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Family Hymenophyllaceae

Description: Small delicate epiphytic or terrestrial plants, grows in rainforest under very moist conditions; rhizome creeping or erect, with an indumentum of hairs; stipes not articulated to the rhizome.

Fronds small, rarely exceeding 30 cm in length, simple or compound, vernation circinate; lamina thin and translucent, one cell thick except at the veins, stomates absent; veins free, false veins sometimes present.

Sori marginal or terminal on the segments, or on short lateral lobes, free from or to some degree immersed in the lamina; sporangia borne on a short or elongated rod-like receptacle enclosed in a 2-valved to tubular involucre.

Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 42 genera, c. 600 species, tropical to temperate regions. Australia: 12 genera, 41 species, Qld, N.S.W., Vic., Tas.

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Cephalomanes is keyed out but is not treated further. C. atrovirens Presl is doubtfully recorded from the far NC of N.S.W.; it is native of N Qld, New Guinea, Philipp., Solomons, Vanuatu, and a single record (1887) for LHI.

The number of genera and the placement of species in them varies in different treatments. For example, in Flora of Australia (Bostock & Spokes, 1998) the number of genera is 5, with 45 species for Australia.The genera as described in the Flora of New South Wales (Harden, 1990) are retained; however, synonyms names under alternate are given.

Text by Peter G. Wilson
Taxon concept:

Taxa not yet included in identification key
Cephalomanes,    Polyphlebium

 Key to the genera 
1Lamina simple, entire or irregularly lobed but not regularly pinnatifid2
Lamina more divided, regularly pinnatifid to pinnately decompound, or digitate or flabellate3
2Margin of lamina of 1–2 rows of glossy black cellsHymenophyllum
Margin of lamina not as above
                       Back to 1
3Rhizome creepingCrepidomanes
Rhizome erect
                       Back to 1

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