Asplenium obscurum Blume

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Asplenium obscurum

Photo: Petra Ballings

Asplenium obscurum

Photo: Petra Ballings
By the Swynnerton Memorial, Chirinda Forest

Asplenium obscurum

Photo: Petra Ballings
By the Swynnerton Memorial, Chirinda Forest

Asplenium obscurum

Photo: Petra Ballings
By the Swynnerton Memorial, Chirinda Forest

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

Synonyms: Asplenium serriforme Mett.
Hymenasplenium obscurum (Blume) Tagawa
Common names:
Frequency: Rare
Status: Native
Rhizome creeping, up to 4 mm thick; scales triangular, margin subentire, up to 2 mm long. Fronds spaced up to 4 cm apart, not proliferous. Stipe up to 35 cm, few scales at base, stipe and rhachis glabrous, matt green or brown. Lamina 35 cm × 17 cm, pinnate, narrowly triangular in outline. Pinnae hairless, curved, margin toothed, costae forming the lower margins for about 1/3 of pinnae length. Sori linear to oval, up to 6 mm long, set at 45° to the costa (both sides), indusium entire.
Notes: Confused with A. unilaterale; A. obscurum is larger, stipe matt-green not dark brown, costa forming the lower margin for a shorter distance.
Derivation of specific name: obscurum: dark, shady, indistinct; reference unclear.
Habitat: On moss covered rocks in deep shade along streams in evergreen forest. Terrestrial or lithophyte.
Altitude range: (metres) 350 - 1200 m
Worldwide distribution: Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, also Madagascan region and Asia
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
Images last updated: Sunday 6 November 2011

Burrows, J.E. (1990). Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 221 - 222. (Includes a picture).

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

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 598 - 599. (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 339 - 340. (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 168.

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Page 92.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970). Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca Page 174. (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 obscurum:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Asplenium obscurum
Flora of Mozambique: Asplenium obscurum

External websites:

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

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 obscurum., retrieved 2 March 2024

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