Lepisorus excavatus (Willd.) Ching

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Lepisorus excavatus

Photo: Petra Ballings
Mt. Gorongosa, forest Canda side

Lepisorus excavatus

Photo: Petra Ballings

Lepisorus excavatus

Photo: Petra Ballings
Northern slopes below Mt Dombe, Chimanimani Mts

Lepisorus excavatus

Photo: Petra Ballings
Small valley North-east of Mt Binga, Chimanimani Mts

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Synonyms: Drynaria excavata (Bory ex Willd.) Fée
Phymatodes excavata (Bory ex Willd.) C.Presl
Pleopeltis excavata (Bory ex Willd.) Sledge
Polypodium excavatum Bory ex Willd.
Polypodium simplex Sw.
Common names:
Rhizome widely creeping, up to 5 mm in diameter, with a whitish, waxy covering; rhizome scales shiny, brown, lanceolate, up to 4 mm long, margins paler, subentire. Fronds spaced apart, erect, membranous, deciduous. Stipe up to 9 cm long, yellowish, with a few scattered, small brown scales when young. Lamina up to 35 × 4 cm, narrowly lanceolate to linear, apex gradually tapering to a point, base narrowly wedge-shaped, margins entire to weakly wavy, glabrous on both surfaces, veins rather obscure. Sori round, up to 4 mm in diameter at maturity, in a line on either side of the midrib in the upper half of the lamina, exindusiate, sunken and thus creating a slightly raised impression on the upper surface of the lamina.
Notes: This species can be distinguished from Lepisorus schraderi and Pleopeltis macrocarpa by having a thinly membranous, glabrous, deciduous lamina and a rhizome that has a white, waxy coating. . Microgramma mauritiana has sori set on the lower part of the lamina (not the upper) and is glabrous.
Derivation of specific name: excavatus: hollowed out, referring to the sori which are embedded in shallow cavities of the lamina
Habitat: Epiphyte or lithophyte in dry forest, mist-forest, moist evergreen forest or in high-altitude rocky outcrops, partially or deeply shaded.
Altitude range: 700 - 2400 m
Worldwide distribution: South Africa to central Africa and most of tropical Africa. Also in Madagascan region and Indian Ocean Islands.
Mozambique distribution: N,Z,T,MS
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 198. As Pleopeltis excavata (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (1993). An annotated check-list of the pteridophytes of Malawi Kirkia 14(1) Page 90.

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 38. as Pleopeltis excavata

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 44. As Pleopeltis excavata

Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011). Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide Struik Nature Pages 558 - 559. (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.

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 26. As Pleopeltis excavata

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983). The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 307 - 308. As Pleopeltis excavata (Includes a picture).

Kornas, J. (1979). Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych Pages 77 - 78. As Pleopeltis excavata

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 8.

Roux, J.P. (2001). Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report 13 Page 100.

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Pages 156 - 158.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970). Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca Pages 151 - 152. As Pleopeltis excavata

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 79.

Other sources of information about Lepisorus excavatus:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Lepisorus excavatus
Flora of Malawi: Lepisorus excavatus
Flora of Zambia: Lepisorus excavatus
Flora of Zimbabwe: Lepisorus excavatus

External websites:

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

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: Lepisorus excavatus.
https://www.mozambiqueflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=101450, retrieved 15 June 2024

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