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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.

 

PTERIDACEAE BRAKE FAMILY

Ruth E.B. Kirkpatrick, Alan R. Smith & Thomas Lemieux, except as noted


Perennial herb, in soil or on or among rocks; rhizome creeping to erect, scaly. Leaf: generally all ± alike (or of 2 kinds, fertile, sterile), generally < 50 cm, often < 25 cm; stipe generally thin, wiry, often dark, ×-section with vascular strands generally 1–3, less often many in circle; blade generally pinnate or ± palmate-pinnate (see Adiantum), often >= 2-compound, abaxially often with glands, ± powdery exudate, hairs, or scales; segments round, oblong, fan-shaped, or other, veins generally free. Sporangia: in sori or not, marginal, submarginal, or along veins, covered by recurved, often modified segment margins (false indusia) or not; true indusia 0; spores spheric, sides flat or not, scar with 3 radiating branches.
± 40 genera, 500 species: worldwide, especially dry areas. [Windham 1993 FNANM 2:122–186] California members of Cheilanthes moved to the distantly related Myriopteris; Pellaea breweri to be moved as well, from a to-be-redefined Pellaea; traditional, often untenable limits of genera outside California also being clarified using molecular phylogenetics. —Scientific Editors: Alan R. Smith, Thomas J. Rosatti.

Key to Pteridaceae

1. Leaves of 2 kinds, fertile more erect, with longer stipes, longer, narrower segments than sterile ..... CRYPTOGRAMMA

1' Leaves of ± 1 kind (in Aspidotis densa fertile, sterile ± dissimilar)

2. Leaf segment margin generally not recurved, ± unmodified, not covering sporangia; sporangia along veins

3. Leaf 1-pinnate; leaf adaxially glabrous or with scales

4. Pinna adaxially with stellate scales, margins shallowly (not deeply) pinnately lobed or dissected or not ..... ASTROLEPIS

4' Pinna adaxially glabrous, margins ± wavy, not lobed or dissected ..... Pellaea bridgesii

3' Leaf either 1-pinnate with pinnae pinnately dissected or leaf generally more divided; leaf adaxially glabrous, glandular, or ± covered with exudate, scales 0

5. Sporangia along veins for outer 1/3–2/3; leaf segments narrowed at base ..... ARGYROCHOSMA (2)

5' Sporangia along veins ± throughout (best seen on immature, fertile leaf); leaf segments not narrowed at base ..... PENTAGRAMMA

2' Leaf segment margin generally recurved at least partly, often modified, generally covering sporangia at least partly; sporangia at or near vein tips, so appearing marginal

6. Sporangia borne on and covered by highly modified, recurved part of segment margin (false indusium); segments fan-shaped or oblong, thin-textured ..... ADIANTUM

6' Sporangia borne on unmodified segment surface, generally covered at least partly by modified or unmodified, recurved part of segment margin (false indusium); segments lanceolate, round, or other, generally thick-textured

7. Leaf generally > 40 cm, stipe green to brown, ± thick ..... PTERIS

7' Leaf generally < 40 cm, if larger, stipe ± black and wiry (except in Pellaea andromedifolia)

8. Leaf abaxially with scales, hairs, or glands ..... MYRIOPTERIS

8' Leaf abaxially glabrous or covered with colored exudate, scales 0

9. Leaf abaxially densely covered with white or yellow exudate, adaxially sparsely dotted with same ..... NOTHOLAENA

9' Leaf without exudate (except some species of Pellaea and abaxially in Argyrochosma limitanea)

10. Sterile leaf segments ± sessile, connected by blade tissue or not, toothed or not; false indusium wide, scarious ..... ASPIDOTIS

10' Sterile leaf segments (and fertile) stalked (except Pellaea breweri), not connected by blade tissue, not toothed; false indusium 0 or narrow or wide, scarious, not scarious, or ± scarious at margin

11. Sporangia along veins for outer 1/3–2/3; rhizome scales without dark mid-stripe; false indusium 0 ..... ARGYROCHOSMA (2)

11' Sporangia along veins only at tips; rhizome scales often with dark mid-stripe; false indusium present (except Pellaea bridgesii) ..... PELLAEA

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