Rhizome creeping, set with dark brown rhizome scales. Sterile pinnae with bases broadest and wholly adnate to rhachis. Lamina long-decrescent, basal pinnae becoming deltate and then rudimentary at extreme base. Sterile pinna apices attenuate to acute-acuminate. Rhachis usually sunken, deeply sulcate above.
Terrestrial, epilithic or epiphytic. Rhizome creeping to suberect. Fronds tufted, arching, pinnate with pinna bases adnate to rachis, sterile lamina narrowly elliptic to narrowly oblanceolate, 0.31.8 m x 45-360 mm, basal pinnae reduced, glabrous adaxially, subglabrous abaxially, pinnae oblong-acute to linear attenuate, margins entire; fertile lamina similar in size to sterile lamina, pinnae linear, ± 3 mm wide, bases widened and adnate to rachis. Sporangia in linear sori borne on whole length of pinna, with linear, entire indusium.
Plants terrestrial, epilithic or epiphytic. Rhizome short-decumbent, to 12 mm in diameter, set with roots, closely spaced stipe bases, and scales, scales chartaceous, ferrugineous, adnate, lanceolate to subulate, cuneate to cordate, margins variously set with unicellular capitate glands, and short or long, pluricellular, uniseriate hairs, terminating in an oblong thin-walled cell, apex terminates in an oblong thin-walled cell, to 22 mm long, to 2 mm wide. Fronds arching, dimorphic, fertile generally overtop the sterile, sterile to 1.24 m long, fertile short-lived, to 830 mm long; stipe firm, proximally castaneous, stramineous higher up, adaxially sulcate, sterile to 175 mm long, to 10 mm in diameter, fertile to 180 mm long, to 6 mm in diameter, proximally densely scaled, moderately scaled higher up, scales chartaceous, ferrugineous, sessile, linear-flagelliform, cordate to cordate-imbricate, margins irregularly set with unicellular capitate glands, and short or long pluricellular, uniseriate hairs terminating in an oblong thin-walled cell, to 18 mm long, to 1.2 mm wide; lamina firmly herbaceous, pinnatisect, sterile elliptic, to 1.2 m long, to 340 mm wide, fertile elliptic, to 650 mm long, to 170 mm wide; rachis adaxially shallowly sulcate, sulcus not open to that of the costa, pronounced abaxially, pinnae sterile firmly herbaceous to subcoriaceous, dark green abaxially, grey-green abaxially, attenuate towards the base and apex, adnate to the rachis, touching higher up, widely spaced towards the base, linear-attenuate to triangular, entire, with an abruptly widened base, glabrous adaxially and abaxially, to 195 mm long, to 15 mm wide, fertile firmly herbaceous, attenuate towards the base and apex, adnate to the rachis, more widely spaced towards the base, linear-attenuate, entire or shallowly and irregularly lobed, with an abruptly widened base, glabrous adaxially, to 150 mm long, to 2.5 mm wide; costa adaxially shallowly sulcate, pronounced abaxially. Venation evident, pinnately forked, free, in the sterile fronds, free vein branches end near the margin; in the fertile frond the vein ends anastomose to form a near-marginal vascular commissure. Sori linear, extending from above the base to near the apex of the fertile pinnae; indusium firm, brown, linear, erose; sporangium long-stalked, simple, 3-seriate below the capsule, capsule obovate in lateral view, annulus with (17-)20(-22) indurated annulus cells, epistomium 4(-5)-celled, hypostomium 4(-6)-celled. Spores 64 per sporangium, elliptic, monolete, with low reticulate ridges, rugulose, (52-)56.2(-62) x (32-)34.7(-38) µm.
Rhizomatous perennial. Fronds arching, to 1 m long, stipe scaled, sterile lamina firmly herbaceous, elliptic, pinnatifid, dark green above, pale below, basal segments decrescent, narrowly oblong-attenuate, entire, fertile lamina elliptic, pinnate, pinnae linear, sessile. Sori extending most of the length of the fertile pinnae, indusium erose.
Rhizome creeping, up to 450 mm long, 20-34 mm in diameter, set with dark brown, subulate rhizome-scales up to 42 x 3 mm, sometimes spirally twisted when dry. Fronds arching, thinly coriaceous; stipe light brown to stramineous, sulcate, set with occasional scales near base; sterile lamina elliptic, up to 1.8 x 0.22 m, pinnate (occasionally 2-pinnatifid) lower pinnae gradually decrescent; pinnae narrowly oblong-attenuate, entire (occasionally irregularly pinnatifid or slightly undulate), sessile with an abruptly widened base wholly adnate to rhachis and somewhat contiguous, margin narrowly reflexed, upper surface glabrous, lower surface set with occasional scales along costa; fertile lamina elliptic, pinnate; pinnae linear, sessile with an abruptly widened base adnate to rhachis, often recurved or pendent. Sori extending from above base almost to apex of fertile pinnae; indusium dark brown, erose, c. 1 mm broad.
Mesic Grassland. Moist to wet, shaded forests and ravines, often near water.
Terrestrial, epilithic or low-level epiphytes, occurring in moist to wet conditions at waterfalls and along streams, usually in deep shade. Not edaphically bound.
Wet, shady sites, streams and in forests, 100-800 m.
The species is widespread in west central tropical and east tropical Africa, and the eastern parts of south tropical and southern Africa.