Christella subpubescens

Primary tabs

Christella subpubescens


Asia-Tropical: Thailand (Thailand present); Vietnam (Vietnam present), Burma present, N. Queensland present, N.E. India present, New Hebrides present, Pacific: Fiji (Fiji present), S.W. China present
N.E. India to S.W. China; Burma, Thailand, Vietnam; throughout Malesia; N. Queensland, New Hebrides, Fiji.


It would be possible to make a key distinguishing the types of the basionyms above cited, but I find it impossible to fit all other specimens into such a key. More field study, and experimental study of cultivated plants, are needed.
The types of Aspidium subpubescens Bl. var. C and Nephrodium latipinna Hook., also the specimens of Blume and Zollinger on which the misinterpretations of the name Aspidium am- boinense Willd. were based, were small fertile plants. I have seen such plants on the banks of small streams in the forest in Pahang, where the streams are subject to periodic flooding with swiftly-flowing water after a sudden storm. In such places, plants are washed away before they attain their full size; a plant from the Tahan river in Malaya, grown at Kew, is much larger than any on the river banks, and is very like Blume's var. B, though less rigid in texture. Plants found growing spontaneously in and near the Botanic Garden in Singapore (also others growing similarly at Bogor) are very like the type of A. subpubescens Bl. and differ from the fully-grown plants of stream-bank origin in having somewhat broader pinnae. I have no evidence that the Singapore and Bogor plants are fertile from an early age, and think that they are probably genetically different from stream-bank plants, but I cannot point to clear distinctions.
Thick orange glandular hairs are present on the lower surface of pinnae of most of the stream- bank plants from Malaya, and of the Java plants named amboinense by Blume, Kunze, Mettenius and Hooker. Such glands are absent from the type of Nephrodium latipinna Hook. and other specimens from Hong Kong, also from the type of A. subpubescens Bl. and similar specimens from Singapore and Bogor. But other specimens very similar to typical A. subpubescens have a few such glandular hairs, while on the other hand some stream-bank plants from north- ern Malaya are quite glandless like the type of N. latipinna from Hong Kong.
Some stream-bank plants from Malaya, also from Luzon, have small capitate hairs on some of their sporangia; I have not observed this character in any other specimens of Christella. The capitate hairs appear to be just like those on the lower surface of pinnae between veins.


Holttum 1955: p. 276. – In: Rev. Fl. Malaya: f. 159
Panigrahi 1975 – In: Phytologia: 369
Backer & Posth. 1939: Varenfl. Java: 65
Morton 1974 – In: Contr. U.S. Nat. Herb.: 361
Kunze 1848 – In: Bot. Zeit.: 261
Mett. 1858 – In: Farngatt.: 105
Holttum 1955: p. 275. – In: Rev. Fl. Malaya: f. 158
v.A.v.R. 1908: Handb.: 217
Holttum 1976 – In: Kew Bull.: 323