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Alan R. Smith and Thomas Lemieux

Perennial, in soil or on or among rocks; rhizome creeping to erect, scaly
Leaves generally all ± alike (or of 2 kinds, fertile and sterile), generally < 50 cm, often < 25 cm; petiole generally thin, wiry, often dark, in transverse section with vascular strands generally 1–3, less often many in a circle; blade generally pinnate or ± palmate-pinnate (see Adiantum ), often 2 or more compound, lower surface often with glands, ± powdery exudate, hairs, or scales; segments round, oblong, fan-shaped, or otherwise, veins generally free
Sporangia in sori or not, marginal, submarginal, or along veins, sometimes covered by recurved, often modified segment margins (false indusia); true indusia 0; spores spheric, sides sometimes flat, scar with 3 radiating branches
Genera in family: ± 40 genera, 500 species: worldwide, especially dry areas. Definition of Cheilanthes and related genera problematic; traditional limits often untenable.



Plant in soil or rock crevices; rhizome short- to long-creeping, scales overlapping, narrowly linear, light- to reddish or medium-brown, often with darker mid-stripe
Leaves erect, persistent, < 1 m; petioles ± cylindric, generally dark or reddish brown to blackish, ± 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 whitish to yellowish exudate or not; segment margin generally recurved, generally modified; spores tan to light yellow
Species in genus: ± 35 species: tropical, temp, few in Eur, 0 in Asia
Etymology: (Greek: dusky, from bluish gray leaves)
Reference: [Tryon 1957 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 44(2):125–193]
Not commonly cultivated.


P. bridgesii Hook.

Rhizome short-creeping, many-branched, > 15 cm, 0.5 cm wide; scales light to medium brown with darker mid-stripe
Leaves clustered, 12–25(35) cm, 1.5–2(3.5) cm wide, blue-green; petiole < 1.5 mm wide; blade 1-pinnate, oblong; 1° leaflets < 2 cm, < 1.5 cm wide, rounded, unlobed, often folded lengthwise
Sporangia in marginal bands; segment margin modified but not recurved; spores 64
Chromosomes: 2n=58
Ecology: Generally granite rock crevices, slopes
Elevation: 1200–3200 m.
Bioregional distribution: High Sierra Nevada
Distribution outside California: to Oregon, Idaho
Hybrids with P. mucronata (P. X glaciogena W. Wagner, A.R. Sm. & T.R. Pray) are sterile, ± common, c&s SNH, 1500–2400 m, intermediate between parents (see Wagner et al. 1983 Madroño 30:69–83)
Horticultural information: DFCLT.

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