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Higher Taxonomy
Family: PteridaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: 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.
Genera In Family: +- 40 genera, 500 species: worldwide, especially dry areas. Note: CA members of Cheilanthes moved to the distantly related Myriopteris; Pellaea breweri to be moved as well, from a to-be-redefined Pellaea; traditional, often untenable limits of genera outside CA also being clarified using molecular phylogenetics.
eFlora Treatment Author: Ruth E.B. Kirkpatrick, Alan R. Smith & Thomas Lemieux, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Alan R. Smith, Thomas J. Rosatti.

Habit: 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.
Species In Genus: +- 35 species: tropics, temperate, few in Europe, 0 in Asia. Etymology: (Greek: dusky, from blue-gray leaves) Note: Occasionally cultivated; as defined by Tryon (1957), polyphyletic (Kirkpatrick, 2007).
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).
eFlora Treatment Author: Ruth E.B. Kirkpatrick, Alan R. Smith & Thomas Lemieux
Jepson Online Interchange
Key to Pellaea

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Citation for this treatment: Ruth E.B. Kirkpatrick, Alan R. Smith & Thomas Lemieux 2016. Pellaea, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 28, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 28, 2016.

Pellaea breweri
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© 2004 Larry Blakely
Pellaea andromedifolia
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© 2012 Gary A. Monroe
Pellaea mucronata var. californica
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© 2015 Keir Morse
Pellaea brachyptera
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© 2015 Dana York
Pellaea mucronata var. mucronata
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© 2008 Keir Morse
Pellaea andromedifolia
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© 2006 George W. Hartwell

More photos of Pellaea in CalPhotos