Cheilanthes viridis (Forssk.) Sw.
var. viridis

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Cheilanthes viridis var. viridis

Picture: Petra Ballings
Camp site, Chirinda Forest

Cheilanthes viridis var. viridis

Picture: Petra Ballings
Camp site, Chirinda Forest

Cheilanthes viridis var. viridis

Picture: Petra Ballings
Ndundu Lodge, Vumba

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Synonyms: Adiantum viride (Forssk.) Vahl
Allosorus adiantoides (Bory ex Willd.) C. Presl
Pellaea viridis (Forssk.) Prantl
Pteris hastifolia Schrad.
Pteris viridis Forssk.
Common names:
Status: Native
Rhizome short, creeping, c.5 mm in diameter; rhizome scales lanceolate, brown to rust-coloured with dark brown central stripe, apex slowly tapering to a point, margin entire, up to 3 mm long. Fronds tufted, erect to arching, deep green, herbaceous to thinly coracious. Stipe dark brown to blackish, shining, up to 44 cm long, about as long as the lamina, grooved in the upper part, practically hairless but set with hairlike scales towards the base. Lamina varying in size, shape and dissection; up to 50 cm × 24 cm, lanceolate to ovate to broadly triangular in outline, mostly 2-pinnate to 3-pinnate, rarely more divided; lower pinnae the largest and occasionally somewhat basiscopically developed. Pinnules variable, oblong-lanceolate, apex rounded to pointed, base cordate to hastate, margin entire to minutely crenate, venation free, distinct, both surfaces hairless or slightly hairy on the veins. Rhachis and secondary rhachis dark brown to black, shining, broadly grooved, hairless or with hairlike scales, always pubescent in the axils. Sori marginal; indusium continuous, subentire.
Type location:
Notes: C. virides var. glauca has a rhachis that is deeply grooved with a lighter coloured wing, the secondary rhachis and petiolules are hairless or set with filiform appressed scales.
Derivation of specific name: viridis: green, alluding to the green colour of the fronds
Habitat: Undergrowth and margins of evergreen forest, among rocks in woodland.
Altitude range: 820 - 1900 m
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in South Africa and east tropical Africa, also in Madagascar, Yemen, India, Cape Verde and Mascarene islands.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca):
Zambian distribution (Provinces):
Growth form(s): Lithophyte, terrestrial.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Burrows, J.E. (1990). Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 146 - 148. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (1993). An annotated check-list of the pteridophytes of Malawi Kirkia 14(1) Page 88.

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 13.

Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011). Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide Struik Nature Pages 390 - 391. (Includes a picture).

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 14.

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983). The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 283 - 285. As P. viridis var viridis (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 9.

Roux, J.P. (2001). Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report 13 Page 67.

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Page 186.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970). Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca Pages 133 - 135. As P. viridis var viridis

Siebert, S. & Mössmer, M. (Editors) (2002). SABONET Southern Mozambique Expedition 2001; Provisional Plant Checklist of the Maputo Elephant Reserve (MER) and Licuati Forest Reserve (LFR) SABONET News 7(1) Page 23. as Pellaea viridis

Other sources of information about Cheilanthes viridis var. viridis:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Cheilanthes viridis var. viridis
Flora of Malawi: Cheilanthes viridis var. viridis
Flora of Mozambique: Cheilanthes viridis var. viridis
Flora of Zimbabwe: Cheilanthes viridis var. viridis

External websites:

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

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: Species information: Cheilanthes viridis var. viridis., retrieved 10 June 2023

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