Vittaria volkensii Hieron.

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Vittaria volkensii

Picture: Petra Ballings
Hadange Gorge, Chimanimani National Park

Vittaria volkensii

Picture: Petra Ballings
Hadange Gorge, Chimanimani National Park

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Synonyms: Haplopteris volkensii (Hieron.) E.H.Crane
Common names:
Status: Native
Rhizome shortly creeping, branched, c. 3 mm in diameter; rhizome scales dark brown, 5-8 mm long, pseudo-serrate to entire lanceolate, clathrate, apex hair-pointed. Fronds numerous, spaced 1-10 mm apart, pendulous, 30-60 cm long; stipe glossy black, 5-20 mm long. Lamina 2-5.5 mm wide, narrowly linear, tapering to a point, base tapering into the stipe, shiny dark green above, paler below. Midrib distinctly raised below. Sori in two intramarginal grooves; indusium continuous, on both sides of each soral row.
Type location:
Notes: Is distinguished from other species by its black stipe, hairpointed rhizome scales and narrow fronds.
Derivation of specific name: volkensii: named after G. Volkens, German plant collecter who collected on Mt Kilimanjaro between 1892 and 1894.
Habitat: Epiphyte in mid-altitude evergreen forest or lithophyte on mossy boulders near streams in riverine forests.
Altitude range: 900 - 1500 m
Worldwide distribution: Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca):
Zambian distribution (Provinces):
Growth form(s): Epiphyte, lithophyte.
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. Page 110. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (1993). An annotated check-list of the pteridophytes of Malawi Kirkia 14(1) Page 85.

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 58.

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 16.

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983). The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 214 - 215. (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 10.

Roux, J.P. (2001). Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report 13 Page 84.

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Pages 74 - 75.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970). Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca Pages 94 - 96. (Includes a picture).

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 78.

Other sources of information about Vittaria volkensii:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Vittaria volkensii
Flora of Malawi: Vittaria volkensii
Flora of Mozambique: Vittaria volkensii
Flora of Zimbabwe: Vittaria volkensii

External websites:

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

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: Species information: Vittaria volkensii., retrieved 16 April 2024

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