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16. Tectaria Cavanilles, Anales Hist. Nat. 1(2): 115. 1799.

Halberd fern [Latin tectum, roof, and aria, a substantive suffix, alluding to the rooflike indusium of some species]

Robbin C. Moran

Plants terrestrial or on rock. Stems short-creeping to erect, stolons absent. Leaves monomorphic, evergreen. Petiole 3/4--3 times length of blade, base not swollen; vascular bundles more than 3, arranged in an arc, ± round in cross section. Blade lanceolate to deltate or pentagonal, entire to 1-pinnate-pinnatifid [3-pinnate-pinnatifid], reduced distally to shallowly lobed or hastate apex, herbaceous to papery. Pinnae not articulate to rachis, segment margins entire to sinuate or shallowly lobed; proximal pinnae not or only slightly reduced, sessile to short-petiolulate, base equilateral or often inequilateral with prominent basiscopic lobe(s); costae adaxially rounded or shallowly grooved, grooves not continuous from rachis to costae; indument lacking or of multicellular hairs on costae abaxially, of multicellular hairs on costae adaxially. Veins reticulate, areoles with or without included veinlets. Sori in 1--several rows between midrib and margin, round; indusia peltate to round-reniform and with narrow sinus, persistent or caducous. Spores brownish, with inflated folds or wings. x = 40.

Species ca. 200 (4 in the flora): mostly tropical.


Morton, C. V. 1966. The Mexican species of Tectaria. Amer. Fern J. 56: 120--137.

1 Blades 15-50 cm; areoles with included veinlets.   (2)
+ Blades 5-15 cm; areoles rarely with included veinlets.   (3)
2 (1) Indusia peltate, attached centrally; pinnae cordate at base; rachises and costae glabrous abaxially.   1 Tectaria heracleifolia
+ Indusia round-reniform, attached at sinus; pinnae oblique at base; rachises and costae puberulent abaxially.   2 Tectaria incisa
3 (1) Pinnae 1-8 pairs, often with proliferous buds in axils; petiole shorter than or rarely equaling blade, pubescent on both surfaces; indusia round-reniform, attached at sinus.   3 Tectaria coriandrifolia
+ Pinnae absent or 1(-2) pair, without proliferous buds in axils; petiole 1-3 times length of blade, pubescent adaxially, lacking hairs abaxially; indusia peltate, attached centrally.   4 Tectaria fimbriata

Lower Taxa


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