Volume 84/16 2011
Posted: August 12, 2011
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Calciphilopteris alleniae (R.M.Tryon) Yesilyurt & H.Schneider (Pteridaceae) is a small compact fern endemic to limestone hills in Peninsular Malaysia. Formerly it was known as Doryopteris alleniae R.M.Tryon in family Adiantaceae (Holttum, 1968). The name Calciphilopteris meaning 'calcium-loving fern' refers to its habitat because this fern is restricted to limestone substrates. It grows on cushions of moss in shaded crevices and gullies high up on limestone cliffs.

This pretty, 'neat-looking' plant is known from only a few localities in Peninsular Malaysia. Until recently it was known only from Gunung Idong, G. Rapat and Gua Tempurung (Perak) and Batu Caves (Selangor). Recently in November 2010, it was discovered far away on Bukit Tenggek, Kuantan, Pahang. So now it is known from only five localities, none of which are legally protected.

Calciphilopteris alleniae has a short, creeping rhizome. Its petioles are black and terete and are particularly densely hairy towards the base of lamina. The sterile fronds are simple, entire, ovate to oblong-ovate, while the fertile fronds are suborbicular, obovate to three-lobed.

Because Bukit Tenggek is actively being quarried, plants from there were brought back to the FRIM nursery for establishing in cultivation and for propagating. With its compact habit and pretty heart-shaped fronds, it has commercial potential as a horticultural plant.

References:

Holttum, R.E. 1968. Revised Flora of Malaya Vol. 2, Ferns 2 nd ed. Pp. 638.

Parris, B.S., Kiew, R., Chung, R.C.K., Saw, L.G. & Soepadmo, E. 2010. Flora of Peninsular Malaysia. Series 1: Fern and Lycophytes. Vol. 1. Pp. 20.

Yesilyurt, J.C. & Schneider, H. 2010. The new fern genus Calciphilopteris (Pteridaceae). Phytotaxa 7:52-59.

By Rafidah A.R. & Tan, J.P.C. (rafidahar@frim.gov.my)
Edited by Dr Ruth Kiew

   
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