Cheilanthes hirta is a small fern that emerges from a thin, scaled underground rhizome. Several green fronds grow in a tuft from the base. Frond colour is sometimes tinted bluish or yellowish green, if not turned brown and dry from heat. Rain quickly revives the plant if it grows in an exposed location. Fresh growth is often seen side by side next to last season’s dead parts. This sheltered specimen under a south facing rock may have it easier for much of the average rain year.
The stipes or frond stalks are hairy and scaled. They are broad and green when young. The leaflets or pinnae are variously shaped, often rounded, fresh green and mostly sessile (Shearing and Van Heerden, 2008; JSTOR; www.zimbabweflora.co.za).
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