Rhizome erect, short, up to 4 mm in diameter, set with dark brown, irregularly fimbriate rhizome scales. Undersurface of pinnae set with dense imbricate scales, upper surface glabrous. Pinnae narrowly oblong, up to 28 x 9 mm, venation obscure. Sori linear, borne in 2 rows alongside and at an angle to costa; smaller sori also borne on pinnatifid segments.
Terrestrial or epilithic. Rhizome short, erect or procumbent, with shining lanceolate scales. Fronds tufted, suberect, pinnate, lamina oblanceolate, 25-240 x 9-85 mm, basal pinnae reduced, glabrous adaxially, densely covered with pale brown, overlapping scales abaxially, texture thinly coriaceous, involute when dry; pinnae oblong-lanceolate, free from rachis, margins sinuate to crenate; rachis and stipe blackish, with shining, lanceolate scales. Sporangia in linear sori, obscured by scales.
Rhizome to 3-6 mm diam., erect or procumbent; scales sessile, clathrate, very narrowly lanceolate, 2-3 x 0.5-0.6 mm, acuminate, frequently with a hair point, irregularly serrate, bicolorous, chestnut-brown distally, brown proximally, with paler margin throughout, with narrowly oblong to ovate cells. Fronds tufted, suberect to erect; stipe (10-)17-40(-60) mm long, dark chestnut-brown, densely scaled when young, becoming subglabrous with age, scales sessile, lanceolate, 3.0-3.5 x 0.7-0.9 mm, acuminate, irregularly serrate, glossy, sometimes bicolorous, chestnut-brown, sometimes with narrow paler margin, with oblong to ovate cells; lamina subcoriaceous, involute and inrolled when dry, elliptic or narrowly elliptic to oblanceolate in outline, shallowly to very deeply 2-pinnatifid, sometimes 2-pinnate, (20-)50-120(-150) x (10-)15-40(-50) mm, basal pinnae gradually decrescent; rachis not winged between pinnae, scales as for stipe but lanceolate, 3.0 x 0.9 mm; pinnae (4-)6-19(-30) x (2-)3-7(-13) mm, free from rachis (petiolulate), with flared to ± auriculate-cordate base, narrowly oblong to oblong-lanceolate, bluntly acute, margin irregularly scalloped to incised, glabrous above at maturity, abaxially very densely scaled, scales sessile, deltate, ± 2.0 x 1.5 mm, attenuate, serrate, glossy, light reddish brown, with short roundish to oval cells; sori linear along (obscure) veins, up to 2 mm long, exindusiate, almost totally obscured by scales.
Perennial with short rhizome. Fronds to 14 cm, caespitose, suberect or appressed on ground, thinly coriaceous, involute when dry, stipe densely scaled, lamina elliptic to narrowly elliptic, pinnatifid to 2-pinnatifid, pinnae narrowly oblong, weakly undulate, densely scaled beneath. Sori linear, indusium obsolete.
Perennial with short rhizome. Fronds in a tuft, suberect, thinly leathery, involute when dry, stipe densely scaled, lamina elliptic to narrowly elliptic, 1-pinnate-pinnatifid, pinnae narrowly oblong, weakly undulate, densely scaled beneath. Sori linear, mostly obscured by scales, apogamous.
Rhizome up to 4 mm in diameter, set with lanceolate-acuminate, dark brown, irregularly fimbriate rhizome-scales c. 3.5 mm long, frequently hair-pointed. Fronds tufted, suberect, not gemmiferous, thinly carnose-coriaceous, involute when dry; stipe atrocastaneous, nitid, very much shorter than lamina, densely set with ovate-lanceolate acuminate scales up to 5 mm long; lamina elliptic to narrowly elliptic, rarely up to 240 x 85 mm, pinnatifid or pinnate, to 2-pinnatifid or 2-pinnate, lower pinnae gradually decrescent; pinnae narrowly oblong, up to 28 x 9 mm, adnate to auriculate, weakly undulate to pinnatifid with broadly oblong crenate segments, upper surface glabrous, lower surface densely set with ovate-acuminate to lanceolate, imbricate, nitid, pale brown, irregularly fimbriate scales; venation obscure. Sori linear, up to 2.5 mm long, borne in two rows alongside and at an angle to costa, and smaller sori also borne on pinnatifid segments.
Vredefort Dome Savanna; Kalahari Deciduous Acacia-wooded Grassland; Dry Grassland; Mesic Grassland; Dwarf Karroid Shrubland; Zastron Moist Grassland. Rock crevices and boulder bases.
It occurs in rocky crevasses in exposed, hot, and dry habitats, often at the base of boulders, well away from water.
Rock crevices and boulder bases in drier situations, 200-400 m.
In shaded rock crevices and at boulder bases, 840-1600 m.
Asplenium cordatum is widespread in South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe; also in Angola, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia.
Southern Namibia to Prince Albert, widespread in southern Africa.