by Stephen Mifsud
   31 Jul 2021      ()
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Asplenium ceterach   (Rusty-back Fern)

Asplenium ceterach  (ASPLENIACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands at or after year 2000.

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Nomenclature and Basic Information Images
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Profile Date Oct-2010 (last update: 12-Jan-2019)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (Oct-2010) Asplenium ceterach retrieved from on 2021-Jul-31

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Asplenium ceterachL.
Published in Sp. Pl. 1080 (1753)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Ceterech officinarum Willd.
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life ]

Plant Family :

Aspleniaceae Newman (The Spleenwort Family)
4 species from the Aspleniaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Rusty-back Fern, Scale Fern

Maltese name(s) :

Felċi tal-Ħitan tas-Sejjieħ

Status for Malta :

Indigenous. Present on the Maltese islands before man

Frequency :

Very Common     Common     Frequent     Scarce     Rare     Very Rare     Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: Soon to be updated...
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection [link]:

Protected by law: schedule VI of legal notice LN311/2006. (strictly protected species)

Red List (1989) :

This species has a threatened status and is listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :

All year

Colour of Flowers:


Species Description and Distribution

Habitat in Europe:

Dry rocks and walls.

Preferred habitat in Malta:

Shaded rubble walls in cool, sheltered sites close to valleys.

Botanical Description:

Leaves 3-25 cm, persistent, oblong; petiole short, 1/6-1/4 as long as the lamina, covered with scales; lamina pinnatisect, greyish to dark green above, covered with light brown, overlapping scales beneath; leaf-segments alternate, ovate or oblong, 9-12 on each side, entire or crenate, rounded at the apex. Sori c. 2 mm. Mean exospore-length 35-41 µm.

Chromosome number:

2n=72, 144

Distributional range:

W., S. & C. Europe, northwards to Scotland and S.E. Sweden, eastwards to Krym.

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):

Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):

Albania, Belgium, the Balaeric Islands, Britain (excl. Northern Ireland and Channel islands), Bulgaria, Corse, Crete, Czeck Republic and Slovakia, France (incl. Monaco and Channel Islands but excluding Corse), Germany, Greece, Ireland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Spain (incl. Andorra but excl. the Balaerics), Hungary, Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), ex-Jugoslavia, Portugal, Romania, Russia and former USSR, Sardinia, Sicily and/or Malta, Sweden, Turkey (European part), Introduced in  Austria and Liechtenstein, Poland

Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(Euro+Med Checklist, 2017) - Country codes

Ab(A N) AE(G) Ag Al Ar Au(A) Be(B L) BH Bl(I M N) Br Bu Ca(C T) Cg Co Cr Cs Ct Cy Eg Ga(C F M) Ge Gg(D) Gr Hb(E N) He Ho Hs(A G S) Hu Ir It Le Li Lu Ma Mk Rf(CS) Rm Sa Si(M S) Sk Sl SM Sn Sr Su Sy Tn Tu(A E) Uk(K) [Au Po]

Images (5 images)
   Asplenium ceterach   -   Image Code: ASLCE-0.
   Asplenium ceterach   -   Image Code: ASLCE-1.
   Asplenium ceterach   -   Image Code: ASLCE-2.
   Asplenium ceterach   -   Image Code: ASLCE-3.
   Asplenium ceterach   -   Image Code: ASLCE-4.

Links & Further info

Google Web

Google Images

Yahoo Web

Yahoo Images




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



The Plant List


Vienna Virt. Hb.





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