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Family Polypodiaceae

Synonyms: Grammitidaceae APNI*

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.

External links:

The genera Notogrammitis and Grammitis are challenging to differentiate in a key. For this reason the keys to species under Grammitis covers both genera. We recognise Notogrammitis because Grammitis comprises at least 5 different lineages, these are scattered throughout the grammitid phylogeny. While Australasian species are reasonably well studied, Grammitis from the rest of the world are still being worked on to resolve this polyphyly. See Ranker et al. (2004) Phylogeny and evolution fo grammitid ferns (Grammitidiaceae): a case of rampant morphological homoplasy. Taxon 53: 415-428, and Perrie and Parris (2012) Chloroplast DNA sequences indicate the grammitid ferns (Polypodiaceae) in New Zealand belong to a single clade, Notogrammitis gen. nov. New Zealand Journal of Botany 50: 457-472.

Text by Peter G. Wilson
Taxon concept:

 Key to the genera 
1Fronds of two kinds, sterile, papery `nest leaves' and much-divided fertile fronds2
Fronds either of one kind or if dimorphic then `nest leaves' never present and fertile fronds simple or rarely divided3
2Bracket epiphytes, rhizome short-creeping; sterile fronds broad, ± circular and overlapping; fertile fronds dichotomously dividedPlatycerium
Epiphytic or found growing on rocks, rhizome creeping; sterile fronds longer than broad, alternating with the fertile fronds; fertile fronds pinnate
                       Back to 1
3Fronds with lamina covered with appressed, persistent, stellate hairs; rhizome scales not clathratePyrrosia
Fronds with lamina lacking stellate hairs; rhizome scales clathrate
                       Back to 1
4Sori 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 apexBelvisia
Sori circular or ovate, never confluent; fronds not markedly dimorphic, lamina simple or pinnatifid
                       Back to 3
5Stipe very short or absent; fronds always simple, reticulations of the lamina lacking free, included veinlets6
                       Back to
6Fronds 30 cm or more in length, linear, sori impressed into lamina, adaxial lamina surface conspicuously raised over soriDictymia
Fronds 10 cm or less in length, adaxial lamina surface not conspicuously raised over sori
                       Back to 5
7Rhizome short-creeping to tufted and erect, veins usually ending with a hydathodeGrammitis
Rhizome short to long creeping, veins ending in a hydathode or not
                       Back to 6
8Rhizome densely covered in golden-brown hairs; fronds waxy, often with glaucous bloomPhlebodium
Rhizome covered in red-brown scales, appressed or spreading; fronds glossy or mat, mid-green
                       Back to

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