Description: Epiphytic or growing on rocks, rarely terrestrial; rhizome usually long-creeping, short-creeping in a few genera, covered with scales; stipes generally articulated to the rhizome.
Fronds uniform to distinctly dimorphic, vernation circinate; lamina simple, pinnatifid, pinnate or dichotomously branched, glabrous or covered with peltate or stellate scales; veins anastomosing, often with free vein endings in the reticulations, rarely free.
Sori without indusium, circular or elongated or covering whole, or portions of, the fertile frond.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 20–50 genera, c. 1000 species cosmopolitan. Australia: 11 genera, 28 or 29 species, all States except S.A.
The genera Notogrammitis and Grammitis are challenging to differentiate in a key. For this reason the keys to species under both genera cover all species.
Text by Peter G. Wilson
| ||Key to the genera|| |
|1||Fronds of two kinds, sterile, papery `nest leaves' and much-divided fertile fronds||2|
|Fronds either of one kind or if dimorphic then `nest leaves' never present and fertile fronds simple or rarely divided||3|
|2||Bracket epiphytes, rhizome short-creeping; sterile fronds broad, ± circular and overlapping; fertile fronds dichotomously divided||Platycerium|
|Epiphytic or found growing on rocks, rhizome creeping; sterile fronds longer than broad, alternating with the fertile fronds; fertile fronds pinnate|
Back to 1
|3||Fronds with lamina covered with appressed, persistent, stellate hairs; rhizome scales not clathrate||Pyrrosia|
|Fronds with lamina lacking stellate hairs; rhizome scales clathrate|
Back to 1
|4||Sori elongate, covering the surface of the very narrow, tail-like apical portion of the fertile frond; fronds regularly dimorphic, lamina simple or sometimes forked into 2 at the apex||Belvisia|
|Sori circular or ovate, never confluent; fronds not markedly dimorphic, lamina simple or pinnatifid|
Back to 3
|5||Stipe very short or absent; fronds always simple, reticulations of the lamina lacking free, included veinlets||6|
|6||Fronds 30 cm or more in length, linear, sori impressed into lamina, adaxial lamina surface conspicuously raised over sori||Dictymia|
|Fronds 10 cm or less in length, adaxial lamina surface not conspicuously raised over sori|
Back to 5
|7||Rhizome short-creeping to tufted and erect, veins usually ending with a black hydathode||Grammitis|
|Rhizome short to long creeping, veins ending in a black hydathode or not|
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|8||Rhizome densely covered in golden-brown hairs; fronds waxy, often with glaucous bloom||Phlebodium|
|Rhizome covered in red-brown scales, appressed or spreading; fronds glossy or mat, mid-green|