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Sherry Whitmore and Alan R. Smith

Perennial, on plants, rocks, in rock crevices, less often in soil, humus, or on dunes; rhizome short- to long-creeping, branched, glaucous to not, scaly
Leaves ± alike or of 2 kinds, fertile and sterile; petiole thin to thick, straw-colored or green to brown or black, generally jointed to persistent knob on rhizome; blade generally simple to 1-pinnate, membranous to fleshy or leathery; veins free to fused, generally forked
Sporangia: sori round to elongate, rarely linear, generally 1 per areole, in 1–several rows on each side of segment midrib; indusium 0; spores generally ± elliptic, ± smooth to coarse-tubercled or -ridged, scar linear
Genera in family: ± 46 genera, ± 650 species: worldwide, especially Old World tropical. Numbers of genera, species depend on treatment; many species cultivated.



Sherry Whitmore

Rhizome long-creeping; scales lanceolate, ± brownish, 1-colored or often with darker central area or midstripe
Leaves 0.2–10(20) dm, ± alike or fertile > sterile; petiole glabrous to scaly; blade 1-pinnate to generally deeply pinnately lobed, rarely simple and unlobed, glabrous to hairy, glandular or not, scales on lower surface midrib near base generally lanceolate or linear-lanceolate, generally ± brown; veins free to fused
Sporangia: sori in 1 row on each side of segment midrib, generally raised, sometimes including branched or unbranched, glandular hairs, sporangium-like structures, or shriveled sporangia; spores yellow
Species in genus: ± 160 species: generally New World, tropical, some temp, few boreal
Etymology: (Latin: many feet, from rhizome)
Reference: [Whitmore & Smith 1991 Madroño 38:233–248]
50% or more malformed spores indicates hybrid involving 2 or more species in CA.


P. hesperium Maxon


Rhizome 3–6 mm diam, whitish glaucous or not, taste acrid to sweet; scales 1-colored or generally with ± darker central area
Leaves alive until new leaves formed; blade 2–25 cm, oblong to oblong-ovate, ± membranous to ± thick, ± firm, upper surfaces of midribs glabrous, segments entire to serrate, tips generally obtuse to acute, veins free
Sporangia: sori 1–2.5 mm, ovate, each with 0–5(10) dark brown or reddish black, shriveled, glandular sporangia
Chromosomes: 2n=148
Ecology: Rock crevices, talus slopes, under rock ledges
Elevation: 1400–2980 m.
Bioregional distribution: Klamath Ranges, n&c High Sierra Nevada, San Bernardino Mountains, San Jacinto Mountains, White and Inyo Mountains, e Desert Mountains (New York Mtns)
Distribution outside California: to British Columbia, Rocky Mtns, n Mexico
Synonyms: P. vulgare L. var. columbianum Gilbert
Hybrids with P. glycyrrhiza (SNH) uncommon, sterile, 2n=111; see P. californicum.
Horticultural information: TRY; DFCLT.

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