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Genus Schizaea Family Schizaeaceae

Description: Rhizome creeping or almost erect, the young parts and stipe bases covered with coarse segmented hairs.

Fronds simple or dichotomously branched; stipe erect, slender; lamina reduced to a narrow wing or apparently absent.

Spore-bearing segments pinnately arranged at the apex of the frond or of its branches ('combs'); the sporangia attached along both sides of the segment, protected when young by the recurved margin of the segment; sporangia sessile, ovoid to ellipsoid.

Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 30 species, pantropical to southern temperate regions. Australia: 4 species, all States.

Text by Peter G. Wilson (1990, 2000)
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Sterile fronds simple, flat, >1 mm wideSchizaea rupestris
Sterile fronds dichotomously branched, or simple and <1 mm wide2
2Sterile fronds simple, usually ± terete; the spore-bearing segments occupying the last 6–10 mm of the fertile frond when matureSchizaea fistulosa
Fronds almost always dichotomously branched, rarely simple but then the spore-bearing segments occupying the last 10–20 mm of the frond when mature
                       Back to 1
3Fertile fronds simple or divided dichotomously usually 1–2, rarely 3, times, smooth to scabrous; sterile fronds usually with the first dichotomy below the middle4
Fertile fronds dichotomously divided 3 to 6 times, very scabrous; sterile fronds always with the first dichotomy above the middle
                       Back to 2
Schizaea dichotoma
4Fertile fronds unbranched or dichotomously divided 1(rarely 2) times; sterile fronds unbranched (rarely present); stipe smooth to roughSchizaea bifida
Fertile fronds dichotomously divided 1 to 5 times; sterile fronds dichotomously divided 1-several times; stipe rough
                       Back to 3
Schizaea asperula

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