Fronds simple or dichotomously branched; stipe erect, slender; lamina reduced to a narrow wing or apparently absent.
Spore-bearing segments pinnately arranged at the apex of the frond or of its branches ('combs'); the sporangia attached along both sides of the segment, protected when young by the recurved margin of the segment; sporangia sessile, ovoid to ellipsoid.
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Sterile fronds simple, flat, >1 mm wide||Schizaea rupestris|
|Sterile fronds dichotomously branched, or simple and <1 mm wide||2|
|2||Sterile fronds simple, usually ± terete; the spore-bearing segments occupying the last 6–10 mm of the fertile frond when mature||Schizaea fistulosa|
|Fronds almost always dichotomously branched, rarely simple but then the spore-bearing segments occupying the last 10–20 mm of the frond when mature|
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|3||Fertile fronds simple or divided dichotomously usually 1–2, rarely 3, times, smooth to scabrous; sterile fronds usually with the first dichotomy below the middle||4|
|Fertile fronds dichotomously divided 3 to 6 times, very scabrous; sterile fronds always with the first dichotomy above the middle|
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|4||Fertile fronds unbranched or dichotomously divided 1(rarely 2) times; sterile fronds unbranched (rarely present); stipe smooth to rough||Schizaea bifida|
|Fertile fronds dichotomously divided 1 to 5 times; sterile fronds dichotomously divided 1-several times; stipe rough|
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