Description: Rhizome ± erect, covered with scales; stoloniferous; stipes clustered, not articulated to rhizome.
Fronds with membranous to almost leathery lamina, pinnate, veins free; stipe usually short, scaly.
Sori superficial; indusium reniform (to rounded).
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 30 species, tropical & subtropical regions. Australia: c. 9 species, Qld, N.S.W., Vic., N.T., W.A.
N. exaltata Schott, the Boston Fern, is widely cultivated and has been reported as naturalised in the Sydney area, however this has not been substanciated by collections.
Nephrolepis is sometimes placed in the family Davalliaceae, Dryopteridaceae, Nephrolepidaceae or Polypodiaceae.
Text by Peter G. Wilson, Flora of New South Wales 1 (1990), under family Davalliaceae; revised May 2017, P.G. Kodela
Taxon concept: Australian Plant Census (accessed May 2017)
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Scales on the upper side of the rachis with a darker spot at their point of attachment. Central pinnae close together with basal lobes often overlapping the next closest pinnae and the bases partly covering the rachis underneath; indusia kidney- to crescent-shaped or triangular-rounded||2|
|Scales on the upper side of the rachis evenly coloured, without a distinctively darker area at point of attachment. Central pinnae bases usually not overlapping as described above; indusia more rounded to horseshoe-shaped||Nephrolepis exaltata|
|2||Fronds at first erect then tending to arch with age. Tubers absent. Spores (18-)22(-27) microns along polar axis and (24-)35(-43) microns along the equatorial axis. 2n=164||Nephrolepis flexuosa |
|Fronds always erect. Tubers present. Spores smaller than above. 2n=82|
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