The fern genus Cyrtomium (Dryopteridaceae) in Africa and Madagascar is reviewed. Until now, a single Cyrtomium species ascribed to either C. caryotideum or C. micropterum (the latter often considered to be a variety of the former) was recognized for the region. This study shows that three Cyrtomium species occur in the region. One, C. falcatum, is not native to the African or Madagascan region, but has become naturalized in various parts of South Africa and Réunion. Two, formerly considered as a single taxon and confused with C. caryotideum and Indian forms thereof, are described as new –C. luctuosum from Madagascar, East, West and South Africa and C. pseudocaryotideum from South Africa. © 2011 The Linnean Society of London, Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 2011, 167, 449–465.