Cheilanthes viridis (Forssk.) Sw.
var. glauca (Sim) Schelpe & N.C. Anthony

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Cheilanthes viridis var. glauca

Photo: Petra Ballings
Road to Buye Rotanda,Sussundenga district

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Synonyms: Pellaea hastata (L.f.) Link var. glauca Sim
Pellaea viridis (Forssk.) Prantl var. glauca (Sim) Sim
Common names:
Status: Native
Rhizome short, creeping, c.5 mm in diameter; rhizome scales lanceolate, brown to rust-coloured with dark brown central stripe, apex slowly tapering to a point, margin minutely toothed, up to 3 mm long. Fronds tufted, erect to arching, blue to pale green, thinly coriaceous. Stipe dark brown to blackish, shining, up to 33 cm long, longer or shorter than the lamina, grooved, set with scattered scales, more so towards the base. Lamina varying in size, shape and dissection; up to 20 cm × 8 cm, lanceolate to deltate or triangular in outline, mostly 2-pinnate to 4-pinnatifid, lower pinnae slightly basiscopically developed. Pinnules ovate-oblong in outline, apex rounded to slightly pointed, margin entire to minutely crenate, venation free, distinct, both surfaces hairless. Rhachis and secondary rhachis dark brown to black, deeply grooved with wings a paler chestnut colour, set with scattered, appressed hairlike scales, not pubescent in the axils. Sori marginal; indusium continuous, membranous, erose.
Notes: May be mistaken for C. virides var. viridis or C. involuta. C. viridis var. viridis has a rhachis that is broadly grooved, the base of the secondary rhachis and petiolules are set with short hairs. C. involuta var. obscura differs in having a rhachis that is broadly grooved, a dark chestnut-coloured stipe and veins that are hardly visible.
Derivation of specific name: viridis: green, glauca: grey-green; referring to the colour of the lamina.
Habitat: Among rocks in woodland, in grassland and open outcrops, occasionally on the edges of forest or scrub.
Altitude range: 500 - 1800 m
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in South Africa and east tropical Africa, also in Angola and Mauritius.
Mozambique distribution: N,Z,T,MS,GI,M
Growth form(s): 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 146 - 148. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (1993). An annotated check-list of the pteridophytes of Malawi Kirkia 14(1) Page 88.

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 13.

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 8.

Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011). Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide Struik Nature Pages 394 - 395. (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 14.

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983). The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 286 - 287. As P. viridis var. glauca (Sim) Sim (Includes a picture).

Kornas, J. (1979). Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych Page 59. As P. viridis var. glauca (Sim) Sim

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 67.

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Page 186.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970). Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca Page 135. As P. viridis var. glauca (Sim) Sim

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

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

Other sources of information about Cheilanthes viridis var. glauca:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Cheilanthes viridis var. glauca
Flora of Malawi: Cheilanthes viridis var. glauca
Flora of Zambia: Cheilanthes viridis var. glauca
Flora of Zimbabwe: Cheilanthes viridis var. glauca

External websites:

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

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: Cheilanthes viridis var. glauca., retrieved 3 March 2024

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