Melpomene flabelliformis (Poir.) A.R. Sm. & R.C. Moran

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Melpomene flabelliformis

Photo: Petra Ballings

Melpomene flabelliformis

Photo: Petra Ballings

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Synonyms: Grammitis flabelliformis (Poir.) Morton
Grammitis rigescens (Bory ex Willd.) J.E. Burrows
Xiphopteris flabelliformis (Poir.) Schelpe
Common names:
Rhizome creeping, c. 2 mm thick; scales grey-brown, lanceolate, entire, up to 2 mm long. Fronds spaced apart, erect, pinnatifid, sub-coriaceous to coriaceous. Stipe light-brown to black, up to 6 cm long, scattered with minute, pale brown scales, very narrowly winged. Lamina up to 17 × 1.7 cm, narrowly linear-elliptic in outline, glabrous, decrescent below, pinnatifid to the midrib into entire rounded oblong to quadrate lobes; midrib black, venation obscure. Sori 1-4 per lobe, intramarginal, set with castaneous hair-like paraphyses, exindusiate.
Notes: Can be separated from other species by its large size, widely creeping rhizome and fronds which are incised almost to the midrib.
Derivation of specific name: flabelliformis: fanshaped; unclear reference as the fronds are linear.
Habitat: Mountain peaks, in moist montane forest and rock crevices, shaded.
Altitude range: Up to 0 m
Worldwide distribution: Bioko, Cameroon, DRC, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Réunion, Rwanda, Somalia, South africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe.
Mozambique distribution: 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 186. As Grammitis rigescens (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 31. as Grammitis rigescens (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 29. As Grammitis rigescens

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 11.

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 Xiphopteris flabelliformis

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983). The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 298 - 299. As Xiphopteris flabelliformis (Includes a picture).

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 107.

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Page 159.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970). Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca Page 143. As Xiphopteris flabelliformis

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

Other sources of information about Melpomene flabelliformis:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Melpomene flabelliformis
Flora of Zimbabwe: Melpomene flabelliformis

External websites:

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

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: Melpomene flabelliformis., retrieved 22 February 2024

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