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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] Definition of Cheilanthes, related genera problematic; traditional limits often untenable. —Scientific Editors: Alan R. Smith, Thomas J. Rosatti.

Key to Pteridaceae

PELLAEA CLIFF-BRAKE
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. mucronata (D.C. Eaton) D.C. Eaton BIRD'S-FOOT FERN
NATIVE
Rhizome short-creeping, branched, > 8 cm, 0.5–1 cm wide; scales ± brown, mid-stripe dark. Leaf: ± clustered, ± green to ± purple; stipe < 2(3) mm wide; blade 2–3(4)-pinnate, narrowly triangular to oblong; segments 2–6(8) mm, 0.5–2(4) mm wide, linear to oblong, with mucro. Sporangia: 64-spored.
2n=58. [Online Interchange]

P. mucronata var. mucronata
NATIVE
Leaf: 20–40(60) cm, 5–15 cm wide; blade 2–3(4)-pinnate; pinnae not overlapped, generally ± spreading to widely ascending; fertile segments not appearing folded in half, recurved margins not meeting abaxially.
Rocky or dry areas; 20–2400 m. North Coast Ranges, Cascade Range, Sierra Nevada, Great Central Valley (Sutter Buttes), Central Western California, Southwestern California, East of Sierra Nevada, Desert Mountains; Baja California. Hybrids with Pellaea brachyptera (pinnae linear, well-spaced on elongate 2 ×-pinnate axes), Pellaea truncata (some pinnae irregularly lobed, costae ± 90° from rachis) ± common. [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Aug 2 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Pellaea, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=75897, accessed on Aug 2 2014

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