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Vascular Plants of California
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Cystopteris fragilis


Higher Taxonomy
Family: CystopteridaceaeView Description 
Common Name: FRAGILE FERN FAMILY
Habit: Perennial herb in soil on rock crevices; rhizome short- to long-creeping. Leaf: spirally arranged, short-spaced or distant, 5--40 cm, +- alike; stipe firm or fleshly, with 2 vascular strands, often expanded at base ("trophopods"); blade 2--3-pinnate-pinnately lobed, thin-herbaceous, broadest at the base or lanceolate, veins free, extending to leaf margin. Sporangia: sori round, with hood-like indusium arching over sorus [naked (Gymnocarpium)].
Genera In Family: 3 genera, +- 37 species: Cystopteris and Gymnocarpium widespread north-temperate (Cystopteris south through Andes, Africa, Australia, New Zealand); Acystopteris southeast Asia (Rothfels et al. 2013 Syst Bot 38:295--306).
Unabridged Note: Polyploidy, often accompanied by hybridization (allopolyploidy), common; many widespread species represent complexes of allopolyploid lineages (Rothfels et al. 2014 Taxon 63:1026--1036; Rothfels et al. 2016 New Phytol in press). Outlying (sister) family to remainder of the large eupolypods II clade (suborder Aspleniineae; Pteridophyte Phyogeny Group 2016 J Syst Evol in press); only distantly related to Woodsiaceae, where often included (Smith et al. 2016 Taxon 55:705--731).
eFlora Treatment Author: Carl J. Rothfels & Alan R. Smith
Scientific Editor: Bruce G. Baldwin & Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: CystopterisView Description 


Common Name: FRAGILE FERN
Habit: Rhizome generally short-creeping. Leaf: stipe +- fleshy, often with few scales, base ×-section with 2 vascular strands; blade 2--4-pinnate, pinnae sides unequal, acroscopic pinnules more spreading, larger, more incised; veins free and extending to leaf margin. Sporangia: sori round; indusia hood-like, arched over sorus, attached on side away from margin, often obscure in mature sori.
Species In Genus: 26+ species: generally temperate, a few at high elevations in tropics. Etymology: (Greek: bladder fern, from indusia)
Unabridged Note: Often confused with Woodsia (pinnae sides equal; more fragmented indusia encircling sorus base; veins ending before leaf margin). Species limits, especially in the Cystopteris fragilis complex (sensu Rothfels et al. 2013 Syst Bot 38:295--306), obscured by hybridization and polyploidy (Rothfels et al. 2014 Taxon 63:1026--1036; Rothfels et al. 2016 New Phytol in press).
eFlora Treatment Author: Carl J. Rothfels & Alan R. Smith
Cystopteris fragilis (L.) Bernh.
NATIVE
Habit: Rhizome 2--4 mm diam; scales at tip, lanceolate, +- brown, shining, glabrous, entire. Leaf: 8--30(37) cm; stipe generally < blade, < 1.5 mm wide, glabrous, base straw-colored to red-brown; blade generally 10--24 cm, 3--9 cm wide, lance-ovate, lowest 2--4 pinnae +- < others. Sporangia: indusia generally +- white. Chromosomes: 2n=168.
Ecology: Shady, moist rock crevices, meadows, streamsides; Elevation: 50--4100 m. Bioregional Distribution: KR, NCoR, CaR, n&c SNF, SNH, Teh, SnFrB, SCoR, n ChI (Santa Cruz Island), TR, PR, GB, DMtns; Distribution Outside California: worldwide. Note: Highly polymorphic; Californian plants may represent a species complex. Malformed spores produced by some plants, possibly indicating hybridization, polyploidy.
Jepson eFlora Author: Carl J. Rothfels & Alan R. Smith
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Botanical illustration including Cystopteris fragilis

botanical illustration including Cystopteris fragilis

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Citation for this treatment: Carl J. Rothfels & Alan R. Smith 2016, Cystopteris fragilis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, Revision 4, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/eflora/eflora_display.php?tid=22182, accessed on November 18, 2019.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2019, Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/eflora/, accessed on November 18, 2019.

Cystopteris fragilis
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© 2006 Steve Matson
Cystopteris fragilis
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© 2016 James Morefield
Cystopteris fragilis
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© 2014 Julie Kierstead Nelson
Cystopteris fragilis
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© 2017 Keir Morse
Cystopteris fragilis
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© 2008 Christopher L. Christie
Cystopteris fragilis
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© 2006 Steve Matson

More photos of Cystopteris fragilis in CalPhotos



Geographic subdivisions for Cystopteris fragilis:
KR, NCoR, CaR, n&c SNF, SNH, Teh, SnFrB, SCoR, n ChI (Santa Cruz Island), TR, PR, GB, DMtns
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).





 

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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.