A new species of Asplenium L. from Ethiopia, A. balense Chaerle & Viane, is described and illustrated. This new species is similar to A. demerkense Hieronymus, which differs in rhizome, scales, and frond morphology, and also in the presence of short false veins in the laminae. The new species resembles A. uhligii Hieronymus, but differs in degree of lamina dissection and in the presence of unicellular capitate glands on the indusial margin. Asplenium balense also resembles A. erythraeum Pichi Sermolli, which can be distinguished by the absence of both glands and false veins. Asplenium balense belongs to the group of East African high-altitude (2000–4700 m) Asplenium species similar in gross morphology to members of the A. aethiopicum (Burman f.) Becherer complex. A key to distinguish A. balense from its three most similar, tropical northeast African species (A. demerkense, A. erythraeum, and A. uhligii) is presented.
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Vol. 17 • No. 2