Gleicheniaceae - Forking Fern Family

Photo: BT. Wursten
Zimbabwe

 

Description of the family

Terrestrial or lithophytic ferns. Rhizome thin, widely creeping, branched, apex with fringed scales or branched hairs. Fronds widely spaced, arranged in 1 row, scandent, with indeterminate growth. Lamina variously compound, pseudo- dichotomously branched with a dormant apical bud between the pairs of pinnae, herbaceous to coriaceous. Veins free, forked. Indumentum composed of stellate and branched hairs and fimbriate bracts confined to the rhizome and frond axes. Sori circular, superficial or immersed, on acroscopic vein branches, without indusia.

Worldwide: Pantropical, also in Japan, Australia and New Zealand (Source GBIF); 6 genera and ± 125 species

 

Genera

  • Dicranopteris Bernh.
  • Gleichenia Sm.
  • Sticherus C. Presl.
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    Literature

  • Crouch, N.R., Klopper, R.R., Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2011) Ferns of Southern Africa, A comprehensive guide. Struik Nature.
  • Jacobsen, W.B.G. (1983) The Ferns and Fern Allies of Southern Africa. Butterworths, Durban and Pretoria.
  • Roux, J.P. (2001) Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13: 1-222.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1970) Pteridophyta. Flora Zambesiaca, 0: 1-254.
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