Polystichum monticola N.C.Anthony & Schelpe

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Common names:
Status: Native
Rhizome creeping, c. 15 mm in diameter, with persistent stipe bases; rhizome scales up to 10 mm long, laciniate, rust-coloured, concolorous or with chestnut stripes, lanceolate. Fronds tufted at the apex of the rhizome, arching, herbaceous to thinly coriaceous. Stipe green to pale-brown, with rust-coloured scales, becoming subglabrous with age except for a tuft of scales basally. Lamina ovate-truncate in outline, 2-pinnate to 3-pinnatifid, with basal pinnae only slightly reduced, up to 35 × 14 cm. Pinnae narrowly ovate, attenuate. Pinnules narrowly ovate, margins serrate-aristate but aristae not prominent, upper surface hairless, lower surface with occasional hair-like scales. Rhachis and secondary rhachis set with rust-coloured scales. Sori round, up to 1.5 mm in diameter; indusia membranous, erose, c. 1 mm in diameter.
Derivation of specific name: monticola: mountain-loving, this is a fern that favours high altitudes.
Habitat: Only known from an isolated record in Zimbabwe. Otherwise among boulders, at base of cliffs, sometimes not far from streams in montane grassland, scrubs or fynbos; also forest margins and floors.
Altitude range: (metres) 600 - 2590 m
Worldwide distribution: Lesotho, South Africa, Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe distribution: W
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. Page 314. (Includes a picture).

Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011). Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide Struik Nature Pages 458 - 459. (Includes a picture).

Roux, J.P. (2001). Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report 13 Page 129.

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Page 138.

Other sources of information about Polystichum monticola:

External websites:

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

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 monticola.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=199930, retrieved 28 February 2024

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