Microlepia speluncae (L.) T. Moore

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Microlepia speluncae

Photo: Bart Wursten
Moribane Forest

Microlepia speluncae

Photo: Bart Wursten
Moribane Forest

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Synonyms: Aspidium speluncae (L.) Willd.
Davallia speluncae (L.) Baker
Polypodium speluncae L.
Common names:
Frequency: Rare
Status: Native
Rhizome widely creeping, 5-10 mm diameter; rhizome hairs few, pale, up to 4 mm long. Fronds widely spaced, membranous. Stipe up to 1 m long, brown, glabrous at maturity. Lamina 1.5 × 1 m, 4-pinnatifid to 4-pinnate, triangular in outline. Ultimate segments oblong-lanceolate, with rounded apex and lobed margins, both surfaces and costules with few, soft hairs. Sori circular, 1 mm diameter, situated at the end of the veins, which also bear a clear gland on the upper surface; indusium cup-shaped and facing outwards.
Notes: It can be distinguished from Hypolepis sparsisora by having a thinly pubescent lamina and pinna that stand in the same plane as the main axis. Microlepia speluncae favours shaded areas whereas Hypolepis sparsisora lives in areas with high-light conditions.
Derivation of specific name: speluncae: from spelunca, a cave, referring to the sporangia sheltered in the cup-shaped indusium or less likely to the deeply shaded habitat of this fern.
Habitat: In moist conditions in semi-deciduous forest, evergreen forest, swamp forest and marshes, mostly in shaded habitats.
Altitude range: Up to 1650 m
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in Africa, also in the Madagascan region, pantropical.
Mozambique distribution: Z,MS
Growth form(s): Terrestrial.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Thursday 8 December 2011

Burrows, J.E. (1990). Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Page 106. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (1993). An annotated check-list of the pteridophytes of Malawi Kirkia 14(1) Page 85.

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 39.

Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011). Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide Struik Nature Pages 282 - 283. (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.

Germishuizen, G. & Meyer, N.L. (eds) (2003). Plants of southern Africa: an annotated checklist. Strelitzia 14 Page 70.

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983). The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 210 - 211. (Includes a picture).

Kornas, J. (1979). Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych Pages 81 - 82.

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 6.

Roux, J.P. (2001). Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report 13 Page 89. (Includes a picture).

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Page 111.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970). Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca Pages 89 - 92. (Includes a picture).

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

Timberlake, J.R. & Childes, S.L. (2004). Biodiversity of the Four Corners Area: Technical Reviews Volume Two (Chapter 5-15) Appendix 5-1: Plant Checklist Occasional Publications in Biodiversity 15 Page 179.

Other sources of information about Microlepia speluncae:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Microlepia speluncae
Flora of Caprivi: Microlepia speluncae
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Microlepia speluncae
Flora of Malawi: Microlepia speluncae
Flora of Zambia: Microlepia speluncae
Flora of Zimbabwe: Microlepia speluncae

External websites:

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

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: Microlepia speluncae.
https://www.mozambiqueflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=101300, retrieved 21 July 2024

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