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Published In: Schul-Botanik, oder, Kurze Naturgeschichte der Pflanzen überhaupt 109. 1831. (Schul-Bot.) Name publication detail

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 8/5/2009)


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PTERIDACEAE (Maidenhair Fern Family)

Plants perennial (rarely annual elsewhere), homosporous, with rhizomes. Leaves variously compound. Sporangia aggregated into sori on the undersurface of the leaves, submarginal or sometimes extending along the veins to nearly cover the leaf undersurface, exposed or partially covered by the recurved margin of the pinnules (known as a false indusium), the sporangial annulus an interrupted, vertical ring of cells. Spores 32 or 64 per sporangium, mostly brown to tan (black, gray, or yellow elsewhere), trilete. Gametophytes green, flat, obcordate to kidney-shaped. About 40 genera, about 1,000 species, worldwide.

The Pteridaceae are a large, widely distributed family that is well represented in seasonally dry regions of the world. Many of the species have highly modified leaves with small, sometimes leathery leaflets and dense hairs, scales, farina, or other glandular exudates. In some species the leaves curl up during drought, but rehydrate following rain. These characteristics are presumably adaptations to life in dry environments. Hybridization, polyploidy, and apogamy also are common in the family. The family name Pteridaceae has priority over Adiantaceae, a name used in some older floristic manuals.


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1.Underside of the pinnules with a dense, white, powdery farina
1.Underside of the pinnules glabrous, hairy, or scaly, not farinose
2.Pinnules obliquely wedge-shaped to nearly rectangular, lobed apically or along 1 side; veins easily seen, branching dichotomously 1 to several times; sporangia borne on the underside of the recurved margins of the pinnules
2.Pinnules linear, oblong, or triangular, entire or lobed along the sides or at the base; veins difficult to observe, unbranched or with 1–3 lateral branches; sporangia borne on the main undersurface of the pinnules rather than on the recurved margins
3.Pinnules of vegetative leaves less than 1 cm long, less than 2 mm wide
3.Pinnules of vegetative leaves more than 1 cm long, more than 5 mm wide
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