Actiniopteris dimorpha Pic.Serm.
subsp. dimorpha

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Actiniopteris dimorpha subsp. dimorpha

Photo: Petra Ballings
Road to Buye Rotanda,Sussundenga district

Actiniopteris dimorpha subsp. dimorpha

Photo: Bart Wursten
Nhahomba area, Chimanimani National Reserve

Actiniopteris dimorpha subsp. dimorpha

Photo: Bart Wursten
Nhahomba area, Chimanimani National Reserve

Actiniopteris dimorpha subsp. dimorpha

Photo: Bart Wursten
Nhahomba area, Chimanimani National Reserve

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

Common names:
Status: Native
Rhizome shortly creeping, c. 5 mm in diameter; rhizome scales linear, of two types: concolorous pale brown, wholly membranous ones and discolous ones with a central dark stripe and light membranous margins. Stipe 3-4 times as long as lamina, pale brown to strawcoloured, with few scales at the base, otherwise glabrous. Fronds densely tufted, erect, distinctly dimorphic, differing both in size and stipe length as well as in shape and degree of lamina dissection. Lamina flabellate, dried lamina bent over sharply at an angle of 90° or more with the stipe. Sterile frond 3-15 cm long, repeatedly dichotomously divided into 11-36 (linear segments, segments apices serrate with 3-6 teeth. Fertile frond 5-29 cm long, pseudo-palmate, dividing dichotomously into 7-26 linear segments, segment ending in a point, or a notch and 2 small points. Sori in submarginal lines, partly obscured by reflexed margin; indusium continuous, membranous.
Notes: Can be confused with Actiniopteris radiata. A. radiata is weakly dimorph, fertile and sterile fronds differing in size and stipe lenght, but not significantly in shape or degree of lamina dissection. A. radiata also has about twice the number of segments on the fertile frond.
Derivation of specific name: dimorpha: two forms; refers to the difference in the sizes of the sterile and fertile fronds.
Habitat: On granite outcrops, common on sheetrock, growing on islands of overlaying soil and vegetation, or sometimes at the base of boulders.
Altitude range: 640 - 1435 m
Worldwide distribution: Botswana, Burundi, Congo, DRC, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Sudan, Somalia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe; also Madagascar, Comoro Islands and Réunion.
Mozambique distribution: N,Z,MS
Growth form(s): Lithophyte, terrestrial.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Sunday 28 April 2019

Burrows, J.E. (1990). Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Pages 180 - 181. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 3. As Actiniopteris dimorpha

Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011). Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide Struik Nature Pages 308 - 309. (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 13.

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983). The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 292 - 293. (Includes a picture).

Kornas, J. (1979). Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych Pages 45 - 46.

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 9.

Roux, J.P. (2001). Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report 13 Page 58.

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Page 167.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970). Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca Pages 136 - 138. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 15. as Actiniopteris dimorpha

Other sources of information about Actiniopteris dimorpha subsp. dimorpha:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Actiniopteris dimorpha subsp. dimorpha
Flora of Malawi: Actiniopteris dimorpha subsp. dimorpha
Flora of Zambia: Actiniopteris dimorpha subsp. dimorpha
Flora of Zimbabwe: Actiniopteris dimorpha subsp. dimorpha

External websites:

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

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave 2007-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Mozambique: Species information: Actiniopteris dimorpha subsp. dimorpha., retrieved 15 June 2024

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