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Genus Pteris Family Pteridaceae

Synonyms: Platyzoma APNI*

Description: Rhizome tufted or shortly creeping, covered with scales.

Fronds 1–4-pinnate; lamina glabrous or sometimes with jointed hairs; rachis deeply grooved; veins free or anastomosing.

Sori linear and submarginal, true indusia absent, the recurved margin of the lamina forming a false indusium.


Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 250 species, tropical & subtropical regions. Australia: 15 species, all States (Field 2020).

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

 Key to the species 
1Fronds 1-pinnatifid to incompletely 2-pinnate2
Fronds 3-pinnate or more compound6
2Fronds linear, long and narrow; sori enclosed by revolute pinna margins; rhizome hairyPteris platyzomopsis
Fronds ovate, elliptic, or obovate; sori exposed, pinna margins plane; rhizome hairy or not
                       Back to 1
3
3Pinnae decreasing in size towards the the frond base; fronds 1-pinnatePteris vittata
Pinnae increasing in size toward the frond base; fronds subpedate to 1-pinnatifid to incompletely 2-pinnate; primary pinnae increasing in size towards the base of the frond
                       Back to 2
4
4Lamina of terminal pinna decurrent down rachis and fused with lamina of adjacent lateral pinna; fronds pinnatifid to incompletely 2-pinnate5
Terminal pinna stalked, lamina distinct and not fused with adjacent lateral pinna; fronds often with lowermost pair of pinna with a basiscopic pinnule
                       Back to 3
Pteris nipponica
5Fronds to 35 cm long, lowermost primary pinnae to 16 cm long; pinnae stalked except the uppermost, rachis unwingedPteris ensiformis
Fronds at least 60 cm long, lowermost primary pinnae at least 10–30 cm long; pinnae confluent onto rachis in upper third of frond, rachis there continuously or nearly continuously winged
                       Back to 4
Pteris umbrosa
6Fronds pale green with a brown rachis, the veins freePteris tremula
Fronds dark green with a yellowish rachis; the veins reticulate
                       Back to 1
7
7Tertiary pinnules on sterile fronds 4–6(-7) mm wide; terminal pinnules on fertile fronds 8–18(-25) mm long, generally more finely divided than Pteris micropteraPteris comans
Tertiary pinnules on sterile fronds 5–10 mm wide; terminal pinnules on fertile fronds, 12–45 mm long, generally less finely divided and more robust than Pteris comans
                       Back to 6
Pteris microptera

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