Blechnum capense Burm. f.

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Blechnum capense

Photo: Petra Ballings

Blechnum capense

Photo: Petra Ballings

Blechnum capense

Photo: Petra Ballings

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Synonyms: Blechnum capense (L.) Schltdl.
Blechnum sylvaticum Schelpe
Lomaria procera sensu Sim
Onoclea capensis (L.) Sw.
Osmunda capensis L.
Spicanta capensis (L.) Kuntze
Common names:
Status: Native
Rhizome creeping, up to 2 cm thick; scales brown, ovate-acuminate, up to 15mm long, margins entire. Fronds closely packed, dimorphic, thinly herbaceous. Stipe up to 55 cm long, glabrous or set with a few scales towards the base, shiny. Sterile lamina 45-63 cm × 2-3 cm, oblong-lanceolate in outline with terminal pinnae equal in shape to the lateral pinnae, lower pinnae not reduced; pinnae narrowly attenuate to acute, margins finely toothed, base asymmetric broadly wedge-shaped to truncate, short petiole, widely spaced to overlapping, glabrous above, small scales on costae and veins below. Fertile lamina smaller or same size as sterile lamina; pinnae widely spaced, thin, linear. Sori linear, cover almost the whole length of the fertile pinnae; indusium continuous.
Notes: Differs from similar species by having thinly textured fronds, crenate-serrate sterile pinnae margins and a shortly creeping rhizome.
Derivation of specific name: capense: of the Cape; this fern was first collected in the southern tip of Africa.
Habitat: Terrestrial fern of wet shaded earth banks and along streambanks.
Altitude range: (metres) 1220 - 2225 m
Worldwide distribution: Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Eswatini and Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe distribution: E
Growth form(s): Terrestrial.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Saturday 17 February 2007

Burrows, J.E. (1990). Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Page 331. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (1993). An annotated check-list of the pteridophytes of Malawi Kirkia 14(1) Page 99.

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 9.

Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011). Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide Struik Nature Pages 732 - 733. (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 10.

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983). The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 464 - 466. as Blechnum sylvaticum Schelpe (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 5.

Roux, J.P. (2001). Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report 13 Page 154.

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Page 102.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970). Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca Page 239.

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

Other sources of information about Blechnum capense:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Blechnum capense
Flora of Mozambique: Blechnum capense

External websites:

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

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: Blechnum capense., retrieved 7 December 2023

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