Microsorum scandens (G. Forst.) Tindale

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Synonyms: Phymatosorus scandens (G.Forst.) Pic.Serm.
Common names:
Rhizome widely creeping, 2-4 mm in diameter; scales brown, narrowly ovate, 2-8 mm long. Fronds spaced apart, dimorphic and musk-scented when fresh, variable, glabrous on both surfaces, herbaceous. Stipe up to 15 cm long, pale brown, glabrous except at articulated base. Lamina up to 50 × 18 cm, linear (young fronds) to elliptic (older fronds), simple, deeply pinnatifid, up to 20 pairs of lobes and a long terminal segment, base tapering into stipe. Pinna lobes slightly falcate, narrowly oblong, attenuate to acute, veins reticulate, margin entire to somewhat wavy. Sori round to oval, 1-2.5 mm in diameter, placed close to the margins, exindusiate, with nonpeltate paraphyses.
Notes: A very localized escape from Kirstenbosch Botanical garden in Cape Town.
Can be confused with Microsorum scolopendria that has the sori placed in 2 irregular rows on each side of the costule and only 4-8 pairs of pinna.
Derivation of specific name: scandens: climbing, this fern has a climbing habit.
Habitat: Lithophyte, epiphyte or terrestrial, on moist streambanks in light or deep shade.
Altitude range: (metres) 100 - 800 m
Worldwide distribution: Introduced in South Africa and Zimbabwe. A native of Australia, New Zealand and Lord Howe island in Australasia.
Zimbabwe distribution: 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

Burrows, J.E. (1990). Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 338 - 339. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 44. As Phymatosorus scandens

Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011). Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide Struik Nature Pages 554 - 555. (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.

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

Other sources of information about Microsorum scandens:

External websites:

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

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: Microsorum scandens.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=101490, retrieved 5 March 2024

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