Description from Flora of China
Davallia pulchra D. Don, Prodr. Fl. Nepal. 11. 1825; Acrophorus pseudocystopteris (Kunze) T. Moore; A. pulcher (D. Don) T. Moore; Araiostegia athamantica (Christ) Copeland; A. beddomei (C. Hope) Ching; A. delavayi (Beddome ex C. B. Clarke & Baker) Ching; A. imbricata Ching; A. pseudocystopteris (Kunze) Copeland; A. yunnanensis (Christ) Copeland; Davallia athamantica Christ; D. beddomei C. Hope; D. chaerophylla Wallich ex Hooker; D. imbricata (Ching) X. C. Zhang; D. pseudocystopteris Kunze; D. pulchra var. delavayi Beddome ex C. B. Clarke & Baker; D. pulchra var. pseudocystopteris (Kunze) C. B. Clarke; D. rigidula Baker; D. yunnanensis Christ; Davallodes beddomei (C. Hope) M. Kato & Tsutsumi; D. imbricata (Ching) M. Kato & Tsutsumi; D. pseudocystopteris (Kunze) M. Kato & Tsutsumi; D. pulchra (D. Don) M. Kato & Tsutsumi; D. yunnanensis (Christ) M. Kato & Tsutsumi; Humata chaerophylla (Wallich ex Hooker) Mettenius; H. pulchra (D. Don) Diels; H. yunnanensis (Christ) Ching; Leucostegia delavayi (Beddome ex C. B. Clarke & Baker) Ching; L. pseudocystopteris (Kunze) Beddome; L. pulchra (D. Don) J. Smith; L. yunnanensis (Christ) C. Christensen.
Rhizome 2-6 mm in diam. (without scales), not white waxy. Scales brown (often grayish), without pale border, broad, ovate to oblong-subdeltoid with rounded to acute apex, appressed to rhizome, usually crisped, margins recurved, basifixed with cordate base and much overlapping lobes, 2-5 mm, without multiseptate hairs, lacking marginal setae or teeth or those rare. Stipe pale, adaxially grooved, 10-20 cm, glabrous or with few scales (sometimes with more scales); lamina compound, tripinnate or quadripinnate, deltoid and broadest toward base, to elongate, often narrowing toward base, 12-50 × 7-40 cm, glabrous, not or slightly dimorphic. Longest petiolules 3-20 mm; pinnae deltoid or linear-triangular; longest pinnae 5-21 × 3-12 cm; pinnules of at least larger pinnae anadromous, linear-oblong or narrowly ovate; longest pinnules 25-70 × 10-35 mm; ultimate pinnae linear-oblong, lobed almost to midrib (each lobe bilobed again); ultimate segments or lobes obtuse or acute without a tooth, 0.5-3 × 0.6-1 mm. Rachises and costae glabrous. Veins in sterile ultimate lobes frequently simple, not reaching margin; false veins not present. Sori separate, frequently single on a segment, at forking point of veins or at bending point of a vein; indusium reniform or semicircular, attached at narrow, cordate base only, wider than long, 0.5-0.8 × 0.5-1 mm.
Although Araiostegia pulchra is rather variable, especially because in different habitats the size may differ greatly, it is always recognizable by the broad, appressed, usually crisped rhizome scales.
After comparing the types of Davallia pulchra and D. yunnanensis, the current authors consider them to be conspecific because of their similarity.
Wet forests, epiphytic and epilithic on granite and limestone; 400-3500 m. Guangxi, Guizhou, Sichuan, Xizang, Yunnan [Bhutan, India, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, N Thailand, Vietnam].