Thelypteris confluens (Thunb.) C.V. Morton

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Thelypteris confluens

Mansha River
Jun 2011
Photo: M.P.Kennedy

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Synonyms: Dryopteris thelypteris sensu Sim
Nephrodium thelypteris sensu Sim
Common names:
Status: Native
Rhizome long, creeping and branching, 2-3 mm in diameter; rhizome scales up to 2 mm long, dark brown, ovate, nonpersistent. Fronds spaced 1-5 cm apart, erect or arching, not proliferous, herbaceous. Stipe up to 40 cm long, pale brown, often blackened towards the base, subglabrous. Lamina up to 60 × 15 cm, lanceolate to elliptic in outline, deeply 2-pinnatifid, apex tapering to a point with a pinnatifid terminal segment, lower pinnae slightly reduced and widely spaced. Pinnae linear to oblong-lanceolate, deeply pinnatifid into oblong and rounded to triangular and acute ultimate lobes, margins entire; under surface of costae with or without hairs and with pale brown ovate scales, upper surface hairless; veins not meeting the veins of the adjacent lobes. Rhachis pale brown, hairless. Sori up to 18 per lobe, round, situated halfway between the costa and the margin; indusia kidney-shaped, membranous, hairless or with short marginal hairs.
Type location:
Notes: Found together with Cyclosorus interruptus which has a zigzag soral pattern, one pair of veins meeting below and a pair of veins meeting at the sinus, leathery pinnae that are incised a third to halfway to the costa.
Thelypteris confluens look for: creeping rhizome, veins not anastomosing, small scales on costae below, pinnae herbaceous and pinnatifid.
Derivation of specific name: confluens: converging, running together; may be a reference to the intertwined rhizomes that give rise to extented, densely clustered stands.
Habitat: In full sun or light shade of marshy areas with perennial surface water.
Altitude range: 880 - 1800 m
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in southern Africa, central and E. tropical Africa, Madagascar, southern India, Thailand, Sumatra, Papua New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): B,N,W,S
Zambian distribution (Provinces): Nw,Cb,Lp,N,E,C,Lk,S,W
Growth form(s): Terrestrial.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Tuesday 9 May 2017

Burrows, J.E. (1990). Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 258 - 259. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (1993). An annotated check-list of the pteridophytes of Malawi Kirkia 14(1) Page 95.

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 43.

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 55.

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 35.

Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011). Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide Struik Nature Pages 672 - 673. (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 15.

Germishuizen, G. & Meyer, N.L. (eds) (2003). Plants of southern Africa: an annotated checklist. Strelitzia 14 Page 85.

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983). The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 395 - 396. (Includes a picture).

Kornas, J. (1979). Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych Pages 88 - 89.

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 117.

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Pages 211 - 212.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970). Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca Pages 190 - 192. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 16.

Timberlake, J.R. & Childes, S.L. (2004). Biodiversity of the Four Corners Area: Technical Reviews Volume Two (Chapter 5-15) Appendix 5-1: Plant Checklist Occasional Publications in Biodiversity 15 Page 179.

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 80.

Other sources of information about Thelypteris confluens:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Thelypteris confluens
Flora of Caprivi: Thelypteris confluens
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Thelypteris confluens
Flora of Malawi: Thelypteris confluens
Flora of Mozambique: Thelypteris confluens
Flora of Zimbabwe: Thelypteris confluens

External websites:

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

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: Thelypteris confluens., retrieved 17 July 2024

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