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  1. Family: Aspleniaceae Newman
    1. Genus: Asplenium L.
      1. Asplenium sandersonii Hook.

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Tropical & S. Africa, W. Indian Ocean.


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

    Type: South Africa, Natal, Field’s Hill, Sanderson s.n. (NH , holo.)
    Gregarious epiphyte,
    Rhizome erect to suberect, ± 3 mm diameter, with tufted fronds and with dark brown lanceolate-attenuate entire clathrate rhizome scales 2–3.5 mm long.
    Fronds arching, fleshy to coriaceous, 1-pinnate, proliferating with a bud at the end of a naked extension of the rachis. The frond tips rooting at the tip to form dense colonies.
    Stipe straw-colored, 1–9 cm, sulcate when dry, glabrous except for occasional subulate clathrate scales up to 1.5 mm long.
    Leaf lamina
    Lamina simply pinnate, 5–30 × 1.5–4 cm, pinnae in 12–23 pairs, shortly petiolate, rhombic-dimidiate to obliquely cuneate tending to half-moon-shaped.
    Pinna 0.6–2 × 0.3–1 cm, shallowly lobed into 2–9 entire obtuse lobes on the acroscopic margins, subglabrous with occasional minute brown stellate scales ± 0.5 mm diameter on the dorsal surface.
    Rachis straw-colored, with narrow green wings, set with sparse subulate brown scales and minute paler substellate scales.
    Sori brown, (1–)2–8 per pinna, oblong, to 3 mm long.
    Indusium oblong, fimbriate, semi-transparent.
    Fig. 2: 9–10, p. 14.
    Moist forest and forest margins, epiphytic on living and dead stems of many species, from ground level up to 7 m high, may be locally common and mat-forming; occasionally on wet rock; (680–)950–2650(–3100) m
    Widespread; least concern (LC)
    Kuhn describes his A. debile as having a creeping rhizome, and does not mention the apex of the lamina; the same goes for his A. melleri; both were included in the synonymy of A. sandersonii by Schelpe. A. vagans Baker was described without having its leaf apex mentioned; it, too, was included under A. sandersonii by Schelpe. I have included these provisionally. Luke & Luke 5007 from T 7, Udzungwa Mts, Sonjo-Mwanihana route, 680 m, is a young sterile plant, but almost certainly this species; it is already budding at several leaf tips. It grows at a much lower altitude than normal in East Africa.
    Range: Widespread in tropical and South Africa, Madagascar, Comoros Flora districts: U1 U2 U3 U4 K1 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 T1 T2 T3 T4 T6 T7

    Aspleniaceae, A. H. G. Alston. Flora of West Tropical Africa. Ferns and Fern-Allies Supplement. 1959

    Epiphyte especially on old cacao trees; at low elevations up to 2, 500 ft. alt.



    Native to:

    Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Provinces, Comoros, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gulf of Guinea Is., Kenya, KwaZulu-Natal, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, Northern Provinces, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zaïre, Zimbabwe


    Other Data

    Asplenium sandersonii Hook. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Jan 1, 2008 Mungai, G. [3166], Kenya K000438374
    Jul 1, 2001 Etuge, M. [2575], Cameroon K000109020
    Jul 1, 2001 Zapfack, L. [950], Cameroon K000109019
    Jan 1, 1996 Thomas, D.W. [9700], Cameroon K000518588
    Jan 1, 1996 Cheek, M. [5885], Cameroon K000381432
    La Croix, I.F. [5021], Congo K000501430
    Harris, T. [87], Mozambique K000545077
    Meller, C.J. [s.n.], Madagascar Asplenium melleri K001208355 Unknown type material


    First published in Sp. Fil. 3: 147 (1860)

    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: 27, t. 172 (1994).
    • Johns, Pterid. trop. East Africa checklist: 67 (1991)
    • Burrows, S. Afr. Ferns: 229, map, figs. (1990)
    • Schelpe, F.Z. Pteridophyta: 183, t. 53b (1970)
    • Mém. Inst. Fr. Afr. Noire, 28: 175, t. 33/4–5 (1953)
    • Sim, Ferns S. Afr. ed. 2: 139, t. 43/1 (1915)
    • Sp. Fil. 3: 147, t. 179 (1860)


    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    Flora of West Tropical 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.