Asplenium formosum Willd.

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Asplenium formosum

Picture: Petra Ballings

Asplenium formosum

Picture: Petra Ballings

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Common names:
Status: Native
Rhizome c. 3 mm thick, erect; scales brown with pale entire borders, up to 3 mm long. Fronds tufted, not proliferous. Stipe short, up to 3 cm long, stipe and rhachis blackish-brown to black, narrowly winged. Lamina 10-31 cm × 1.3-3.5 cm, pinnate to 2-pinnatifid, narrowly lanceolate to linear in outline. Pinnae up to 50 pairs, glabrous, lower pinnae gradually reducing in size, margins entire on the basiscopic side and deeply incised into linear simple or bifid lobes on the acroscopic side. Sori 1 to 3 per pinna, linear to oval, situated on the basal margins of the pinnae, indusium entire.
Type location:
Notes: Differs from similar species by not having proliferous fronds.
Derivation of specific name: formosum: beautiful, finely formed
Habitat: Deep shade in forest, boulders in riverine forest. Epiphyte or lithophyte.
Altitude range: 1170 - 1800 m
Worldwide distribution: Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, DRC, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Soa Tomé, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Togo, Zambia, Zimbabwe, also Tropical America and Indian subcontinent.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): N,W,C
Zambian distribution (Provinces): Nw,Cb,N,C
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 230. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (1993). An annotated check-list of the pteridophytes of Malawi Kirkia 14(1) Page 93.

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 9.

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983). The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 356 - 358. (Includes a picture).

Kornas, J. (1979). Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych Page 99.

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 Page 164.

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Page 85.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970). Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca Pages 179 - 180.

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

Other sources of information about Asplenium formosum:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Asplenium formosum
Flora of Malawi: Asplenium formosum
Flora of Mozambique: Asplenium formosum
Flora of Zimbabwe: Asplenium formosum

External websites:

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

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: Asplenium formosum., retrieved 20 May 2024

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