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Key to families | Table of families and genera

Specimen numbers are hyperlinked to records in the Consortium of California Herbaria data view where possible. Taxa are hyperlinked to entries in the Jepson Interchange via the "[Online Interchange]" link.


Plant in soil or rock crevices; rhizome short- to long-creeping, scales overlapped, narrowly linear, light- to red- or medium-brown, often with dark mid-stripe. Leaf: erect, persistent, < 1 m; stipes ± cylindric, generally dark or red-brown to ± black, ± shiny, glabrous; blade 1–4-pinnate; segments generally stalked, generally free, linear to rounded, lobed or not, often folded lengthwise when dried; veins generally free. Sporangia: in ± continuous, submarginal bands, among a ± white to ± yellow exudate or not; segment margin generally recurved, generally modified; spores tan to light yellow.
± 35 species: tropics, temperate, few in Europe, 0 in Asia. (Greek: dusky, from blue-gray leaves) [Kirkpatrick 2007 Syst Bot 32:504–518] Occasionally cultivated; as defined by Tryon (1957), polyphyletic (Kirkpatrick, 2007).
Unabridged references: [Kirkpatrick, R.E.B. 2007. Investigating the monophyly of Pellaea (Pteridaceae) in the context of a phylogenetic analysis of cheilanthoid ferns. Syst Bot 32:504–518; Tryon 1957 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 44(2):125–193]
Unabridged note: Occasionally cultivated. Molecular data suggest Pellaea in the sense of Tryon (1957) is polyphyletic with monophyletic Astrolepis and Pellaea sect. Platyloma, as well as elements of Paragymnopteris and Paraceterach nested within (Kirkpatrick, 2007).

Key to Pellaea

1. Leaf 1-pinnate, pinnae unlobed or deeply 2(3)-lobed

2. Pinnae lance-ovate, deeply 2(3)-lobed; fracture lines at base of stipe many; rhizome scales without dark mid-stripe ..... P. breweri

2' Pinnae rounded, unlobed; fracture lines at base of stipe 0; rhizome scales with dark mid-stripe ..... P. bridgesii

1' Leaf 2–4-pinnate, pinnae compound.

3. Leaf 2–4-pinnate

4. Segment without mucro, generally 6–15 mm, 3–10 mm wide; stipe ± light brown ..... P. andromedifolia

4' Segment with mucro generally 2–6(8) mm, 0.5–2(4) mm wide; stipe dark brown to ± black ..... P. mucronata var. mucronata

3' Leaf 2-pinnate

5. Segment 5–15 × longer than wide, > costa ..... P. brachyptera

5' Segment 1–4 × longer than wide, < costa

6. Fertile segment generally appearing folded in half, recurved margins ± meeting abaxially; c&s High Sierra Nevada, Transverse Ranges, Peninsular Ranges, East of Sierra Nevada, Desert Mountains (except Providence, New York mtns) ..... P. mucronata var. californica

6' Fertile segment not appearing folded in half, recurved margins not meeting abaxially; Desert Mountains (Providence, New York mtns) ..... P. truncata


Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) [year] Jepson eFlora, [accessed on month, day, year]
Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on [month, day, year].
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