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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. Campteria

1 Lamina pinnate; basal pair of pinnae each with 1 (sometimes 2) basiscopic pinnules   (2)
+ Lamina 3-partite to pedate, divided into 3 or more branches, each branch pinnate; basal pair of pinnae not branched on basiscopic side   (4)
2 (1) Stipe straw-colored to pale green; lamina hard papery.   70 P. biaurita
+ Stipe chestnut; lamina herbaceous   (3)
3 (2) Costa wings to 5-6 mm wide on both sides; segments 6-9 mm wide.   71 P. maclurei
+ Costa wings ca. 3 mm wide; segments 4-6 mm wide.   72 P. maclurioides
4 (1) Areoles along costules of segments as well as along costa; stipe and rachis straw-colored or light brown   (5)
+ Areoles restricted to along main costa, absent from segments; veins above areoles all free (sometimes basal veins of segment forming areoles); stipe and rachis straw-colored or red or brown-red   (6)
5 (4) Segments 2.5-7 cm, 7-12 mm apart.   77 P. finotii
+ Segments 1-3 cm, 2-5 mm apart.   78 P. tripartita
6 (4) Stipe and rachis straw-colored; segments 30-40 ?ca. 3 mm, 5-8 mm apart; Taiwan.   76 P. taiwanensis
+ Stipe and rachis red or brown-red, or rachis rarely straw-colored; segments 10-25 ?ca. 4 mm, up to 4 mm apart   (7)
7 (6) Stipe and rachis with purple-brownish bristles.   74 P. wallichiana
+ Stipe and base of rachis glabrous (sometimes stipes slightly hairy)   (8)
8 (7) Lamina abaxially with red-brown bristles.   74 P. austrosinica
+ Lamina abaxially subglabrous   (9)
9 (8) Lateral pinnules 20-25 ?ca. 4.5 cm; segments 2-4 mm apart.   75 P. occidentalisinica
+ Lateral pinnules 11-20(-25) ?2-2.5(-3.5) cm; segments 1-2 mm apart.   73 P. wallichiana

List of Keys

  • List of lower taxa


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