwe distribution: N,C,E
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 1 September 2013

Burrows, J.E. (1990). Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Page 149. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (1993). An annotated check-list of the pteridophytes of Malawi Kirkia 14(1) Page 88.

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 40.

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 13.

Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011). Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide Struik Nature Pages 396 - 397. (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 14.

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. As Pellaea quadripinnata

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983). The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 288 - 290. as P. quadripinnata (Forsk.) Prantl. (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 9.

Roux, J.P. (2001). Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report 13 Page 66.

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Page 185.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970). Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca Pages 133 - 134. as P. quadripinnata (Forsk.) Prantl. (Includes a picture).

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

Other sources of information about Cheilanthes quadripinnata:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Cheilanthes quadripinnata
Flora of Malawi: Cheilanthes quadripinnata
Flora of Mozambique: Cheilanthes quadripinnata

External websites:

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

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: Cheilanthes quadripinnata., retrieved 20 June 2024

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