Pellaea pectiniformis Baker

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Pellaea pectiniformis

Photo: Petra Ballings
Globe Rock, Vumba

Pellaea pectiniformis

Photo: Petra Ballings
Mount Buhwa, road from tunnel to lake filled open mine

Pellaea pectiniformis

Photo: Petra Ballings

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Synonyms: Allosorus pectiniformis (Baker) Kuntze
Pellaea goudotii Kunze ex C. Chr.
Pteridella pectiniformis (Baker) Mett. ex Kuhn
Pteris pectiniformis Godet ex Kuhn
Common names:
Status: Native
Rhizome creeping to semi-erect, up to 8 mm in diameter; rhizome scales dark brown, subentire, narrowly lanceolate, apex gradualy tapering to a point, up to 4 mm long. Fronds tufted, erect, coriaceous. Stipe dark brown to black, up to 30 cm long, with short, brown, hairlike scales mixed with sparse larger and broader scales, becoming subglabrous with age. Lamina narrowly oblong to lanceolate in outline, up to 13-30 cm × 4-9 cm, pinnate, up to 48 pairs of subopposite to alternate pinnae. Pinnae linear in outline, up to 18-60 mm × 1-2 mm, apex rounded, cordate base articulated to a very short petiole, glabrous above, sparsely hairy along the costae, veins hardly visible. Rhachis dark brown, thinly pilose. Sori marginal, continuous; indusium erose to entire, membranous, continuous.
Notes: Unlike other Pellaea species P. pectiniformis is never bipinnate. It could be confused with P. doniana, which has broader and less numerous ovate-lanceolate pinnae.
Derivation of specific name: pectiniformis: combshaped, referring to the shape of the lamina which has close, narrow and parallel pinnae.
Habitat: Rock crevices, shallow soils on sheetrock, boulder bases and rocky outcrops in miombo woodland, exposed or lightly shaded.
Altitude range: (metres) 900 - 1530 m
Worldwide distribution: South and tropical Africa, Madagascar and Comoro Islands.
Zimbabwe distribution: N,C,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: Sunday 11 August 2013

Burrows, J.E. (1990). Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 174 - 175. (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. (Includes a picture).

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

Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011). Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide Struik Nature Pages 416 - 417. (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.

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983). The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 270 - 271. (Includes a picture).

Kornas, J. (1979). Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych Pages 57 - 58.

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 72.

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Pages 190 - 191.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970). Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca Pages 128 - 129.

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

Other sources of information about Pellaea pectiniformis:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Pellaea pectiniformis
Flora of Malawi: Pellaea pectiniformis
Flora of Mozambique: Pellaea pectiniformis
Flora of Zambia: Pellaea pectiniformis

External websites:

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

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 pectiniformis., retrieved 28 May 2024

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