Pteridophyta: Polypodiales

Nephrolepidaceae - Sword ferns

Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011) Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide Struik Nature

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

Description of the family

Terrestrial, lithophytic or epiphytic plants. Rhizome short-creeping or erect, sometimes producing tubers, producing stolons that root and form shoots. Stipe not articulated; stipe and rhachis adaxially with a longitudinal groove. Fronds monomorphic, numerous, pinnate; pinnae articulated to the rhachis. Venation free, ending in a hydathode near the margin. Indumentum composed of peltate scales on the rhizome, axes and lamina surfaces, and 2-3 celled glandular hairs on the lamina. Sori round to oval or linear terminal on the veins, indusium kidney-shaped or linear, entire, opening towards the margin; homosporous.

Comment: Nephrolepis is sometimes placed within the family of the Davalliaceae or Oleandraceae, to which it is closely allied.

Worldwide: c. 30 species occurring throughout the warmer parts of the world, greatest number of species in south-east Asia (J.P. Roux, Swaziland ferns and fern allies)

Zambia: 1 genus and 2 taxa.

Nephrolepis undulata

Links to genera:     View: living plant images - herbarium specimen images - all images for this family

Nephrolepis SchottDescription, Image

Other sources of information about Nephrolepidaceae:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Nephrolepidaceae
Flora of Mozambique: Nephrolepidaceae
Flora of Zimbabwe: Nephrolepidaceae
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Nephrolepidaceae

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Nephrolepidaceae
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network) taxonomy for plants report for Nephrolepidaceae
Wikipedia: Nephrolepidaceae

Copyright: Mike Bingham, Annette Willemen, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Mark Hyde, 2011-23

Bingham, M.G., Willemen, A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. and Hyde, M.A. (2023). Flora of Zambia: Family page: Nephrolepidaceae., retrieved 27 January 2023

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