Nephrolepis biserrata (Sw.) Schott

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Nephrolepis biserrata

Photo: Bart Wursten
Along footpath from Zomba to Magorogodo

Nephrolepis biserrata

Photo: Bart Wursten
Magorogodo hills, Zomba Community

Nephrolepis biserrata

Photo: Bart Wursten
Along footpath from Zomba to Magorogodo

Nephrolepis biserrata

Photo: Bart Wursten
Along footpath from Zomba to Magorogodo

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

Synonyms: Aspidium biserratum Sw.
Lepidoneuron biserratum (Sw.) Fée
Nephrolepis punctulata (Sw.) C.Presl.
Common names:
Status: Native
Rhizome short, erect, with long stolons, not producing tubers. Fronds tufted, suberect to arching, up to 4 m long. Stipe up to 75 cm long, light brown, shiny, with narrowly lanceolate, light brown scales at the base, glabrous with age. Lamina up to 3.25 × 0.5 m, narrowly elliptic to linear oblong-lanceolate in outline, pinnate, lower pinnae slightly reduced. Pinnae shortly petiolate, narrowly oblong in outline, base oblique and broadly cuneate, unequal, apex tapering to a point, both surfaces thinly set with minute white hairs when young, hairless with age, margins shallowly serrate (more strongly at the apex), the serrations often occuring in pairs, veins free, ending in an inconspicuous hydathode. Rhachis pale brown, thinly set with small white hairs and scattered pale brown scales. Sori round, c. 1.5 mm in diameter, set in a submarginal line along both sides of the pinnae; indusia facing the margin, kidney-shaped, membranous, entire.
Notes: The large size separates N. biserrata from similar Nephrolepis species.
Derivation of specific name: biserrata: doubly serrate, referring to the serrations of the pinnae.
Habitat: Terrestrial, in swampy ground and permanently moist conditions, occuring in coastal swamp or dune forest and low-altitude evergreen, riverine forest.
Altitude range: Up to 1250 m
Worldwide distribution: pantropical distribution.
Mozambique distribution: GI,M
Growth form(s): Terrestrial.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species: Callopistria maillardi (Larval food plant)
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Saturday 22 March 2014

Burrows, J.E. (1990). Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton. Page 204. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (1993). An annotated check-list of the pteridophytes of Malawi Kirkia 14(1) Page 91.

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 40.

Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011). Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide Struik Nature Pages 516 - 517. (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 12.

Hovenkamp, P.H. & Miyamoto, F. (2005). A conspectus of the native and naturalized species of Nephrolepis (Nephrolepidaceae) in the world BLUMEA 50 Pages 290 - 293.

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983). The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 321 - 322. (Includes a picture).

Kornas, J. (1979). Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych Page 116.

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 111. (Includes a picture).

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Page 147.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970). Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca Page 160.

Other sources of information about Nephrolepis biserrata:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Nephrolepis biserrata
Flora of Zambia: Nephrolepis biserrata
Flora of Zimbabwe: Nephrolepis biserrata

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Nephrolepis biserrata
African Plant Database: Nephrolepis biserrata
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Nephrolepis biserrata
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Nephrolepis biserrata
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Nephrolepis biserrata
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Nephrolepis biserrata
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Nephrolepis biserrata
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Nephrolepis biserrata
iNaturalist: Nephrolepis biserrata
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Nephrolepis biserrata
JSTOR Plant Science: Nephrolepis biserrata
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Nephrolepis biserrata
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Nephrolepis biserrata
Plants of the World Online: Nephrolepis biserrata
Tropicos: Nephrolepis biserrata
Wikipedia: Nephrolepis biserrata

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave 2007-23

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2023). Flora of Mozambique: Species information: Nephrolepis biserrata., retrieved 28 March 2023

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