Actiniopteris radiata, commonly the fan-leaved fern or the eyelash fern, is a xerophytic, tropical fern reaching heights to 25 cm.
The pale brown rhizome from which the plant grows is covered in narrowly triangular scales. The rhizome is horizontal and creeping, about 4 mm in diameter.
The erect fronds are densely tufted, fan-shaped to semi-circular with segments that spread widely. Each segment ends in a few teeth. The specific name, radiata, is derived from the Latin word radius meaning a ray, referring to the radiating arrangement of the frond segments. The frond stalk is pale brown to straw-coloured and nearly smooth but for a few hairlike scales.
Fertile and sterile fronds differ in size and stalk length. A. dimorpha, a similar species, has bigger differences between fertile and sterile fronds.
The South African distribution of A. radiata is limited to the region north of the Vaal River and KwaZulu-Natal. The species occurs widely in tropical areas of Africa and Asia.
The habitat is hot, dry places. The plants grow near rocks and in crevices, also in the shade of hot and dry, deciduous woodland. The species is not considered to be threatened in its habitat early in the twenty first century.
The species features widely in traditional medicine. Botswana issued a postage stamp in 1992 depicting this plant (Wikipedia; https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw; http://redlist.sanbi.org).