Christella hispidula (Decne.) Holttum

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Christella hispidula

Picture: Neil Crouch
On the left-hand side of the path about 100 m before the Big Tree, Chirinda Forest

Christella hispidula

Picture: Neil Crouch
On the left-hand side of the path about 100 m before the Big Tree, Chirinda Forest

Christella hispidula

Picture: Neil Crouch
On the left-hand side of the path about 100 m before the Big Tree, Chirinda Forest

Christella hispidula

Picture: Neil Crouch
On the left-hand side of the path about 100 m before the Big Tree, Chirinda Forest

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Christella hilsenbergii (C.Presl) Holttum
Cyclosorus contigua Rosenst.
Thelypteris hispidula (Decne.) Reed
Thelypteris quadrangularis (Fée) Schelpe
Common names:
Frequency: Rare
Status: Native
Rhizome erect or inclining, c.20 mm in diameter; rhizome scales up to 6 mm long, dark brown, lanceolate, often thinly pilose. Fronds tufted, arching, not proliferous, herbaceous. Stipe up to 40 cm long, pale brown, thinly set with minute stiff hairs. Lamina up to 59 × 30 cm, ovate to broadly lanceolate in outline, deeply 2-pinnatifid, apex tapering to a point with a pinnatifid terminal segment, basal 2 pairs of pinnae slightly reduced and deflexed. Pinnae linear-oblong, apex tapering to a point; ultimate lobes narrowly oblong, slightly falcate, apex rounded, basal acroscopic lobe enlarged; both surfaces with long, white hairs, more so below, particularly along the veins, costae and costules; veins 1 pair meeting some way below the sinus. Rhachis set with long pale hairs. Sori round, up to 13 per lobe; indusia coriaceous, thickly set with long white hairs.
Type location:
Notes: Christella hispidula resembles C. dentata but the latter has 1 pair of veins meeting below the sinus and a single vein joining in the sinus and a clearly creeping rhizome.
C. hispidula look for: 1 pair of veins meeting below the sinus, 1 or 2 pairs of slightly reduced pinnae and an erect to inclining rhizome.
Derivation of specific name: hispidula: minutely rough with stiff hairs (hispidulous)
Habitat: Terrestrial in evergreen rainforest within the reach of waterfall spray. Known in Zambia from a single collection?
Altitude range: 1170 m (approx)
Worldwide distribution: From southern Africa & northern Eswatini to southeastern border of Zimbabwe and mountainous regions in Mozambique; also in most of tropical Africa, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, east tropical Asia and tropical South America.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): N
Zambian distribution (Provinces): N
Growth form(s): 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 264 - 265. As Thelypteris hispidula (Includes a picture).

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

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

Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011). Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide Struik Nature Pages 688 - 689. (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.

Dowsett-Lemaire, F. (1989). The flora and phytogeography of the evergreen forests of Malawi. I: Afromontane and mid-altitude forests; Bull. Jard. Bot. Nat. Belg. 59(1/2) Page 26. As Thelypteris quadrangularis

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983). The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 387 - 388. As Christella hilsenbergii (Includes a picture).

Kornas, J. (1979). Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych Pages 92 - 93. As Thelypteris quadrangularis

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 120.

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Page 203.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970). Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca Pages 195 - 196. As Thelypteris quadrangularis

Other sources of information about Christella hispidula:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Christella hispidula
Flora of Mozambique: Christella hispidula
Flora of Zimbabwe: Christella hispidula

External websites:

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

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: Christella hispidula., retrieved 22 February 2024

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