Marattia purpurascens

Marattia purpurascens is a large fern belonging to Class Marattiaceae. It has a globular rhizome with stipule-like fleshy outgrowths. The leaves are dark green, twice pinnate and up to 1 metre long. Every pinnule has up to six pairs of leaflets. The petioles are dark-purplish, hence the name 'purpurascens' meaning 'becoming purple'. The sporangia are fused in all Marattia into a bivalvate synangium.

Conservation plans have been proposed for Marattia purpurascens, an endemic of the distant Ascension Island in the South Atlantic, where a single population remains on Green Mountain. This population is now believed to be more stable than previously feared, but long-term threats to its survival do exist, in the form of competition with alien invasive species like introduced plants such as Lantana camara L. and grazing by sheep.

See also


  • Gray, A., Palembe, T., Stroud, S. 2005. The conservation of the endemic vascular flora of Ascension Island and threats from alien species. Oryx 39: 449-453.
  • See the ARKive site for additional information

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