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Family Pteridaceae

Synonyms: Adiantaceae APNI*
Sinopteridaceae APNI*
Taenitidaceae APNI*
Hemionitidaceae (F.Muell.) Tindale APNI*
Parkeriaceae APNI*
Platyzomataceae APNI*
Vittariaceae APNI*

Description: Terrestrial, epiphytic or aquatic plants; rhizome erect or creeping, covered with non-peltate, non-clathrate scales; stipes not articulated to the rhizome.

Fronds simple or to 1–4-pinnate, sometimes dimorphic, vernation circinate; veins free or anastomosing.

Sori either covering the surface of the fertile pinnae or submarginal, true indusium absent, but a false indusium formed by the recurved margin of the lamina present.

Distribution and occurrence: World: 53 genera and 1211 species (Field 2020), tropical & temperate regions. Australia: 14 genera, 57 species, all States.

External links:

Pteridaceae now includes Adiantiaceae, Parkeriaceae, Platyzomataceae, Sinopteridaceae, and Vittariaceae, following the expanded family circumscription adopted by the Pteridophyte Phylogeny Group (PPG1 2016).

Text by Peter G. Wilson updated by Matt A.M. Renner (5 May 2020)
Taxon concept:

 Key to the genera 
1Sori enclosed by strongly revolute margins of the pinna, the fronds long and narrow, rhizomes hairy (P. platyzomopsis)Pteris
Sori marginal or superficial, margins of fronds recurved by never strongly revolute, rhizomes sometimes hairy2
2Leaves simple, linear, rhizome scales clathrate3
Leaves compound, rhizome scales not clathrate
                       Back to 1
3Sori superficial, spreading along anastomosing veinsAntrophyum
Sori marginal, in 2 longitudinal grooves
                       Back to 2
4Fronds simply pinnate5
Fronds 2-pinnate, 2-pinnatifid or more divided
                       Back to 2
5Pinnae leathery, veins not readily visible; sori continuous in broad bands along each margin of the pinnaPellaea
Pinnae membranous to leathery, veins visible, sori continuous or discontinuous, in narrow bands or continuous across whole lower surface of fertile pinna
                       Back to 4
6Sporangia covering the lower surface of the fertile pinnae; plants growing in brackish swampsAcrostichum
Sporangia in lineaf, submarginal sori; plants not growing in brackish situations
                       Back to 5
7Sori borne only on a reflexed modified flap of lamina (soral flap)Adiantum
Sori superficial, marginal or submarginal, sometimes covered by a reflexed flap of lamina but not borne on that flap, or protected by a marginal indusium
                       Back to 4
8Rhizome and stipe spongy; sporangia solitary, in 2 marginal rows; aquatic and semi-aquatic fernsCeratopteris
                       Back to
9Sori superficial, borne along the length of the veins, exindusiate10
Sori marginal or submarginal, continuous or interupted
                       Back to
10Lamina herbaceous to thinly coriaceous; abaxial surface usually with a white or golden yellow waxy coatingPityrogramma
Lamina membraneous to thinly herbaceous; abaxial surface lacking a coloured waxy coating
                       Back to 9
11Ultimate segments usually more than 10 mm long; if less then fronds only once pinnatePellaea
Ultimate segments 8 mm or less long; fronds at least pinnate-pinnatifid
                       Back to 9

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