Dryopteris sparsa (D. Don) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 813 1891. (syn: Aspidium catophoron Kze.; Aspidium densum Wall.; Aspidium oppositum Wall.; Aspidium sparsum (D. Don) Spreng.; Aspidium weigleanum Kze.; Dryopteris parasparsa Ching & S. K. Wu; Dryopteris sinosparsa Ching & K. H. Shing; Dryopteris sparsa var. ryukyuensis Seriz.; Lastrea densa (Wall.) Presl; Lastrea sparsa (D. Don) Bedd. (ambiguous synonym); Lastrea sparsa (D. Don) Moore (ambiguous synonym); Nephrodium sparsum D. Don; Nephrodium sparsum var. latisquamum C. B. Cl.; Polypodium oppositum Wall.; Polystichum sparsum (D. Don) Keyserl.);
Himalaya to China and Myanmar: Assam, China North-Central, China South-Central, China Southeast, East Himalaya, Hainan, Myanmar, Nepal, Tibet, West Himalaya as per POWO;
China (Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Jiangxi, Shanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, Zhejiang), Tibet, Taiwan, Japan, Ryukyu Isl., India (Uttarakhand, Darjeeling, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Meghalaya, Tripura, Sikkim), Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar [Burma], New Guinea, Philippines, peninsular Malaysia (Maxwell Hill, Perak, Fraser’s Hill & Cameron Highlands, Pahang), Australia (NE-Queensland), Vietnam, ?Cambodia, Thailand, Nepal, Bhutan, Borneo (Mt. Kinabalu, etc.), Java, Sumatra, Lesser Sunda Isl. (Bali, Flores), Sulawesi, ?Solomon Isl., Micronesia (Pohnpei, Kosrae) as per Catalogue of Life;

Terrestrial herb with erect, rhizome up to 5 cm, densely scaly at the apex, scales ovate-lanceolate, up to 8 x 4 mm, pale brown or stramineous and glossy above. Lamina ovate-lanceolate, up to 50 x 15 cm, bipinnatifid, apex acuminate, base cuneate; primary pinnae up to eight pairs, ascending, falcate, suboppposite at the basal part of the lamina, opposite above; up to 9 cm apart, distinctly stalked; largest pinna 18 x 5 cm, ovate-lanceolate, apex acuminate, base cuneate, basal pairs usually bear an accessory branch pimary pinna of the largest frond, subopposite or alternate, anadromous below, isodromous above, basal few pairs shortly stalked, others sessile or adnate, ovate-lanceolate, up to 4.5 x 2.5 cm, decurrent on the basal basiscopic side, apex acute, basiscopic base broadly cuneate, acroscopic base truncate or broadly cuneate, margin lobed one-sixth to five-sixth way to the costules; lobes oblong, up to 1.5 x 0.6 cm, apex acute or rounded, margin entire or toothed; rachules narrowly winged on either side, shallowly grooved and dark brown above, stramineous beow; veins indistinct above, slightly distinct below, up to five pairs, forked once or twice, not reaching the margin; pinnae dark green; texture herbaceous; scattered small scales borne on rachis and costa. Sori median on the veinlets, up to 2 mm in diameter; indusia reniform, pale brown, glabrous with thin membraneous border; spores dark brown, 45 x 35 m, with prominently winged, irregularly folded perispore.
in semi-evergreen and evergreen forests
(Attributions- K. P. Rajesh from India Biodiversity Portal)


SK938 07 JAN-2018 : 18 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (5)
Location: Surbinayak, Nepal  
Date: 7 January 2018
Elevation: 4600 ft.

The other Surjebhinayak one is Dryopteris sparsa subsp. sparsa (and there’s also a bit of a Thelypteris, but not properly visible, in the habitat photo, possibly T. procera).

Thank you …!
Yes the habitat image has two species intermingled. As such I have shot close-ups of individual sp. separately and posted accordingly.
I found Dryopteris sparsa (D. Don) Kuntze only in records . Does Dryopteris sparsa subsp. sparsa mean Dryopteris sparsa (D. Don) Kuntze  ?

Yes, … I agree with your 2nd paragraph.

Dryopteris sparsa is a very common, abundant species in Nepal, still living in its type-locality on Swayembhunath, also.  Yes the subsp. sparsa corresponds with the type of the species, as the name suggests (it is always so with a subspecies name that is an autonym like that). It is a diploid subspecies, with subsp. rectipinnula being a tetraploid, mainly from N.E. India etc. – they are both similar, but morphologically recognisably slightly different.

Thank you all. Nepali Names : जिरे निउरो Jire Niuro / कुथुर्के Kuthurke / झुसेलो उन्यु Jhuselo Unyu 

Some slight errors there – see my book, Taxonomic revision of three Hundred species (2008) – the section concerning Diplazium and edible ferns (pg. 290 on).  Jire niuro properly refers to the edible Diplazium kawakamii; Kuthurke is Dryopteris cochleata, not Dryopteris sparsa, which is not eaten; and I don’t know which species Jhuselo uniu refers to – and one should check it out more carefully. Presumably it refers to caterpillar-like young fronds (jhusil kira)- which might therefore be Polystichum longipaleatum or perhaps P. squarrosum – where the young fronds are covered in dense scales, and for the former also long hairs as well.
I have myself eaten jire niuro (“ningro” in East Nepal) and kuthurke.

It looks like all books printed in Nepal got it wrong. I am enclosing for reference!.
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Yes, that’s mostly right, even since my late friend, Dr. Vidya Laxmi, very much muddling of local names of ferns has occurred, including some by Dr. Manandhar and unfortunately more recently by Sangeeta Rajbhandari in Georg Miehe’s superb book, Nepal, where she made several muddles.  Part of the trouble is that locals are careless in what names they apply, having heard a name and not being careful enough about which species they apply it to, even though they recognise the species they use. Then town-folk come along and overlay further confusion by misapplying a local name on their herbarium-specimen, subsequently read and published by others – or directly misapplying it themselves. However in this case it is easier as we do not eat Dryopteris sparsa and Kuthurke is widely and usually accurately known, as is jire niuro in east Nepal.

Incidentally Dhaunte niuro (the widely eaten and commercially sold Diplazium maximum) is not at all the same as kuthurke (Dryopteris cochleata, less commonly eaten) as stated in one book you copy – and Dr. Manadhar’s drawing of supposed Dryopteris sparsa – with the erroneous kuthurke name – is not even remotely like D. sparsa, even allowing for bad drawings, but appears to be an inedible Thelypteris (Pseudophegopteris) microstegia if identifiable at all!

As you can see Keshab Shrestha also misapplies names, including to more than one species, and suggests some species are eaten when they are actually known to be toxic and are not eaten as “niuro” at all – it’s a pity he didn’t trouble to ask me or my student, Dhan Raj Kandel at the National Herbarium first – but then such works seldom bother much with accuracy and authors here often publish deliberately independently as they distrust everyone else.
Pani amala, as it is more usually called in Nepal is of course Nephrolepis cordifolia, while Dryopteris atrata is indeed rare and restricted in Nepal and contains toxic phloruglucides and other compounds, as does Dryopteris filix-mas, which does not occur in Nepal at all and has long been known in Europe to be poisonous!  It has long been published as an error to report D. filix-mas from Nepal – it is mainly a European-type species, plus W. Asia, N. America and N.W. Africa, but just reaches as far east as Pakistan and Jammu & Kashmir in the far west Himalaya, where a few European elements of ferns get through the gap. I can’t think why Keshab did not trouble to check the fern-names with me as we are frequently in touch and the more of these spurious, poorly researched books and papers we get published, the more confused later readers become. They are both botanically and ethnologically wide of the mark!  One local book on recipes for ferns even published a recipe for cooking Bracken (Pteridium revolutum in Nepal), which is both directly toxic and also well known to be strongly carcinogenic, as a large body of literature and various conferences testify. They meant Shraunre niuro – the commonly eaten Diplazium esculentum!


SK 2669 16 July 2020 : 12 posts by 2 authors. 5 images- 6 to 7 mb each.
Location:  Telkot, Nagarkot, Nepal 
Date: 15 July 2020
Elevation: 1500 m.
Habit : Wild

Probably Dryopteris

Dryopteris sparsa subsp. sparsa ! ID by …

Please identify the fern from Phenk (Nagaland) 2 : 2 posts by 1 author. Attachments (1)- 4 mb.
Please identify the fern from Phenk (Nagaland)

That is Dryopteris sparsa as I know it well from growing it here- and we can see most of the basal pinna, though not the stipe. Ferns have sori underneath which are important.