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Perennial herb, on plants, rocks, in rock crevices, or in soil, humus, or on dunes; rhizome short- to long-creeping, branched, glaucous to not, scaly. Leaf: ± alike or of 2 kinds, fertile and sterile; stipe thin to thick, generally straw-colored or green to brown, base persistent on rhizome; blade generally simple to 1-pinnate, membranous to fleshy or leathery; veins free to generally fused, often netted. Sporangia: sori round to elongate (linear), generally 1 per areole, in 1–several rows on each side of segment midrib; indusium 0; spores elliptic, ± smooth to coarse-tubercled or -ridged, scar linear.
± 40 genera, ± 650 species: worldwide, especially tropics; many species cultivated. —Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
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.Key to Polypodium
± 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.
Rhizome 3–6 mm diam, white-glaucous or not, taste acrid to sweet; scales 1-colored or generally with ± darker central area. Leaf: alive until new leaves formed; blade 2–25 cm, oblong to oblong-ovate, ± membranous to ± thick, ± firm, midrib adaxially glabrous, segments entire to minutely serrate, tips generally obtuse to acute, veins free. Sporangia: sori 1–2.5 mm, round to ovate, each with 0–5(10) dark brown or red-black, shriveled, glandular sporangia.
2n=148. Rock crevices, talus slopes, under rock ledges; 1400–2980 m. Klamath Ranges, n&c High Sierra Nevada, San Bernardino Mountains, San Jacinto Mountains, White and Inyo Mountains, e Desert Mountains (New York Mtns); to British Columbia, Rocky Mountains, northern Mexico. Hybrids with Polypodium glycyrrhiza (High Sierra Nevada) uncommon, sterile, 2n=111; see Polypodium californicum. [Online Interchange]
Previous taxon: Polypodium glycyrrhiza
Next taxon: Polypodium scouleri
Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Jul 23 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Polypodium, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=39358, accessed on Jul 23 2014
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