Blechnum attenuatum (Sw.) Mett.

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Blechnum attenuatum

Picture: Petra Ballings

Blechnum attenuatum

Picture: Petra Ballings

Blechnum attenuatum

Picture: Petra Ballings

Blechnum attenuatum

Picture: Petra Ballings
Bunga forest, Vumba

Blechnum attenuatum

Picture: Petra Ballings
Way to outward bound, Hadango river, Chimanimani

Blechnum attenuatum

Picture: Petra Ballings
John Meikle Forestry Estate, Stapleford

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Synonyms: Blechnum attenuatum (Sw.) Mett. var. giganteum (Kaulf.) Bonap.
Blechnum giganteum (Kaulf.) Schltdl.
Lomaria attenuata (Sw.) Willd.
Common names:
Status: Native
Rhizome creeping to suberect, 1-3.5 cm thick and up to 50 cm long; scales dark brown, up to 4 cm long, linear-attenuate, margins entire. Fronds dimorphic, tufted, thinly to firmly leathery. Stipe up to 12 cm, pale brown and glabrous except for scales similar to the rhizome clustered at the base. Sterile lamina 0.3-1.8 m × 4.5-36 cm, narrowly elliptic in outline, pinnate, pinnae broadly attached to the rhachis, gradually reducing downwards with lowermost pinnae rudimentary; pinnae linear-attenuate, margin entire. Fertile fronds similar in size or longer than sterile fronds with thin, linear pinnae with widened bases that are joined to the rhachis. Sori linear, covering the whole length of the fertile pinnae; indusium linear, entire.
Type location:
Derivation of specific name: attenuatum: tapering, pinnae taper to a sharp point
Habitat: Terrestrial or lithophytic fern growing along streambanks in open montane grassland or shaded areas in evergreen forest
Altitude range: Up to 2100 m
Worldwide distribution: Central and East Africa southwards to South Africa, also in Madagascar, the Comoro and Mascarene islands.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): N
Zambian distribution (Provinces): Mc
Growth form(s): Epiphyte, 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 326 - 328. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (1993). An annotated check-list of the pteridophytes of Malawi Kirkia 14(1) Page 99.

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 27. as Blechnum attenuatum attenuatum (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 9. As Blechnum attenuatum attenuatum and B. attenuatum giganteum

Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011). Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide Struik Nature Pages 728 - 729. (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 10.

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 25.

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983). The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 460 - 461. as Blechnum giganteum (Includes a picture).

Kornas, J. (1979). Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych Page 119.

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 5.

Roux, J.P. (2001). Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report 13 Pages 153 - 154.

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Pages 101 - 102.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970). Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca Pages 235 - 236.

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

Other sources of information about Blechnum attenuatum:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Blechnum attenuatum
Flora of Mozambique: Blechnum attenuatum
Flora of Zimbabwe: Blechnum attenuatum

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Blechnum attenuatum
African Plant Database: Blechnum attenuatum
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Blechnum attenuatum
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Blechnum attenuatum
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Blechnum attenuatum
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Blechnum attenuatum
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Blechnum attenuatum
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Blechnum attenuatum
iNaturalist: Blechnum attenuatum
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Blechnum attenuatum
JSTOR Plant Science: Blechnum attenuatum
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Blechnum attenuatum
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Blechnum attenuatum
Plants of the World Online: Blechnum attenuatum
Tropicos: Blechnum attenuatum
Wikipedia: Blechnum attenuatum

Copyright: Mike Bingham, Annette Willemen, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Mark Hyde, 2011-22

Bingham, M.G., Willemen, A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. and Hyde, M.A. (2022). Flora of Zambia: Species information: Blechnum attenuatum., retrieved 6 December 2022

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