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Pellaea andromedifolia

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.
Genus: PellaeaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: CLIFF-BRAKE
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 & Edward Alverson

Pellaea andromedifolia (Kaulf.) Fée
Habit: Rhizome long-creeping, branched, > 20 cm, 0.5 cm wide; scales 2--3 mm, tan to orange-brown, mid-stripe dark or not. Leaf: +- unclustered, 20--60(80) cm, 10--20(30) cm wide, green to +- purple; stipe < +- 3 mm wide, +- light brown; blade (2--4)3-pinnate, elongate-triangular; segments generally 6--15 mm, 3--10 mm wide, tip +- rounded to obtuse, notched or not. Sporangia: 32- or 64-spored. Chromosomes: 2n=58, n=2n=87,116.
Ecology: Generally rocky or dry areas; Elevation: 30--1800 m. Bioregional Distribution: NCoR, CaRF, SN, CW, SW; Distribution Outside California: Baja California. Note: Apogamous or generally sexual. California plants diploid (for which the name Pellaea andromedifolia var. rubens D.C. Eaton has been published), triploid, or tetraploid; Pellaea andromedifolia var. pubescens D.C. Eaton (Baker instead might be correct) has been published for hairy plants near coast in southern California, ChI; further study needed to determine whether or not taxonomic recognition of either entity is warranted.
eFlora Treatment Author: Ruth E.B. Kirkpatrick, Alan R. Smith, Thomas Lemieux & Edward Alverson
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botanical illustration including Pellaea andromedifolia


Citation for this treatment: Ruth E.B. Kirkpatrick, Alan R. Smith, Thomas Lemieux & Edward Alverson 2017. Pellaea andromedifolia, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on September 23, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on September 23, 2017.

Pellaea andromedifolia
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© 2010 Thomas Stoughton
Pellaea andromedifolia
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© 2008 Keir Morse
Pellaea andromedifolia
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© 2007 Neal Kramer
Pellaea andromedifolia
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© 2006 George W. Hartwell
Pellaea andromedifolia
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© 2012 Gary A. Monroe
Pellaea andromedifolia
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© 2008 Keir Morse

More photos of Pellaea andromedifolia in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Pellaea andromedifolia:
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
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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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.