Asplenium schelpei A.F. Braithw.

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Asplenium schelpei

Photo: Petra Ballings

Asplenium schelpei

Photo: Petra Ballings

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

Common names:
Rhizome short, creeping; scales reddish brown, clathrate, lineair, up to 7 mm long. Fronds closely spaced, tufted, coriaceous. Stipe 8-15 cm long, scaly, dark brown, green on upper surface towards lamina. Lamina 9-20(30) cm × 4-9 cm, bipinnate, oblong-lanceolate in outline, 7-15 pairs of pinnae, basal pinnae not or very slightly reduced. Pinnae glabrous, elongate-trapeziform, 1-5 pinnules below the apex. Pinnules rounded, cuneate to spathulate, shiny dark green above, matt paler green below; margins irregular, shallowly dentate at slightly lobed apices. Sori 5-12 mm long, linear, almost totally covering the undersurface of the pinnules when mature; indusium entire.
Notes: A. schelpei is difficult to distinguish from other ferns in the A. aethiopicum-complex. A. schelpei has reddish brown, clathrate, linear rhizome scales; the lamina is 2-pinnate, thickly leathery, shiny bright dark green above & matt, paler green below; it often forms colonies. In the A. aethiopicum-complex rhizome scales are light to very dark brown, narrowly subulate to linear; lamina is more divided (deeply 2-pinnatifid to 3-pinnate) and is herbaceous to leathery.
Derivation of specific name: Schelpei: named after E.A.C.L.E. Schelpe
Habitat: Full sun or light shade at base of boulders on rocky outcrops, in quartzite and granite rock crevices. Terrestrial or lithophyte.
Altitude range: (metres) 600 - 1300 m
Worldwide distribution: Zimbabwe and South Africa
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: Tuesday 15 November 2011

Burrows, J.E. (1990). Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Page 248. Placed within Asplenium aethiopicum complex!

Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011). Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide Struik Nature Pages 650 - 651. (Includes a picture).

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983). The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 366 - 368. (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 170.

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Page 96.

Other sources of information about Asplenium schelpei:

External websites:

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

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: Asplenium schelpei., retrieved 29 November 2023

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