Journal of Threatened Taxa | | 26 September 2019 | 11(12): 14627–14628




A new distribution record of Asplenium scalare Rosenst. (Aspleniaceae) in India


Periyasamy Vijayakanth 1, Jaideep Mazumdar 2, S. Sahaya Sathish 3, Veluchamy Ravi 4 & Ramachandran Kavitha 5


1 Department of Botany, Arignar Anna College (Arts & Science), Krishnagiri, Tamil Nadu 635115, India.

2 Department of Biological Sciences, Burdwan Town School, Burdwan, West Bengal 713101, India.

3 Centre for Cryptogamic Studies (CCS), Department of Botany, St. Joseph’s College (Autonomous), Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu 620002, India.

4 Department of Botany, Government Arts College (Men), Krishnagiri, Tamil Nadu 635001, India.

5 Department of Botany, Holy Cross College, Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu 620002, India.  

1 (corresponding author), 2, 3, 4, 5





Editor: N.P. Balakrishnan, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India.            Date of publication: 26 September 2019 (online & print)


Manuscript details: #4359 | Received 23 June 2018 | Final received 08 April 2019 | Finally accepted 04 September 2019


Citation: Vijayakanth, P., J. Mazumdar, S.S. Sathish, V. Ravi & R. Kavitha (2019). A new distribution record of Asplenium scalare Rosenst. (Aspleniaceae) in India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 11(12): 14627–14628.


Copyright: © Vijayakanth et al 2019. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.  JoTT allows unrestricted use, reproduction, and distribution of this article in any medium by adequate credit to the author(s) and the source of publication.


Funding: None.


Competing interests: The authors declare no competing interests.


Acknowledgements: We sincerely thank Mr. C.R. Fraser-Jenkins, Nepal for confirming the identity of Asplenium scalare.




The genus Asplenium L. (Aspleniaceae) in India is currently represented by 72 species (Fraser-Jenkins et al. 2016).

The fern species Asplenium scalare Rosenst. was first described as a new species by Rosenstock (1914) from Sumatra, Indonesia.  It was also reported from Malaysia (Holttum 1966; Fraser-Jenkins 2012).

Based on an early collection by J. Joseph from Thiruvananthapuram, it was Fraser-Jenkins and Chandra et al. (2008) who first reported this species from Kerala in India.  They found only one specimen at the Madras Herbarium (MH) and thus its nativity was not verified (see Fraser-Jenkins et al. 2016).  This collection was mistaken for A. phyllitidis D. Don by earlier authors.

Here we report the occurrence of A. scalare in Tamil Nadu for the first time.  As the previous report was not confirmed, our new report is the first verified one in India.  It was found only in Kuzhivalavu, Kolli Hills (Image 1).  Its natural occurrence suggests that A. scalare is native in India, not escaped from cultivation.  This species has shortly caudate, simple fronds, with buds (Holttum 1966; Image 1).  It is very rare in India and assessed as CR (Critically endangered) by Fraser-Jenkins (2012).

Another simple fronded, proliferous species A. batuense Alderw. was reported from the Nicobar Islands (Fraser-Jenkins 2012).  In A. scalare midrib is not winged on lower surface, like A. batuense (Holttum 1966).


Asplenium scalare Rosenst.,

Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 13: 214. 1914. (Image 1)

Lectotype (designated here): Indonesia. Sumatra. Batakerland, 1911, Dr. J. Winkler 73 a (S-P-1453; Isolectotypes UC391682, NY00128018).

Synonym: Asplenium subscalare Alderw., Bull. Jard. Bot. Buitenzorg, 2, 20: 6. 1915.

Distribution: India (Kerala, Tamil Nadu—present report), Indonesia, Malaysia.

Note: In the protologue Rosenstock (1914) did not mention any holotype. He only mentioned the collector: Dr. J. Winkler, collection no.: 73a. We traced the type specimens (syntypes) in UC (barcode UC391682), NY (barcode NY00128018) and S (Reg. no. S-P-1453) (herbarium acronyms from Thiers 2018).  To fix the application of this name we selected specimen at S as Lectotype.


For image – click here




Chandra, S., C.R. Fraser-Jenkins, A. Kumari & A. Srivastava (2008). A summary of the status of threatened pteridophytes of India. Taiwania 53(2): 170–209.

Fraser-Jenkins, C.R. (2012). Rare and threatened pteridophytes of Asia 2. Endangered species of India—the higher IUCN Categories. Bulletin of the National Museum of Nature and Science. Series B 38: 153–181.

Fraser-Jenkins, C.R., K.N. Gandhi, B.S. Kholia, & A. Benniaminm (2016). An Annotated Checklist of Indian Pteridophytes, Part - 1 (Lycopodiaceae to Thelypteridaceae). Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh, Dehra Dun.

Holttum, R.E. (1966). A Revised Flora of Malaya, Vol. II: Ferns of Malaya. U.S. Government Printing Office, Singapore.

Rosenstock, E. (1914). Filices sumatranae novae. Repertorium specierum novarum regni vegetabilis 13: 212–221.

Thiers, B. (2018).  Index Herbariorum: A global directory of public herbaria and associated staff. New York Botanical Garden’s Virtual Herbarium [continuously updated]. Accessed on 12 February 2018.