Description: Terrestrial ferns, rarely climbing or proliferous; rhizome creeping or erect, sparsely covered with non-peltate, non-clathrate scales; stipes not articulated to the rhizome, sparsely scaly near the base, the upper parts bearing hairs.
Fronds mostly uniform, vernation circinate; lamina usually 1-pinnate or 2-pinnatifid, rarely 2-pinnate or more compound, often covered with simple, whitish, needle-like hairs and frequently with glandular hairs; veins free or with some veinlets from adjacent lobes anastomosing and running to the base of the fork between the lobes.
Sori superficial, circular; indusium usually present, reniform.
Distribution and occurrence: World: 28 genera, up to 1000 species, chiefly tropical, with a few extending into temperate regions. Australia: 11 genera, 23 species, all States except N.T.
Text by Peter G. Wilson
| ||Key to the genera|| |
|1||Fronds 2-pinnate or more compound; midribs of pinnae not grooved on the upper surface; veins forked, free||Macrothelypteris|
|Fronds 1-pinnate or 2-pinnatifid; midribs of pinnae grooved on the upper surface; veins simple, anastomosing||2|
|2||Rhizomes long-creeping in swampy ground; lower pinnae not markedly reduced||Cyclosorus|
|Rhizomes erect or creeping, growing in damp places but not in swamps; lower pinnae often reduced in size|
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|3||Fronds with lower surface of the pinnae bearing short, fine, white hairs along the veins; indusia always present, hairy; rhizomes creeping or erect; scales of rhizome and stipe base narrow, <1 mm wide||Christella|
|Fronds with lower surface of the pinnae glabrous; indusia glabrous or absent; rhizomes erect, developing into a short trunk with age; scales of rhizome and stipe base wide, c. 2 mm wide|
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