Pteridophyta: Cyatheales

Cyatheaceae - Tree-fern family

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

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria.

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

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca

Description of the family

Tree-like plants with a trunk, terrestrial or lithophytic. Stem (trunk) large, erect, unbranched, densily covered in adventitious roots and leaf base scars. Fronds usually large, deeply 2-pinnatifid to 3-pinnate or 4-pinnatifid, borne at the apex of the trunk, tufted. Venation free, dichotomously forked, ending near the margin. Indumentum composed of contorted hairs and bracts with a fringed edge often ending in a seta. Sori circular, superficial on the veins before the bifurcation; indusium attached basally to the receptacle, cup-shaped when open; homosporus.

Comment: Some authors distinguish five different genera, our indigenous tree ferns would be placed in the genus Alsophila. We follow Neil R. Crouch et al.

Worldwide: 1 genus and 600-650 species in tropical and warm areas.

Zambia: 1 genus and 3 taxa.

Cyathea dregei

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

Cyathea Sm.Description, Image

Other sources of information about Cyatheaceae:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Cyatheaceae
Flora of Malawi: Cyatheaceae
Flora of Mozambique: Cyatheaceae
Flora of Zimbabwe: Cyatheaceae
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Cyatheaceae

External websites:

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

Copyright: Mike Bingham, Annette Willemen, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Mark Hyde, 2011-24

Bingham, M.G., Willemen, A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. and Hyde, M.A. (2024). Flora of Zambia: Family page: Cyatheaceae., retrieved 21 February 2024

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