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Genus Blechnum Family Blechnaceae

Synonyms: Doodia APNI*

Description: Terrestrial, or rarely epiphytic, ferns; rhizome erect, sometimes creeping or forming a short trunk, covered with scales; stipes not articulated to the rhizome.

Fronds uniform or dimorphic with the fertile fronds usually much narrower than the sterile, vernation circinate; lamina simple, 1-pinnatifid or 1-pinnate, usually leathery.

Sori linear parallel with the midvein, one on each side of, and continuous along the midvein of the frond or segment or one or more rows of linear, discontinuous sori along the midvein and on the frond (the old Doodia); indusium linear, membranous, opening towards the midvein.

Photo © ANBG

Distribution and occurrence: World: 150–200 species, cosmopolitan. Australia: c 25 species, all States.

Text by Peter G. Wilson & Matt A.M. Renner
Taxon concept: Christenhusz MJM, Zhang X-C, Schneider H. 2011. A linear sequence of extant families and genera of lycophytes and ferns. Phytotaxa 19: 7-54.

Taxa not yet included in identification key
Blechnum contiguum,    Blechnum fullagarii,    Blechnum geniculatum,    Blechnum howeanum,    Blechnum lineare,    Blechnum maximum,    Blechnum medium,    Blechnum spinulosum

 Key to the species 
1Fertile and sterile fronds similar, with the fertile pinnae or segments usually somewhat narrower than the sterile ones.2
Fertile and sterile fronds distinctly different, fertile segments or pinnae less than half as broad as the sterile ones.5
2Sterile segments attached by broad bases.Blechnum cartilagineum
Sterile pinnae distinctly stalked, at least in the lower third of lamina.
                       Back to 1
3Fronds erect from an erect rhizome, shiny green; margins of pinnae ± equally finely toothed for their entire length.Blechnum indicum
Fronds usually pendent from a creeping rhizome; margins of pinnae becoming more coarsely toothed towards their tips.
                       Back to 2
4Fertile pinnae more than half as broad as the sterile pinnae.Blechnum gregsonii
Fertile pinnae less than half as broad as the sterile pinnae.
                       Back to 3
Blechnum ambiguum
5Fronds simple or 1-pinnatifid (often mixed on the one plant), never divided to the rachis.Blechnum patersonii
Fronds 1-pinnatisect or 1-pinnate.
                       Back to 1
6Sterile segments attached to rachis by their broad bases.7
Sterile segments stalked, at least in the lower half of the lamina.
                       Back to 5
7Sterile segments free from one another for most of the length of the frond.Blechnum fluviatile
Sterile segments with decurrent bases.
                       Back to 6
8Rhizome long-creeping; sterile segments with rounded apex.Blechnum penna-marina
Rhizome short-creeping or erect; sterile segments with acute apex.
                       Back to 7
9Lamina very rigid; sterile segments with entire margins, 35–120 mm long in the middle of the frond; rachis dark and glossy.Blechnum nudum
Lamina flaccid; sterile segments with crenate margins, 10–25 mm long in the middle of the frond; rachis not glossy, usually straw-coloured.
                       Back to 8
Blechnum chambersii
10Basal pinnae only slightly smaller than the middle pinnae.11
Basal pinnae much reduced in size.
                       Back to 6
11Rhizome scales dark brown to black, with a pale border and finely toothed margin; fertile pinnae 2–3 mm wide.Blechnum wattsii
Rhizome scales brown to reddish brown; fertile pinnae 3–10 mm wide.
                       Back to 10
Blechnum ambiguum
12Lowermost sterile pinnae 5–15 mm long, circular.Blechnum minus
Lowermost sterile pinnae mostly over 20 mm long, occasionally only 15 mm long, ovate to lanceolate, sometimes auriculate at the base.
                       Back to 10
Blechnum camfieldii

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