Pellaea doniana J.Sm. ex Hook.

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Pellaea doniana

Photo: Bart Wursten
Nyamkombe River bridge, road to Katiyo

Pellaea doniana

Photo: Petra Ballings
John Meikle Research Station, Stapleford

Pellaea doniana

Photo: Petra Ballings
Christon Bank, Harare

Pellaea doniana

Photo: Petra Ballings

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Synonyms: Allosorus doniana (J.Sm. ex Hook.) Kuntze
Pteridella doniana (J.Sm. ex Hook.) Mett. ex Kuhn
Pteris doniana (J.Sm. ex Hook.) Kuhn
Common names:
Status: Native
Rhizome creeping to semi-erect, up to 10 mm in diameter; rhizome scales brown, entire, linear, up to 8 mm long, margins paler. Fronds tufted, erect, coriaceous. Stipe dark brown, matt, up to 45 cm long, with a brown scales when young, later becoming glabrous, with scattered scales similar to the rhizome scales near the base. Lamina narrowly oblong to lanceolate in outline, up to 70 cm × 23 cm, imparipinnate with a single pinna on the top resembling the lateral pinnae, lowest pinnae not or slightly reduced, up to 20 pairs of pinnae. Ultimate segments narrowly ovate-lanceolate in outline, up to 10 cm × 2 cm, cordate base articulated to a short petiole, margins minutely crenulate to entire, glabrous on both surfaces, dark green above, paler below, veins free. Rhachis, petiolules and costae similar to the stipe but with short stiff hairs on both surfaces. Sori marginal, continuous; indusium entire, membranous, continuous.
Notes: At first glance P. doniana might be confused with P. pectiniformis, the latter however has much smaller and more numerous narrowly linear pinnae.
Derivation of specific name: Doniana: named after George Don (1798-1856)who first collected this fern on St. Thomas Island (São Tomé).
Habitat: Riverine scrub or forest and miombo woodland, mostly shaded.
Altitude range: (metres) 350 - 1500 m
Worldwide distribution: seychelles and tropical Africa south of the Sahara and north of the Limpopo River.
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: Saturday 10 August 2013

Burrows, J.E. (1990). Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 172 - 174. (Includes a picture).

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

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 43.

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.

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983). The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 271 - 272. (Includes a picture).

Kornas, J. (1979). Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych Pages 54 - 55.

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 71.

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Pages 189 - 190.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970). Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca Page 129. (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 Pellaea doniana:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Pellaea doniana
Flora of Mozambique: Pellaea doniana
Flora of Zambia: Pellaea doniana

External websites:

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

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: Pellaea doniana., retrieved 22 May 2024

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