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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 2-3 | Pteridaceae

5. Pteris Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 1073. 1753.

凤尾蕨属 feng wei jue shu

Authors: Wenbo Liao, Ding Mingyan, Zhaohong Wu, Jefferson Prado & Michael G. Gilbert

Pteris wallichiana

Credit: Harvard University Herbaria

Plants terrestrial. Rhizome erect or ascending (rarely short or prostrate), vascular system a complex solenostele or dictyostele, scaly; scales brown, narrowly lanceolate or linear, membranous, firm. Fronds clustered; stipe deeply grooved adaxially, with one vascular bundle V-shaped in cross section; fronds mostly 1- or 2-pinnate, rarely 3-pinnate (Pteris cryptogrammoides), pedate, or sometimes 3-forked, pinnae entire or pectinately divided into segments, sometimes asymmetrical; basal pinnae often with 1 (or more) pinnule near base on basiscopic side, this similar to main part of pinna but smaller; apical pinnae similar to lateral pinnae; costa or midvein deeply grooved adaxially, often with awns on base of each costa; venation free or areolate, veins simple or 2-forked, if areolate then with regular rows of narrow areoles along costa (sometimes also along segment costules), a few species with veinlike heterocells (false veins) below epidermis (P. cadieri, P. grevilleana, P. multifida, etc.); lamina herbaceous or papery when dried, sometimes subleathery, glabrous or rarely pubescent. Sori linear, along margin, except at base or basal sinus and apex, with paraphyses; annulus consisting of 16-34 incrassate cells; spores trilete (a few species with monolete spores), gray or black, surfaces scabrous or verrucose. x = 29.

About 250 species: distributed in tropical and subtropical areas, southward to New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa, north to Japan and North America; 78 species (35 endemic) in three sections in China.

Of the 78 Chinese species of Pteris, most occur mainly in S and SW China, with a few species in E China south of the Qin Ling.

Apomixis is frequent in Pteris; the gametophytes bud off embryos without fertilization.

Pteris natiensis Tagawa (J. Jap. Bot. 14: 109. 1938) has been recorded in China (Fl. Zhejiang 1: 86. 1986), but Japanese authors consider this species to be endemic to Japan.

Five uncertain taxa, not included in the following keys, are listed at the end of the account.

Uncertain taxa Pteris blumeana C. Agardh (Recens. Spec. Pter. 22. 1839; P. quadriaurita Retzius var. blumeana (C. Agardh) C. B. Clarke), recorded from Yunnan. Pteris hunanensis C. M. Zhang (in W. T. Wang et al., Keys Vasc. Pl. Wuling Mount. 562. 1995), described from Hunan. The image of the type shows a single incomplete frond probably belonging to P. sect. Pteris. Pteris intromissa Christ (Philipp. J. Sci., C, 2: 173. 1907). As well as a number of collections from the Philippines, the protologue mentioned a collection by Henry from China (“Swatow”), but this collection has not been seen. Pteris rufopilosa Ching & Y. X. Lin (Acta Phytotax. Sin. 22: 197. 1984), described from Xizang (Mêdog) and compared with P. austrosinica (Ching) Ching in the protologue. Pteris shimenensis C. M. Zhang (in W. T. Wang et al., Keys Vasc. Pl. Wuling Mount. 561. 1995), described from Hunan.

Key to Pteris sect. Quadriauricula

1 Frond 3-partite; lateral divisions same shape as terminal one but smaller (P. ser. Longipedes Ching)   (2)
+ Frond pinnate (P. ser. Quadriauritae Ching)   (3)
2 (1) Lateral pinnae 12-20 per rachis.   67 P. longipes
+ Lateral pinnae 4-6 per rachis.   68 P. paucipinnula
3 (1) Fronds dimorphic.   44 P. cadieri
+ Fronds monomorphic   (4)
4 (3) Pinnae entire; frond with 2 or 3 pairs of lateral pinnae.   69 P. quadristipitis
+ Pinnae pectinately divided; frond usually with 4 or more pairs of lateral pinnae (sometimes fewer in P. aspericaulis)   (5)
5 (4) Lateral pinnae asymmetrical along costa, lobes shorter and/or fewer, sometimes almost absent, on acroscopic side   (6)
+ Lateral pinnae (at least of sterile fronds) symmetrical along costa with acroscopic side as wide as basiscopic side   (11)
6 (5) Basiscopic side of costa with 0-3 segments, acroscopic side with 3-6 segments; segments 3.5-6 ?ca. 0.6 cm, lowermost sometimes with secondary lobes so pinna 2-pinnatifid.   43 P. formosana
+ Basiscopic side of costa regularly pectinately lobed, acroscopic side with fewer and smaller segments, sometimes almost entire   (7)
7 (6) Stipe straw-colored or dark straw-colored; costa with finely toothed protuberances or short spines along groove   (8)
+ Stipe castaneous-red or dark castaneous; costa with erose margin along adaxial groove   (9)
8 (7) Plants often to 1.5(-2) m; lamina segments distinctly decurrent at base.   39 P. malipoensis
+ Plants 0.8-1 m; lamina segments separate, basiscopic not distinctly decurrent at base.   41 P. inaequalis
9 (7) Plants often 1-1.5 m; rhizome scales with paler margins.   38 P. dissitifolia
+ Plants often 0.3-0.8 m; rhizome scales uniformly blackish brown   (10)
10 (9) Segments distant, almost entirely restricted to basiscopic side, acroscopic side entire or with very few shorter segments, distinctly decurrent at base; veins of sterile frond ending at base of shortly acuminate teeth.   37 P. semipinnata
+ Segments closely spaced, on both sides with acroscopic segments only slightly shorter than basiscopic segments, not distinctly decurrent at base; veins of sterile frond ending within long acuminate teeth.   36 P. dispar
11 (5) Basal pinnae similar to upper pinnae, without any basiscopic branches   (12)
+ Basal pinnae with one or more basiscopic branches near their bases   (15)
12 (11) Abaxial surface of costa, costule, and segments glabrous   (13)
+ Abaxial surface of costa with coarse hairs; costules and abaxial surface of segments ?hairy   (14)
13 (12) Lateral pinnae 5-10 pairs; stipe, rachis, and costae green.   40 P. terminalis
+ Lateral pinnae 2-5 pairs; stipe, rachis, and costae often purple.   49 P. aspericaulis
14 (12) Pinna segments 8-12 pairs restricted to basal half of pinna, pinna apex linear, more than half as long as pinna.   46 P. heteromorpha
+ Pinna segments 15-20 pairs distributed along most of length of pinna, pinna apex shorter than lower segments.   47 P. decrescens
15 (11) Lamina with narrow lines (false veins) between veins.   45 P. grevilleana
+ Lamina without lines between veins   (16)
16 (15) Margins of sterile segments serrate.   42 P. amoena
+ Margins of sterile segments entire, sometimes slightly undulate   (17)
17 (16) Two veins from adjacent segments reaching base of incision of pinnae, forming an acute triangle, sometimes forming areoles; pinnae often pinnatifid.   66 P. arisanensis
+ Two veins from adjacent segments reaching incision of pinnae, forming a short obtuse triangle; pinnae pinnate or deeply pinnatisect   (18)
18 (17) Segment apex mucronate   (19)
+ Segment apex not mucronate   (24)
19 (18) Costae abaxially coarsely hairy; midvein and abaxial surface of segments ?hairy.   48 P. longipinnula
+ Costae smooth or rough   (20)
20 (19) Lower vein of basal pair of veins of segment near to costa and subparallel to costa; basal pinnae with ca. 2 cm stalk.   52 P. splendida
+ Lower vein of basal pair of veins of segment oblique, not parallel to costa; basal pinnae sessile or subsessile   (21)
21 (20) Stipe grayish brown, rough-surfaced; lamina very rigid, drying gray-green; spines along costae adpressed and inconspicuous.   50 P. scabririgens
+ Stipe green, straw-colored, or partly ?purple; lamina papery to herbaceous, not drying gray-green; spines along costae ?patent   (22)
22 (21) Stipe, rachis, and costae all green.   48 P. longipinnula
+ Stipe, rachis, and costae straw-colored or partly ?purple   (23)
23 (22) Stipe as long as lamina; lamina oblong-ovate; indusia purple or straw-colored.   49 P. aspericaulis
+ Stipe ca. 2 ?as long as lamina; lamina ovate-triangular, 3-forked; indusia yellowish.   51 P. caiyangheensis
24 (18) Pinnae abaxially with short or flakelike hairs   (25)
+ Pinnae abaxially glabrous   (27)
25 (24) Pinnae abaxially with flakelike hairs (especially along costa); costa blue-green; segment costules with needlelike spines.   61 P. viridissima
+ Pinnae abaxially sparsely shortly pubescent on basiscopic side; costa straw-colored, sometimes light purple; segment costules with flat spines   (26)
26 (25) Segments acute, adaxially sparsely shortly hairy; costules adaxially with thin acute spines.   62 P. hirsutissima
+ Segments obtuse, adaxially glabrous; costules adaxially without spines.   60 P. puberula
27 (24) Lamina subleathery when dry; costae with soft flat spines adaxially.   63 P. subquinata
+ Lamina papery or herbaceous when dry; costae with distinct, needlelike or oblate spines   (28)
28 (27) Fronds with (9-)11-16 pairs of pinnae, basal pinnae often each with (2 or)3 or 4 basiscopic branches.   53 P. setulosocostulata
+ Fronds with (3-)5-9 pairs of pinnae, basal pinnae each with 1 or 2 basiscopic branches   (29)
29 (28) Pinnae divided to costa; stipe reddish brown   (30)
+ Pinnae pinnatifid; stipe mainly straw-colored   (31)
30 (29) Stipe glossy, scales expanded at base.   64 P. bella
+ Stipe not glossy, muricate, scales not expanded at base.   65 P. scabristipes
31 (29) Plants more than 1.3 m tall; lateral pinnae ca. 35 cm, median pinnule segments 35-55 ?7-9 mm.   59 P. majestica
+ Plants 0.5-1 m tall; lateral pinnae 12-23 cm, median pinnule segments 10-16 ?4-5 mm   (32)
32 (31) Lateral pinnae oblique upward   (33)
+ Lateral pinnae spreading or oblique   (34)
33 (32) Lateral pinnae widest at base (triangular) or oblong.   55 P. oshimensis
+ Lateral pinnae widest at their middle.   56 P. fauriei
34 (32) Lateral pinnae triangular (widest at base) or oblong in outline.   54 P. kiuschiuensis
+ Lateral pinnae often widest at their middle   (35)
35 (34) Median pinnae 17-23 ?4-6.5 cm; segments not narrowed to apex, linear, obtuse, ca. 1 mm apart.   58 P. obtusiloba
+ Median pinnae 5-16 ?2-3.2 cm; segments narrowed to apex, linear-lanceolate, 2-4(-7) mm apart   (36)
36 (35) Stipe 43-65 cm, sparsely scaly; lateral pinnae 5-7 pairs.   57 P. angustipinnula
+ Stipe 10-42 cm, glabrous; lateral pinnae 1 or 2(-14) pairs.   49 P. aspericaulis

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