Nephrolepis undulata (Afzel.) J. Sm.

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Nephrolepis undulata

Photo: Petra Ballings
Kopje Tops, Mavhuradonha Wilderness Area

Nephrolepis undulata

Photo: Petra Ballings
Kopje Tops, Mavhuradonha Wilderness Area

Nephrolepis undulata

Photo: Petra Ballings
Kopje Tops, Mavhuradonha Wilderness Area

Nephrolepis undulata

Photo: Petra Ballings
Kopje Tops, Mavhuradonha Wilderness Area

Nephrolepis undulata

Photo: Bart Wursten
Nyakombe river, Aberfoyle

Nephrolepis undulata

Photo: Petra Ballings
Hadange River crossing, rd to Outward Bound, Chimanimani

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

Synonyms: Aspidium undulatum Afzel. ex Sw.
Nephrolepis cordifolia (L.) C.Presl var. undulata (Afzel. ex Sw.) C.Chr.
Nephrolepis cordifolia (L.) C.Presl var. compacta Bonap.
Nephrolepis tuberosa (Bory ex Willd.) C.Presl var. undulata (Afzel. ex Sw.) Mett. ex Kuhn
Common names:
Status: Native
Rhizome short, erect, with long stolons, in places producing elliptical tubers, up to 25 mm long, from which new plants arise. Fronds few, tufted, erect, herbaceous. Stipe up to 16 cm long, brown, with sparse narrowly lanceolate, entire, brown scales up to 4 mm long, glabrous with age. Lamina up to 90 × 11 cm, narrowly elliptic to lanceolate in outline, pinnate, lower pinnae gradually reduced. Pinnae sessile, articulated, closely spaced or overlapping, narrowly oblong in outline, base cordate and auricled or lobed on the acroscopic side, overlapping on to the rhachis, apex rounded to pointed, both surfaces glabrous, margins entire or crenate, veins free, ending in an inconspicuous submarginal hydathode. Rhachis straw-cloured to pale brown, glabrous to subglabrous. Sori c. 1.5 mm wide, semi-lunulate, set in a submarginal line along both sides of the pinnae; indusia facing the margin, semi-lunulate, membranous, entire.
Derivation of specific name: undulata: wavy, unclear reference, possibly describing the pinna margins.
Habitat: Terrestrial along forest margins in montane grassland, in riverine forest, in swampy areas, along seepage lines, in pockets of humus on rocky cliff faces.
Altitude range: (metres) 880 - 1750 m
Worldwide distribution: Worldwide, widespread in Africa and tropical Central and South America.
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W,C,E
Growth form(s): Epiphyte, terrestrial.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Sunday 9 September 2012

Burrows, J.E. (1990). Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 204 - 205. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (1993). An annotated check-list of the pteridophytes of Malawi Kirkia 14(1) Page 91.

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 36. (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 12. As Nephrolepis cordifolia

Hovenkamp, P.H. & Miyamoto, F. (2005). A conspectus of the native and naturalized species of Nephrolepis (Nephrolepidaceae) in the world BLUMEA 50 Pages 279 - 322. Distribution map page 295

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983). The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 322 - 323. (Includes a picture).

Kornas, J. (1979). Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych Pages 117 - 118.

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. As N. cordifolia

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 14. As Nephrolepis cordifolia

Pickering, H. & Roe, E. (2009). Wild Flowers of the Victoria Falls Area Helen Pickering, London Page 116. (Includes a picture).

Roux, J.P. (2001). Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report 13 Page 111. As N. cordifolia

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Page 148.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970). Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca Page 162. (Includes a picture).

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 79.

Other sources of information about Nephrolepis undulata:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Nephrolepis undulata
Flora of Malawi: Nephrolepis undulata
Flora of Mozambique: Nephrolepis undulata
Flora of Zambia: Nephrolepis undulata

External websites:

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

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: Nephrolepis undulata., retrieved 20 May 2024

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