Description: Plants with climbing twining fronds, rhizomes subterranean, short to long creeping, clothed with septate hairs, stipes and rachises wiry, rachis of indefinite length.
Fronds circinnate, clustered along rhizome, dimorphic to trimorphic. Juvenile fronds once forked into 2 palmately branched pinnae; primary rachis branches alternate with a hairy dormant apex each bearing a pair of secondary 1–3-pinnate pinnae.
Sporangia borne separately on 2 rows on marginal lobes of pinnules, each near a vein ending and covered with indusium. Spores tetrahedral-globose, trilete. Gametophyte asymmetrically cordate, flat, chlorophyllous.
Distribution and occurrence: World 30 species widespread through the tropics or sub-tropics; Australia 4 species extending across northern coastal regions and long the east coast to northern NSW. NSW 1 native species; 1 naturalised species.
Support for the separation from Schizaeaceae: Ref. Smith & al. (2006) Taxon 55 (3): 711
Text by Louisa Murray
Taxon concept: Flora of Australia Volume 48, p 183, R.J. Chinnock (1998) and Smith & al. (2006) Taxon 55 (3): 711
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Stalks of pinnules of similar length along pinnae; pinnules articulated at base, deciduous||Lygodium microphyllum|
|Stalks of pinnules decreasing in length towards pinna apex; pinnules non-articulated at base, persistent||2|
|2||Fronds 2-pinnate||Lygodium flexuosum|
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