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DRYOPTERIDACEAE

WOOD FERN FAMILY

Alan R. Smith and Thomas Lemieux

Perennial, in soil or rock crevices; rhizome generally short-creeping, suberect, or erect, scales large, generally tan to brown, generally 1-colored
Leaves generally tufted, 5–200+ cm, generally ± alike; petiole generally firm, base generally darker, with 2–many vascular strands; blade 1–4-pinnate, often with scales, hair-like scales, hairs (except clear, needle-like hairs generally 0), or short-stalked glands on axes, sometimes between veins, veins free to netted; 1° and 2° axes generally grooved on upper side
Sporangia: sori round, less often oblong or J-shaped, along or at tips of veins; indusia peltate, round-reniform, oblong to linear, J-shaped, hood-like, or cup-like, rarely 0; spores elliptic, winged, ridged, or spiny, scar linear
Genera in family: ± 60 genera, > 1000 species: worldwide, especially tropical, wooded areas. Woodsia sometimes in Woodsiaceae; Athyrium, Cystopteris sometimes in Athyriaceae.

CYSTOPTERIS

FRAGILE FERN

Rhizome generally short-creeping
Leaf: petiole ± fleshy, often with few scales, base in X -section with 2 vascular strands; blade 2–4-pinnate, veins free
Sporangia: sori round; indusium hood-like, arched over sorus, attached on side away from margin
Species in genus: ± 10 species: generally temp
Etymology: (Greek: bladder fern, from indusium)

Native

C. fragilis (L.) Bernh.

Rhizome 2–4 mm diam; scales at tip, lanceolate, brownish, shining, glabrous, entire
Leaf 8–30(37) cm; petiole generally < blade, < 1.5 mm wide, base straw-colored to reddish brown; blade generally 10–24 cm, 5–9 cm wide, ovate-lanceolate, lowest 2–4 1° leaflets ± < others
Chromosomes: 2n=168
Ecology: Shady, moist rock crevices, meadows, banks, streamsides
Elevation: 50–3800 m.
Bioregional distribution: Klamath Ranges, Outer North Coast Ranges, High 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
Distribution outside California: worldwide
Horticultural information: WET or IRR: 4, 5, 6, 17 &SHD: 1, 2, 3, 7, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.

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