Description: Terrestrial ferns; rhizome creeping (rarely erect), covered with simple hairs or, less commonly, multicellular hairs or scales; stipes not articulated to the rhizome.
Fronds uniform or ± dimorphic; lamina mostly large and much-divided, leathery or herbaceous, hairy or glabrous; veins free or loosely anastomosing.
Sori marginal or submarginal, circular or linear; false indusium usually present (mostly with an inner true indusium present as well) or occasionally sori unprotected. A somewhat heterogeneous family.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 11 or 12 genera, c. 190 species, tropical to temperate regions. Australia: 5 genera, 14 species, all States.
Text by Peter G. Wilson
| ||Key to the genera|| |
|1||Sori circular, often in the fork between the lobes of ultimate segments||2|
|Sori linear, marginal, covered by false indusia formed from recurved margins of the segments||3|
|2||Indusium cup-like with the outer, false, indusium fused to the inner indusium||Dennstaedtia|
|Indusium false or absent, sori protected by recurved marginal flap or if sori away from margin then unprotected|
Back to 1
|3||Fronds tough and leathery, veins free; rhizome covered with hairs||Pteridium|
|Fronds soft and membranous, veins loosely anastomosing; rhizome covered with scales and/or hairs|
Back to 1