Asplenium lobatum Pappe & Rawson

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Asplenium lobatum

Photo: Petra Ballings
Castleburn Forest, Vumba

Asplenium lobatum

Photo: Petra Ballings
Cloudlands, Vumba

Asplenium lobatum

Photo: Petra Ballings
Hadange Gorge, Chimanimani National Park

Asplenium lobatum

Photo: Petra Ballings
Road from Mt Selinda to Espungabera border post

Asplenium lobatum

Photo: Petra Ballings
Road from Mt Selinda to Espungabera border post

Asplenium lobatum

Photo: Petra Ballings
Road from Mt Selinda to Espungabera border post

Asplenium lobatum

Photo: Petra Ballings
Nyanga area

Asplenium lobatum

Photo: Petra Ballings
Mount Chinaka, Juliasdale

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Synonyms: Asplenium erectum Bory ex Willd. var. gracile (Pappe & Rawson) Tardieu
Asplenium erectum Bory ex Willd. var. lobatum (Pappe & Rawson) Sim
Asplenium gracile Pappe & Rawson
Asplenium lobatum Pappe & Rawson var. pseudoabyssinicum Schelpe & N.C. Anthony
Common names:
Status: Native
Rhizome erect, up to 7 mm diameter; scales up to 6 mm long, lanceolate, attenuate, pale brown. Fronds tufted, not proliferous or occasionally proliferous at the base of the lamina. Stipe up to 23 cm, stipe and rhachis matt brown, glabrous. Lamina 15-40 cm × 4-15 cm, 2-pinnate to 4-pinnatifid, narrowly lanceolate-elliptic in outline, lower pinnae variously reduced. Pinnae glabrous, incised into rhombic pinnules that are divided into 2- to 3-fid or linear acute lobes.  Sori linear to oblong (oval when dehisced), not marginal, 2-6 per pinnule, indusium entire. 
Notes: Differs from similar species by having oval, not marginal sori and gradually decrescent basal pinnae. It can be distinguished from A. varians by having a more dissected lamina and more rounded lobe margins.
Burrows, J.E. (1990) and Crouch N.R. et al. (2011), distinguish 2 varieties: var. lobatum is 2-pinnate (to 3-pinnatifid), has 2-5 pairs of basal pinnae reduced and is not gemmiferous; var. pseudoabyssinicum is 3-pinnate to 4-pinnatifid, basal pinnae are not reduced and is often gemmiferous on the stipe.
Derivation of specific name: lobatum: lobed; this fern has a separate acroscopic lobe on each pinnule
Habitat: Deeply shaded forest floor in evergreen forest. Terrestrial or lithophyte.
Altitude range: (metres) 920 - 1900 m
Worldwide distribution: Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, also Madagascar
Zimbabwe distribution: E,S
Growth form(s): Lithophyte, terrestrial.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Tuesday 25 October 2011

Burrows, J.E. (1990). Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 240 - 242. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (1993). An annotated check-list of the pteridophytes of Malawi Kirkia 14(1) Page 92.

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 25. as Asplenium lobatum lobatum

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 7.

Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011). Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide Struik Nature Pages 636 - 639. (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 9.

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. Pages 349 - 350. (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 167.

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Page 89.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970). Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca Page 177. (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 Asplenium lobatum:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Asplenium lobatum
Flora of Mozambique: Asplenium lobatum

External websites:

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

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: Asplenium lobatum., retrieved 30 May 2024

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