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  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.

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.

ADIANTUM

Plant in soil or rock crevices; rhizome short-creeping, scales variously colored
Leaf < ± 1 m; petiole cylindric, generally dark reddish brown to blackish, shiny, ± scaly at base; blade 2–3-pinnate or ± palmate-pinnate (1st division ± palmate, subsequent ones pinnate), segments stalked, fan-shaped or oblong, generally lobed, toothed, or both; axes, blades lacking colored exudate
Sporangia borne along veins on and covered by highly modified, recurved part of segment margin, appearing to run together at maturity; false indusia ± semi-circular to linear; spores generally smooth, tan
Species in genus: ± 200 species: tropical, temp
Etymology: (Greek: unwettable)
Widely cultivated.

Native

A. capillus-veneris L.

SOUTHERN MAIDEN-HAIR


Leaf generally 20–40(7–50+) cm; petiole dark brown to blackish; blade 2–3-pinnate; segments cut or lobed often > 1/4 way to base, often with < 4 ± irregular lobes, margins at base converging at 45–90°, stalk color often extending gradually into base, midvein often extending part way along 1 margin
Sporangia: sori (and false indusia) 3–11, rarely 2 per segment, generally < 5 mm
Chromosomes: 2n=60
Ecology: Uncommon (or locally common). Shaded, rocky or moist banks, exposed sites or not
Elevation: < 2000 m.
Bioregional distribution: North Coast Ranges, Cascade Range Foothills, n Sierra Nevada Foothills, s High Sierra Nevada, San Joaquin Valley, Central Coast, Outer South Coast Ranges, Southwestern California (except South Coast), Great Basin Floristic Province, Desert
Distribution outside California: generally s US, worldwide, especially temperate
Widely cultivated (including many cultivars); recency of collections, erratic distribution suggest sp. alien in CA
Horticultural information: IRR or WET, DRN: 4, 5, 6 &SHD: 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.

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