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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.


Rhizome long-creeping; scales lanceolate, generally ± brown, 1-colored or often with darker central area or midstripe. Leaf: 0.2–10(20) dm, ± alike or fertile > sterile; stipe glabrous to scaly; blade 1-pinnate to generally deeply pinnately lobed (or simple, unlobed), hairy to not, glandular or not, scales on abaxial midrib near base generally lanceolate or lance-linear, generally ± brown; veins free to fused. Sporangia: sori in 1 row on each side of segment midrib, generally raised, sometimes including sporangium-like structures, shriveled sporangia, or branched or unbranched glandular hairs; spores yellow.
± 40 species: generally New World, temperate, tropics, few boreal. (Latin: many feet, from persistent petiole bases) [Hildebrand et al. 2002 Amer Fern J 92:214–228] Identification complicated in California by fact that 2 or more co-occurring species often hybridize (often indicated by malformed spores), especially in Central Coast (especially Point Reyes), North Coast, where the sterile hybrids may outnumber the parental species, and because coastal ecotypes of several species often have thicker, more succulent blades than inland forms. Polypodium australe Fée except (dubiously reported from but not persisting on San Clemente Island).
Unabridged references: [Whitmore & Smith 1991 Madroño 38:233–248; Hildebrand et al. 2002 Amer Fern J 92:214–228]
Unabridged note: A specimen from San Clemente Island (Lloyd & Hohn 4420, UC) identified by several workers as Polypodium australe Fée, a European (Mediterranean) sp., lacks rhizome (rhizome important for identification) and definitive provenance (specimen from cultivated plant that is no longer extant so original locality data not fully trustworthy), and so is here excluded. Lloyd and Hohn (Amer Fern J 59:56–60. 1969) explained its presence as a chance introduction of spores carried on hides of European grazing animals. Apparently, it has not persisted on San Clemente Island, if in fact it ever occurred there at all.

Key to Polypodium

1. Leaf blade midrib adaxially glabrous, blade ± membranous to leathery, not fleshy

2. Leaf segment generally < 2.5 cm, generally < 1 cm wide; leaf blade ± membranous to ± thick, not leathery, ± firm, not brittle; sori 1–2.5 mm ..... P. hesperium

2' Leaf segment 2.5–7(10) cm, 0.9–1.8(2.5) cm wide; leaf blade thick, leathery, firm, brittle; sori 2–6 mm ..... P. scouleri

1' Leaf blade midrib adaxially hairy, if glabrous, blade membranous to fleshy, not leathery, often firm

3. Veins free; sori generally round ..... P. glycyrrhiza

3' Veins free and fused; sori round to generally ovate or oblong

4. Leaf blade deltate to ovate, often ± irregular in outline, lower 1–3 segment pairs often >= those above; sori generally ± sunken, round to generally ovate; Central Coast, Outer South Coast Ranges, Southwestern California ..... P. californicum

4' Leaf blade oblong-ovate, ± regular in outline, lower 1–3 segment pairs generally < those above; sori not sunken, ovate to oblong; Northwestern California (except High North Coast Ranges), Cascade Range Foothills, Sierra Nevada (except s Sierra Nevada Foothills), Great Central Valley (rare), Central Western California ..... P. calirhiza


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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