10. Teratophyllum Mettenius ex Kuhn, Ann. Mus. Bot. Lugduno-Batavi. 4: 296. 1870.
符藤蕨属 fu teng jue shu
Authors: Shiyong Dong & Michael G. Gilbert
Plants initially terrestrial, climbing up tree trunks. Rhizome long creeping, stout, dorsiventrally compressed, bearing roots ventrally and 2 rows of fronds, often spiny; apex and frond primordia densely scaly; scales brown, peltate, deciduous. Fronds widely spaced, dimorphic with contrasting juvenile and adult sterile fronds; stipe stramineous, terete, base swollen and ± articulate; sterile lamina 1(or 2)-pinnate, juvenile fronds oblong-lanceolate to ovate-triangular in outline, papery; juvenile and lower fronds (bathyphylls) adpressed to substrate, pinnae lobed to pinnatifid; mature upper fronds (acrophylls) held away from substrate, pinnae lanceolate, all pinnae or pinnules articulate to rachis; costae and sometimes veins with small lanceolate or stellate scales; margins entire or serrate; veins free, reaching or nearly reaching margin; costae not grooved adaxially, sparsely scaly, scales lanceolate or stellate. Fertile pinnae linear to linear lanceolate, veins anastomosing but not normally visible. Sporangia acrostichoid; small stalked scales among sporangia. Spores ellipsoid to globose, echinate, reticulate or with short folds.
Thirteen species: China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand; Australia, east to Tahiti, New Caledonia; one species (endemic) in China.
The climbing habit of Teratophyllum is similar to that of Lomagramma, but the genera are easily distinguished by the venation of the sterile leaves, anastomosing in Lomagramma and free in Teratophyllum. Several species of Teratophyllum, including the Hainan species, are further distinguished by the distinctive basal juvenile fronds which are adpressed to the substrate and with crenate to pinnatifid pinnae. Fertile fronds are only produced when the fern reaches well-lit upper parts of the canopy by which time the lower parts of the rhizome with the juvenile fronds have been lost.