Polystichum zambesiacum Schelpe

Selected images: Click on each image to see a larger version and details of the record View all images (5)

Polystichum zambesiacum

Photo: Petra Ballings

Polystichum zambesiacum

Photo: Petra Ballings

Polystichum zambesiacum

Photo: Petra Ballings

Polystichum zambesiacum

Photo: Petra Ballings
Path to waterfall, Mtarazi Falls, Inyanga

Detailed records: Display species records QDS maps by: Google Maps Point records by Google Maps

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

Common names:
Status: Native
Rhizome shortly creeping to suberect, up to 25 mm in diameter; rhizome scales up to 20 mm long, margin entire, reddish-brown, narrowly lanceolate, tapering to a point. Fronds closely tufted, arching, herbaceous, drying almost black on ventral side, dull green on dorsal side. Stipe up to 65 cm long, pale brown but darker near the base; set towards the base with dark scales with pale margins, up to 10 mm long. Lamina ovate to broadly lanceolate in outline, terminal segment long and narrow, 2-pinnate to 3-pinnatifid, with basal pair of pinnae somewhat reduced and deflexed, up to 90 × 50 cm. Pinnae narrowly lanceolate, tapering to a point. Pinnules variable, narrowly oblong to narrowly lanceolate in outline, basal acroscopic lobe enlarged and sometimes almost free; margins entire, shallowly lobed or deeply pinnatifid into crenate-serrate blunt lobes; both surfaces glabrous. Rhachis with scattered scales similar to those on the stipe but smaller. Sori round, c. 0.75 mm in diameter; indusia very small, shed soon after maturity.
Notes: This species does not have aristate pinnule margins, the rhachis has hair-like scales and the rhizome is short suberect.
Derivation of specific name: zambesiacum: of the Zambesia region; referring to the Flora Zambesiaca area, type specimen found in Zimbabwe.
Habitat: In high altitude evergreen, montane mist forest, in shade on forest floor, along forest edge and streams.
Altitude range: (metres) 1770 - 1920 m
Worldwide distribution: Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zimbabwe.
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 310 - 312. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (1993). An annotated check-list of the pteridophytes of Malawi Kirkia 14(1) Page 98.

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 28. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 45.

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 10.

Dowsett-Lemaire, F. (1989). The flora and phytogeography of the evergreen forests of Malawi. I: Afromontane and mid-altitude forests; Bull. Jard. Bot. Nat. Belg. 59(1/2) Page 25.

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983). The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Page 445. (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 6.

Roux, J.P. (2001). Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report 13 Page 130.

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Page 139.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970). Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca Page 226. (Includes a picture).

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 78.

Other sources of information about Polystichum zambesiacum:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Polystichum zambesiacum
Flora of Mozambique: Polystichum zambesiacum

External websites:

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

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: Polystichum zambesiacum.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=101940, retrieved 16 April 2024

Site software last modified: 26 March 2018 2:01pm (GMT +2)
Terms of use