Arthropteris monocarpa (Cordem.) C. Chr.

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Arthropteris monocarpa

Photo: Petra Ballings
Morumbodzi falls, lower slopes Mt Gorongosa

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Synonyms: Arthropteris anniana Lawalrée
Arthropteris charletiana Lawalrée
Dryopteris orientalis sensu Sim
Nephrodium albopunctatum sensu Sim
Common names:
Status: Native
Rhizome widely creeping, c. 2 mm in diamater; rhizome scales subcircular to broadly ovate, brown, up to 1.5 mm long, margins entire. Stipe up to 18 cm, articulated near the base, pale brown, glabrous at maturity. Fronds spaced apart, erect to arching. Lamina up to 33 × 12 cm, oblong-lanceolate in outline, deeply 2-pinnatifid with 13-17 alternate pairs of pinnae and a pinnatifid terminal segment. Pinnae up to 7.5 × 1.5 mm, subsessile to shortly petiolate, articulated to the rhachis, oblong-lanceolate in outline, apex tapering into a long drawn-out point, broadest at base, basal 2 pairs of pinnae slightly reduced; ultimate lobes oblong with rounded apices, glabrous but with sparse white hairs along the veins, costules and costae below, white dots on the upper surface absent. Sori circular, usually solitary in each lobe, but sometimes up to 6 per lobe; indusium c.1 mm in diameter.
Notes: Looks very much like A. orientalis which has a stipe that is articulated in the upper half and a row of white dots near the margins on the upper surface of the pinna lobes. A. orientalis is a woodland species while A. monocarpa is a forest fern.
Derivation of specific name: monocarpa: with one fruit; refers to a single sorus on each lobe of the frond, however this species can have up to 6 sori per pinna lobe.
Habitat: Lithophytic, epiphytic or terrestrial in shade in evergreen or riverine forest.
Altitude range: 825 - 2000 m
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in tropical and southern Africa, also in Madagascar, Comoro Isl. and Réunion.
Mozambique distribution: Z,MS
Growth form(s): Epiphyte, 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. Page 207. (Includes a picture).

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

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 36.

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 7.

Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011). Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide Struik Nature Pages 522 - 523. (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 16.

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.

Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983). The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria. Pages 324 - 325. (Includes a picture).

Kornas, J. (1979). Distribution and ecology of the Pteridophytes in Zambia Polska Akademia Nauk Wydzial II Nauk Biologicznych Pages 113 - 114.

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 143. (Includes a picture).

Roux, J.P. (2009). Synopsis of the Lycopodiophyta and Pteridophyta of Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring islands Page 192.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970). Pteridophyta Flora Zambesiaca Page 163. (Includes a picture).

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

Other sources of information about Arthropteris monocarpa:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Arthropteris monocarpa
Flora of Malawi: Arthropteris monocarpa
Flora of Zambia: Arthropteris monocarpa
Flora of Zimbabwe: Arthropteris monocarpa

External websites:

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

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: Arthropteris monocarpa., retrieved 18 May 2024

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