Nephrolepis exaltata (L.) Schott

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Common names:
Status: Naturalised
We need to go through the specimens in SRGH and maybe collect some ourselves in order to establish N. exaltata or N. cordifolia.
Crouch et al.: "In southern Africa the naturalised colonies of N. cordifolia have long been mistaken for N. exaltata, the supposed source of the 'Boston sword fern' (which is probably a hybrid) and its cultivars. Owing to various misconceptions and the apparent difficulty in identifying members of the genus, the name N. exaltata has been widely and mistakenly applied worldwide. N. exaltata is native to Central America and the Caribbean, there is no indication that it invades and naturalises readily on any significant scale."
Crouch et al: " The other Nephrolepis that has apparently escaped from cultivation in some parts of the world, N. exaltata, never produces water-storing tubers along its stolons, as N. cordifolia does. The cordate acroscopic pinnae base and lunate or broad indusium further distinguishes N. cordifolia from N. exaltata in which the acroscopic base of the pinna is truncate and the indusium reniform.
Notes: Can also be confused with Nephrolepis undulata which has a glabrous rhachis.
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: Terrestrial, moist or seasonally moist streambanks, roadcuttings or disturbed sites.
Altitude range: (metres) 20 - 800 m
Worldwide distribution:
Zimbabwe distribution: C
Growth form(s): 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 206 - 207. (Includes a picture).

Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011). Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide Struik Nature Pages 518 - 519. As Nephrolepis cordifolia (L.) C.Presl subsp. cordifolia (Includes a picture).

Hovenkamp, P.H. & Miyamoto, F. (2005). A conspectus of the native and naturalized species of Nephrolepis (Nephrolepidaceae) in the world BLUMEA 50 Pages 300 - 302.

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 Pages 111 - 112. (Includes a picture).

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

Other sources of information about Nephrolepis exaltata:

External websites:

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

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-23

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2023). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Nephrolepis exaltata., retrieved 5 December 2023

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