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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

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

P. andromedifolia (Kaulf.) Fée COFFEE FERN
Rhizome long-creeping, branched, > 20 cm, 0.5 cm wide; scales 2–3 mm, tan to orange-brown, mid-stripe dark or not. Leaf: ± unclustered, 20–60(80) cm, 10–20(30) cm wide, green to ± purple; stipe < ± 3 mm wide, ± light brown; blade (2–4)3-pinnate, elongate-triangular; segments generally 6–15 mm, 3–10 mm wide, tip ± rounded to obtuse, notched or not. Sporangia: 32- or 64-spored.
2n=58, n=2n=87,116. Generally rocky or dry areas; 30–1800 m. North Coast Ranges, Cascade Range Foothills, Sierra Nevada, Central Western California, Southwestern California; Baja California. Apogamous or generally sexual. California plants diploid (for which the name Pellaea andromedifolia var. rubens D.C. Eaton has been published), triploid, or tetraploid; Pellaea andromedifolia var. pubescens D.C. Eaton (Baker instead might be correct) has been published for hairy plants near coast in southern California, Channel Islands; further study needed to determine whether or not taxonomic recognition of either entity is warranted. [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 29 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Pellaea, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 29 2015

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Pellaea andromedifolia Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.