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Perennial herb in soil or rock crevices; rhizome generally short-creeping, ascending, or erect, scales small to large, generally tan to brown, generally uniformly colored. Leaf: generally tufted or short-spaced, 5–200+ cm, generally ± alike; stipe firm or fleshy (easily crushed), base darker or not, with 2 vascular strands; blade generally 1–3-pinnate, ± glabrous or with hairs, hair-like scales, or gland-tipped hairs on axes, veins generally free (or netted); rachis, costa generally grooved adaxially. Sporangia: sori round, oblong, J-shaped, or linear along veins; indusia 0 or oblong, J-shaped, reniform, or linear, or of many segmented hair- or scale-like fragments or lobes encircling sorus from below; spores elliptic, winged, ridged, or spiny, scar linear.
± 15 genera, 700 species: worldwide, especially tropics, wooded areas, but some genera (e.g., Cystopteris, Woodsia) generally temperate. See note, reference (Smith et al. 2006 Taxon 55:705–731) under Dryopteridaceae for removal of genera from that family to this. —Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Key to Woodsiaceae
Rhizome generally short-creeping. Leaf: stipe ± fleshy, often with few scales, base ×-section with 2 vascular strands; blade 2–4-pinnate, pinnae sides unequal, acroscopic pinnules more spreading, larger, more incised; veins free. Sporangia: sori round; indusia hood-like, arched over sorus, attached on side away from margin, often obscure in mature sori.
± 20 species: generally temperate, a few at high elevations in tropics. (Greek: bladder fern, from indusia) Often confused with Woodsia (pinnae sides equal; more fragmented indusia encircling sorus base). Sole sp. of Cystopteris in California highly polymorphic, may represent a sp. complex. Malformed spores produced by some plants, possibly indicative of hybridization, existence of different ploidal levels (numbers of chromosome sets).
Rhizome 2–4 mm diam; scales at tip, lanceolate, ± brown, shining, glabrous, entire. Leaf: 8–30(37) cm; stipe generally < blade, < 1.5 mm wide, glabrous, base straw-colored to red-brown; blade generally 10–24 cm, 3–9 cm wide, lance-ovate, lowest 2–4 pinnae ± < others. Sporangia: indusia generally ± white.
2n=168. Shady, moist rock crevices, meadows, streamsides; 50–4100 m. Klamath Ranges, North Coast Ranges, Cascade Range, n&c Sierra Nevada Foothills, High Sierra Nevada, San Francisco Bay Area, South Coast Ranges, Transverse Ranges, Peninsular Ranges, Great Basin Floristic Province, Desert Mountains; worldwide. [Online Interchange]
Previous taxon: Cystopteris
Next taxon: Woodsia
Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Mar 9 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2012. Cystopteris, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=22182, accessed on Mar 9 2014
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