Angiopteris helferiana C.Presl, Suppl. Tent. Pterid. 22. 1845; de Vriese, Mon. 22 1845. ;
Attached images are Angiopteris evecta (G. Forst.) Hoffm. It is a Vulnerable(VL) Fern species of ASSAM.
Date : 21.12.2012
Location: Rani forest (Kamrup district)
Family : Marattiaceae
Genus & species : Angiopteris evecta (G. Forst.) Hoffm.
Habitat: Grows wild on hilly places
Ah yes, that’s better – I can see immediately now the inframarginal sori – it is Angiopteris helferiana (please bear in mind that A. evecta is not even within 5000 miles of India!) – the commonest Angiopteris in India. It is not a threatened or rare fern in India, nor vulnerable, but occurs in thousands of localities wherever there is forest and streams. I have myself found it in many places in Assam state, though I agree ferns in general are being cut and burnt down enormously in Assam along with all the forested areas. But it can’t qualify as under threat in Assam, as it often grows in damp, overgrown ditches in many localities – in fact I seldom don’t find it whenever I look in ferny places in Assam.
However there are some other regions in India where it is locally threatened as one approaches drier regions (where a lot more forest is under threat). I forget now how far west it goes – and would have to check my lists on www.groups.yahoo.com/group/Indian-Ferns (sign in as a new member and then go to files on the left – and see the paper on Nepal ferns and Indo-Himalayan lists) – but do I remember rightly, I think, seeing it as a rarity in the West Indo-Himalaya in Pithoragarh (at Debichhina)? – that’s because it is right on the edge of its climatic range there. Further west, lower-altitude localities get far too dry during the non-monsoon time in Winter. A. helferiana is also common in forested areas of South India.
For information on India’s threatened pteridophytes, I recently published a full assessment in the Bull. Tokyo Sci. Mus. (2011), giving IUCN categories (which have to apply nationally, not regionally within a country). Many species have erroneously been described as threatened in order to get a paper to have more impact, when they are not!
Thank you very much Sir, for ID. Sir, I have identified my Angiopteris sp. as A. evecta with the help of reference material like “ The Ferns of Nagaland” by N.S. Jamir & R.R. Rao and “Assam’s Flora (Present Status of Vascular Plant) by Prefessor (Dr.) S. Chowdhury (Published by Assam Science Society and Environmental Council) etc. According to ‘The Ferns of Nagaland’ only one species of Angiopteris i.e. A. evecta (Forst.) Hoffm. is found in Nagaland. In this State it is common in dense natural forests, specially near water courses. One of the very variable species depending upon the habitat (written in Ferns of Nagaland in page no. 40). On the other hand there are two species of Angiopteris i.e. A. evecta (Forst.) Hoffm & A. assamica de Vriese ( synonym ofAngiopteris helferiana) are found in Assam [Assam’s Flora (Present Status of Vascular Plant)] According to this book the A. evecta is vulnerable in Assam [ page no. 325]. Unfortunetly when I visited the Experimental Garden (under BSI Eastern Circle, Shillong, Meghalaya ), Barapani, Meghalaya on October, 2012 with student, there they showed and told us Angiopteris helferianaas A. evecta. That specimen is now conserved in that garden. When I came to know from your reply that there is no Angiopteris evecta in India and neighbouring countries then I searched many reference material and found a research paper published in Jan.2012,(http://threatenedtaxa.org/ZooPrintJournal/2012/January/o275126i122277-2294.pdf ) where it was written that Angiopteris helferiana is known here as Angiopteris evecta.
Sir, I have collected this specimen (Angiopteris helferiana) from hilly area of Kamrup district, Assam which is not common in the district. This species that I had identified erroneously as A. evecta and described as vulnerable with the help of material like “Assam’s Flora (Present Status of Vascular Plant) by Prefessor (Dr.) S.Chowdhury (Published by Assam Science Society and Environmental Council). My purpose was to send this species to enrich the database of efl group but not to get a paper to have more impact. Because I was completely ignorant about the fact of particular species. For that I am sorry.
Sorry! didn’t mean that it was your paper that was for more impact – I just meant that that’s what happens too often in general! I often see rather common species said to be seriously threatened – field study was not extensive enough. But this particular one isn’t really rare enough to be a particularly threatened species. There are huge areas without decent forest any more, which are unsuitable for it, but whenever you get some small but good, damp patches of forest on small hills in the North-East it may be there. Contrast it with something like Pteridrys cnemidaria – gone from nearly all its 19th Century sites – in fact after 3 decades of very active and extensive botanising I only ever found it once – to my surprise, at Namdapha, Arunachal Pradesh in 1994 In fact I ought to report that some time, I suppose). Now that’s definitely threatened – it was always rare, but is now of very limited occurrence indeed.
Yes, all the literature, apart from Prof. Holttum at Kew and Alston’s notes at the BM, used to give only A. evecta – but following Holttum’s revision I found he was indeed quite right and I then made a considerable revision of Indian Angiopteris in 2008 – enabling us to fix a name for the common Indian Angiopteris, as A. helferiana (described from Myanmar). That’s how we came by the name – before that it was just a taxonomic mess, with scores of candidate names, and just about the only one we could know was NOT the Indian one was A. evecta! So most literature before 2008 gives just “A. evecta” sens. lat. – the Assam’s flora book was presumably just not aware of the taxonomic problems in the genus and had not researched it. A book which is more directly relevant is the Ferns of Assam by Borthakur & colleagues at Guwahati University – but it does contain a great many misidentifications and errors, which will not be corrected in future, I feel sure. I expect that may give “A. evecta” or one of the other names like A. crassipes. Barapani park came to know about its not being evecta through my ex-student, Dr. Benniamin, who has my 2008 book revising it and went down from Shillong a couple of years ago to put names on the ferns there, but it will still take some time for the message to become more widespread that it is not A. evecta – after all people are still using Pteridium aquilinum, Hypolepis punctata, Polystichum setiferum etc. etc. – all absent from India and published quite some time ago. It takes time, as well as people not being particularly happy to change a name that has been familiar to them for decades!
It would be good to get more information on the distribution of A. helferiana, A. indica and A. palmiformis in Assam State, too – all three are there (all under “A. evecta” of course!). I have quite a lot of collections of Angiopteris from different parts of Assam, but I doubt if I made any from N. Kamrup as I didn’t spot so many ferny areas, and one is always in a quandary – miss the bus and go to botanise, or catch the bus when it comes and miss the chance to find things!
All best wishes and happy investigations!
ANOCT12/12 Fern for identification : 8 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (8)
Date: 12th September 2015
Place: Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, Ernakulam District, Kerala
Habit: Tall herb, nearly 8-10 feet tall.
Angiopteris helferiana C. Presl
Angiopteris helferiana C. Presl. (Angiopteridaceae)