Microsorum punctatum (L.) Copel.

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Microsorum punctatum

Photo: Bart Wursten
Rusitu Forest

Microsorum punctatum

Photo: Petra Ballings
Rusitu river, Haroni-Rusitu

Microsorum punctatum

Photo: Bart Wursten
Aberfoyle Tea estates, Honde Valley

Microsorum punctatum

Photo: Petra Ballings
Old power station, Nyahode river, road to Rusitu

Microsorum punctatum

Photo: Petra Ballings
Nyamkombe River near Mermaid Falls, Aberfoyle

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Microsorum irregulare Link.
Phymatodes irioides (Poir) C. Presl
Pleopeltis sessilis (Kaulf. ex Kunze) T.Moore
Polypodium iridoides sensu Sim
Common names:
Status: Native
Rhizome shortly creeping, thick, c. 8 mm in diameter, embedded in a thick felt of roots; rhizome scales black, peltate, lanceolate, entire, acuminate, up to 4 mm long. Fronds closely spaced, apparently tufted, rigid, glabrous, coriaceous. Stipe short to absent. Lamina very narrowly elliptic-oblong, simple, margins entire to irregularly wavy, apex rounded to tapering to a point, gradually decrescent to a broadly or narrowly winged base, midrib raised on both sides; venation obscure, anastomising with included veinlets. Sori circular, minute, ± 1 mm in diameter, distributed irregularly on the undersurface of the fronds.
Notes: Can be recognized by its large simple fronds and the minute sori that are scattered over the undersurface of the lamina.
Derivation of specific name: punctatum: dotted or marked with spots, referring to the minute sori which are irregularly distributed over the underside of the fertile fronds.
Habitat: Epiphytic, lithophytic or terrestrial in seasonally dry to moist evergreen forest.
Altitude range: (metres) 100 - 1000 m
Worldwide distribution: From eastern South Africa into Mozambique and eastern Zimbabwe, widely distributed in tropical Africa. Also Madagascar, Comoro and Mascarene islands, Seychelles, southern Asia, Australia, through the Pacific region to Tahiti and United States.
Zimbabwe distribution: E
Growth form(s): Epiphyte, lithophyte, terrestrial.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Monday 30 April 2012

Burrows, J.E. (1990). Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 199 - 200. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (1993). An annotated check-list of the pteridophytes of Malawi Kirkia 14(1) Page 90.

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 39.

Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011). Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide Struik Nature Pages 550 - 551. (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 13.

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983). The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 312 - 313. (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 8.

Roux, J.P. (2001). Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report 13 Page 101. (Includes a picture).

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Page 161.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970). Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca Pages 156 - 158. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Microsorum punctatum:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Microsorum punctatum
Flora of Mozambique: Microsorum punctatum

External websites:

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

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-21

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2021). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Microsorum punctatum.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=101480, retrieved 26 September 2021

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