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



Warren H. Wagner, Jr.

Perennial, small, fleshy, generally glabrous; caudex generally underground, unbranched; roots glabrous, with bulblets or plantlets or not
Leaf generally 1 per caudex per year, divided into 2 facing parts with a common stalk; sterile part separated from fertile at to well above ground, blade simple to compound, veins free and forked (or netted, with included veinlets); fertile part bladeless, bearing sporangia, simple to compound
Sporangia dehiscent into 2 valves, ± 1 mm wide, thick-walled
Genera in family: 3 genera, 70–85 species: ± worldwide, generally rare or overlooked. Fern-like plants with many traits of seed plants. Specimens must be carefully spread and pressed for identification; haploid generation underground, fleshy, non-green, associated with fungi.



Roots smooth, pale or cork-ridged, dark gray, without bulblets or plantlets
Leaf generally deciduous; bud glabrous or hairy; sterile part generally ± 1–3-pinnate (rarely simple or entire), linear to deltate, segments linear to oblong and midribbed or spoon- to wedge- or fan-shaped and not midribbed, veins free, forked, margins entire to dentate or irregularly cut; fertile part 1–3-pinnate, < to > sterile
Sporangia not sunken in axis; stalk 0 or short
Species in genus: 40–50 species: generally temp to arctic or alpine
Etymology: (Greek: bunch of grapes, from clusters of sporangia)
Reference: [Wagner & Wagner 1983 Amer Fern J 73:53–62]
Difficult, needing careful study; most species very uncommon, sporadic; good sampling of populations highly desirable in specimens
Horticultural information: TRY; DFCLT.


B. multifidum (S.G. Gmel.) Rupr.


Plant often robust, fleshy, leathery, evergreen; caudex < 5 cm, < 1 cm wide; roots 5 mm thick (1 cm from base), encircled by coarse, blackish, corky ridges
Leaf: bud densely hairy; sterile part separated from fertile near ground, stalk generally ± < blade, blade generally ± 2–3-pinnate, < 35 cm wide, segments ovate, oblique, margins entire to shallowly crenate; fertile part 2–3-pinnate or aborted
Chromosomes: 2n=90
Ecology: Common. Shores, edges of lakes, marshes, among willows
Elevation: < 2800 m.
Bioregional distribution: North Coast, Cascade Range, High Sierra Nevada, Central Coast, Modoc Plateau
Distribution outside California: to e N.America., Europe
Synonyms: subspp. coulteri (L. Underw.) R.T. Clausen and silaifolium (C. Presl) R.T. Clausen
Horticultural information: WET: 4, 5, 6, 17 &SHD: 1, 2, 3, 7, 14, 15, 16.

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