Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

 
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PTERIDACEAE

BRAKE FAMILY

Alan R. Smith and Thomas Lemieux

Perennial, in soil or on or among rocks; rhizome creeping to erect, scaly
Leaves generally all ± alike (or of 2 kinds, fertile and sterile), generally < 50 cm, often < 25 cm; petiole generally thin, wiry, often dark, in transverse section with vascular strands generally 1–3, less often many in a circle; blade generally pinnate or ± palmate-pinnate (see Adiantum ), often 2 or more compound, lower surface often with glands, ± powdery exudate, hairs, or scales; segments round, oblong, fan-shaped, or otherwise, veins generally free
Sporangia in sori or not, marginal, submarginal, or along veins, sometimes covered by recurved, often modified segment margins (false indusia); true indusia 0; spores spheric, sides sometimes flat, scar with 3 radiating branches
Genera in family: ± 40 genera, 500 species: worldwide, especially dry areas. Definition of Cheilanthes and related genera problematic; traditional limits often untenable.

PTERIS

BRAKE

Plant generally in soil; rhizome erect or short- to long-creeping, scaly or hairy
Leaves generally alike, 1–4-pinnate, erect-arched; petiole, axes grooved on upper surface, grooves from main axis of blade to 1° leaflets connected; lowermost 1° leaflets strongly asymmetric, 2° leaflets on basal surface more developed (except P. vittata )
Sporangia among hair-like structures in continuous, marginal bands; false indusia along segment margins except at bases, tips, and between lobes, partly covering sporangia, scarious
Species in genus: ± 250–300 species: generally tropical, subtropical. Popular In cultivation.

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