Description: Rhizome creeping, densely covered with narrow, dark, non-peltate scales.
Fronds not dimorphic, not strongly circinate; stipe wiry, brown to black, usually glossy, sometimes densely scaly, the bases persistent; lamina 1-pinnate [more compound in non-Australian species]; pinnae entire, leathery, mostly glabrous; veins obscure, free.
Sori linear, submarginal, with false indusium continuous along the margin of the pinna, formed from the reflexed margin.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 35 species, tropical to temperate regions. Australia: 5 species, Qld, N.S.W., Vic., Tas.
Text by Peter G. Wilson
| ||Key to the species|| |
|Fronds 2- to 3-pinnate||Pellaea viridis|
|2||Rachis scales and hairs mid-brown to dark brown, spreading, persistent; stalks of basal pinna <1.5 mm long||3|
|Rachis scales and hairs whitish to pale brown, ± appressed, antrorse; scales often not persistent; stalks of basal pinnae at least 1.5 mm long|
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|3||Rachis scales mostly 3–4 mm long; pinnae 22–56 mm long||Pellaea falcata|
|Rachis scales mostly 1–2.5 mm long; pinnae 5–25 mm long|
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|4||Pinnae asymmetric, 20–60 mm long, all lateral pinnae ± the same size||Pellaea paradoxa|
|Pinnae symmetric about the midrib, 14–30 mm long; lateral pinnae progressively reducing in length and width towards the apex of the frond|
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