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  1. Family: Aspleniaceae Newman
    1. Genus: Asplenium L.
      1. Asplenium linckii Kuhn

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Kenya to S. Tropical Africa.


    Aspleniaceae, Henk Beentje. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 2008

    Type: Tanzania, Kilimanjaro, [Dschagga], Kersten in von der Decken 40 (B!, holo.)
    Terrestrial, low epiphyte, or lithophyte.
    Rhizome shortly creeping to suberect, up to 5 mm diameter, with shining dark brown clathrate narrowly triangular entire rhizome scales up to 6 × 0.3–1 mm, attenuate and ending in a hair-tip.
    Frond shortly spaced or tufted, arching, firmly herbaceous, generally 30–50 cm long, not proliferous.
    Stipe matt brown to black, 9–40 cm long, with appressed scales similar to those of the rhizome near the base, subglabrous above.
    Leaf lamina
    Lamina dark green on upper surface, ovatetriangular in outline, (8–)20–33(–60) × (4–)10–27 cm, 3–4-pinnate to 5-pinnatifid, finely dissected, basal pinnae the largest, apex decrescent.
    Pinnae in 15–20 pairs, broadly ovate or triangular in outline, up to 17 × 10 cm, ultimate segments wedgeshaped or narrowly obcuneate, up to 8–10 × 2–4 mm, apex doubly serrate-truncate with teeth to 2 mm long, glabrous on both surfaces or with a few minute scales beneath.
    Rachis and secondary rachises dark brown, with sparse pale brown ovate-acuminate clathrate scales 1–2 mm long.
    Sori 1–3 per ultimate segment, 1.5–6 mm long.
    Indusium linear, membranous, entire, 0.3–0.4 mm wide.
    Fig. 8: 1–3, p. 47.
    Deeply shaded moist forest; (1600–)1700–2300(–2700) m
    Widespread; least concern (LC)
    The name has been spelled as linkii in some of the literature, but the protologue uses linckii with a ‘c’. Linck was a collector on the von der Decken expedition. There is a link with A. albersii, a 3-pinnatisect taxon. A. albersii var. eickii has very narrow rhizome scales, about 0.3 mm wide, but without the paler margin such as albersii is supposed to have; the lamina is 4-pinnatisect, and the sori 1.5–3 mm long. The protologue already stated “this variety resembles in habitat more A. linkii [sic] Kuhn, as the lamina shape is ovate; but rhizome scales are typically A. albersii.” With this last statement I disagree. Several specimens from U 2 that are 3-pinnatifid or 3-pinnatisect to 3-pinnate could be intermediate, but as they lack basal parts it is impossible to be quite certain: Thomas 2039 from Butale, Esterhuysen 25313 from Bujuku Valley, Thomas 1431 from Bwamba Pass, Thomas 2424 from Mt Mgahinga, Rwaburindore 2894. These specimens are from slightly higher altitudes, 2300–2600 m. Burrows states this resembles a finely-divided form of A. aethiopium or A. uhligii. I agree; Holst 3865 only has the lowermost 2nd-order pinnules divided, and so is only just 4pinnatisect. Chaerle, in his unpublished Ph.D. thesis, keeps A. decompositum separate, distinct in its lamina dissection and thinner rhizome, as well as lamina shape.
    Range: Congo-Kinshasa, Rwanda, Burundi, Malawi, Zimbabwe Flora districts: U2 K3 K4 K7 T2 T3 T6 T7



    Native to:

    Burundi, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

    Other Data

    Asplenium linckii Kuhn appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Daubenberger, I. [43], Tanzania K000424005
    Daubenberger, I. [43], Tanzania K000424004
    Kamau [584], Kenya K000696563


    First published in : 22 (1867)

    Accepted by

    • Roskov Y. & al. (eds.) (2018). World Ferns: Checklist of Ferns and Lycophytes of the World Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life Naturalis, Leiden, the Netherlands.


    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • U.K.W.F. ed. 2: 29 (1994).
    • Johns, Pterid. trop. East Africa checklist: 65 (1991)
    • Burrows, S. Afr. Ferns: 251, map, figs. (1990)
    • Schelpe, F.Z. Pteridophyta: 183 (1970)
    • Fil. Afr.: 22 (1868)
    • Fil. Deck.: 22 (1867)


    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
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    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.