Vittaria ensiformis Sw.

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Vittaria ensiformis

Photo: Neil Crouch
Graskop, South Africa

Vittaria ensiformis

Photo: Neil Crouch
Mtentu, South Africa

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Synonyms: Haplopteris ensiformis (Sw.) E.H.Crane
Oetosis ensiformis (Sw.) Greene
Vittaria elongata Sw. var. ensiformis (Sw.) C.Chr.
Common names:
Frequency: Rare
Rhizome shortly creeping; rhizome scales shiny brown, 6-9 mm long, narrowly lanceolate in outline, apex with hair-like tip, margins sparsely ciliate. Fronds simple, arching out from tree trunk, seldom pendulous; stipe absent with the lamina extending to the rhizome. Lamina linear, up to 35 × 0.45 cm, base green or pale brown when dry; midrib hardly visible, not raised. Sori in two continuous lines just inside the lamina margin.
Notes: The broad lamina combined with green frond base, ciliate rhizome scales and outward arching fronds separates Vittaria ensiformis from other species.
Derivation of specific name: ensiformis: shaped like a two-edged sword, tapering to a point.
Habitat: Low-level epiphyte on the boles of large trees along rivers in evergreen, lowland forest.
In Zimbabwe only known from Makurupini Forest.
Altitude range: (metres) 340 - 390 m
Worldwide distribution: Madagascar, Mauritius, Tanzania, Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe distribution: E
Growth form(s): Epiphyte.
Endemic status:
Red data list status: Endangered
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 111. (Includes a picture).

Golding, J.S. (ed.) (2002). Zimbabwe Plant Red Data List. Southern African Plant Red Data Lists. SABONET 14 Page 170.

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 10.

Roux, J.P. (2001). Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report 13 Pages 83 - 84.

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Page 73.

Other sources of information about Vittaria ensiformis:

External websites:

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

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: Vittaria ensiformis., retrieved 16 April 2024

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