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  1. Family: Aspleniaceae Newman
    1. Genus: Asplenium L.
      1. Asplenium smedsii Pic.Serm.

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Ethiopia to E. Central & E. Tropical Africa.


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

    Type: Ethiopia, Shashamane District: road to Adaba, de Joncheere ETS 50 (herb. Pic. Serm. 26870)
    Epiphyte, lithophyte or terrestrial.
    Rhizome short, erect, with chestnut-brown triangular long-attenuate rhizome scales with entire or fimbriate-lobed margin, ending in hair-tip and (5–)7–11 × 2.5–4 mm.
    Fronds tufted, erect, olive-green, not proliferous.
    Stipe matt brown, sometimes green beneath, 8–30 cm long, with dense scales near base, otherwise with scattered narrowly triangular scales to 10 × 3 mm.
    Leaf lamina
    Lamina papyraceous, elliptic to oblong-elliptic in outline, 18–47 × 7–15(–24) cm, 1-pinnate; lower pinnae slightly smaller, apical pinnae gradually decrescent.
    Pinnae in 14–24 pairs, equidistant, stalked, triangular or lanceolate-triangular, (2–)4–8(–12) × (0.7–)1.2–1.6 cm, base unequal, the acroscopic base broadly cuneate, the basiscopic base narrowly cuneate-excised, margin deeply serrate with often bifid teeth, apex long-attenuate, glabrous above, sparsely scaly beneath.
    Rachis brown, with two narrow green lines, with sparse scales.
    Sori many per pinna, at a 45° angle to the costa, elliptic, 2.5–6 mm long.
    Indusium membranous, entire, 1–1.5 mm wide.
    Fig. 5: 7–8, p. 30.
    Moist upland forest; low epiphyte, lithophyte or terrestrial; 1200–2500 m
    Widespread; least concern (LC)
    Faden et al. 71/891 from K 4, Mt Kenya, Castle Forest Station, Nov. 1971, is this species but has the acroscopic base produced into a lobe on many of the pinnae. I believe this is just a form. Faden 72/306 and Kerfoot 3764 from K 5, and Faden 69/94 from Mt Kenya have much smaller pinnae (2–3 cm long) and smaller rhizome scales. I would have said that these might represent an allied but separate taxon, if other sheets of Faden 72/306 had not shown gradual variation to the normal form of A. smedsii. Pócs & Lundqvist 6475/G from T 6, S Uluguru above Kibungo mission, Oct. 1971, is probably this species but has pinnae to 15.5 × 2.9 cm; it lacks a rhizome. Close to A. boltonii but not proliferous and with slightly different pinnae, as well as broader rhizome scales. Tanzania T 6, Morogoro District: Kanga Mountain, Dec. 1987, Lovett & Thomas 2760! is most likely this taxon but has more dissected pinnae, the individual pinnae being lobed halfway to the costa.
    Flora districts: U3 U4 K3 K4 K5 K7 T2 T3 T 6 (see Note), T7 Range: Sudan, Ethiopia, Congo-Kinshasa, Rwanda, Burundi


    Native to:

    Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zaïre

    Other Data

    Asplenium smedsii Pic.Serm. appears in other Kew resources:


    First published in Webbia 32(1): 60 (1977)

    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: 28, t. 172 (1994).
    • Johns, Pterid. trop. East Africa checklist: 67 (1991)
    • Webbia 32(1): 60, t. 2–3 (1977)


    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    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.