Lace fern Microlepia strigosa, photographed by David Eickhoff.

Belongs within: Pteridales.

The Dennstaedtiaceae is a cosmopolitan family of mostly terrestrial ferns. Though primarily tropical, species of Pteridium (bracken) are found in almost all habitats and P. aquilinum is perhaps the world's most common fern.

Characters (from R. B. Cranfill): Plants perennial, mostly terrestrial, rarely epiphytic, generally in mesic, forested habitats. Stems short- to long-creeping, solenostelic (occasionally protostelic), bearing hairs (or less often scales), often branching by means of buds on proximal part of petiole. Leaves monomorphic, circinate in bud. Petiole not articulate, with 1-many vascular bundles, hairy or glabrous (occasionally scaly). Blade 1-pinnate to decompound (rarely simple), glabrous or hairy or with mixture of hairs and glands; rachis and costae grooved adaxially (not grooved in some genera). Veins free or sometimes joined at margin in fertile segments, pinnate or forking in ultimate segments. Sori near or at blade margin on vein tips or submarginal commissural vein; true (inner) indusia present, free or fused with portion of blade margin to form cup or pouch, or obscured by revolute and usually modified portion of blade margin (indusia rarely absent); sporangial stalk of 1-3 rows of cells. Spores not green, tetrahedral or bilateral, monolete or trilete. Gametophytes green, cordate, with archegonia and antheridia borne on lower surface.

    |--Monachosorum henryi Christ 1898 [=Phegopteris subdigitata (Blume) Bedd. 1883 (nom. illeg.)] I88
    |--Histiopteris incisa (Thunberg) Smith 1875 (see below for synonymy) I88
    |--Odontosoria J87
    |    |--O. aculeata J87
    |    `--O. fumarioides J87
    |--Hypolepis I88
    |    |--H. distans A27
    |    |--H. hispaniolica J87
    |    |--H. millefolium HR96
    |    |--H. punctata (Thunberg) Mett. ex Kuhn 1868 I88 (see below for synonymy)
    |    |--H. rugosula C49
    |    `--H. tenuifolia A27
    |--Dennstaedtia SL05
    |    |--D. appendiculata (Wallich) Smith 1875 [=Dicksonia appendiculata Wallich ex Hooker 1844] I88
    |    |--D. globulifera J87
    |    |--D. hirsta CW97
    |    |--D. punctilobula SL05
    |    |--D. rubiginosa L54
    |    `--D. scabra (Wallich) Moore 1861 [=Dicksonia scabra Wallich ex Hooker 1844] I88
    |--Microlepia I88
    |    |--M. calvescens (Wallich) Presl 1849 (see below for synonymy) I88
    |    |--M. firma Mett. ex Kuhn 1869 I88
    |    |--M. hookeriana (Wallich) Presl 1849 [=Davallia hookeriana Wallich ex Hooker 1846] I88
    |    |--M. platyphylla (Don) Smith 1842 [=Davallia platyphylla Don 1825] I88
    |    |--M. speluncae (Linnaeus) Moore 1857 (see below for synonymy) I88
    |    |--M. strigosa (Thunberg) Presl 1849 (see below for synonymy) I88
    |    `--M. trapeziformis (Roxburgh) Kuhn 1882 [=Davallia trapeziformis Roxburgh 1844] I88
    `--Pteridium SS04
         |--P. aquilinum (Linnaeus) Kuhn in Deck. 1879 [=Pteris aquilina Linnaeus 1753] I88
         |    |--P. a. var. aquilinum I88
         |    |--P. a. var. caudatum CW97
         |    `--P. a. var. wightianum (Wallich) Tryon 1941 [incl. P. capense var. densum (Wallich) Nakai 1949] I88
         `--P. esculentum (Forster) Diels 1899 CW97, C49 [=P. aquilinum var. esculentum (Forster) Kuhn 1882 C49]

Nomen nudum: Hypolepis amissa Squinabol 1889 S89

Histiopteris incisa (Thunberg) Smith 1875 [=Pteris incisa Thunberg 1800, Lithobrochia incisa (Thunberg) Presl 1836] I88

Hypolepis punctata (Thunberg) Mett. ex Kuhn 1868 I88 [=Polypodium punctatum Thunberg 1784 I88, Dryopteris punctata (Thunberg) Christensen 1905 C49; incl. H. petriana Carse 1918 C49]

Microlepia calvescens (Wallich) Presl 1849 [=Davallia calvescens Wallich ex Hooker 1846, D. marginalis var. calvescens (Wallich) Clarke 1880, Microlepia marginalis var. calvescens (Wallich) Bedd. 1883; incl. D. scabra Don 1825] I88

Microlepia speluncae (Linnaeus) Moore 1857 [=Polypodium speluncae Linnaeus 1753; incl. Davallia flaccida Don 1825, D. villosa Don 1825] I88

Microlepia strigosa (Thunberg) Presl 1849 [=Trichomanes strigosum Thunberg 1784, Dicksonia strigosa (Thunberg) Thunberg 1794; incl. Davallia polypodioides Don 1825] I88

*Type species of generic name indicated


[A27] Andersen, J. C. 1927. Popular names of New Zealand plants. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 57: 905-977.

[CW97] Castillo, U. F., A. L. Wilkins, D. R. Lauren, B. L. Smith, N. R. Towers, M. E. Alonso-Amelot & R. Jaimes-Espinoza. 1997. Isoptaquiloside and caudatoside, illudane-type sesquiterpene glucosides from Pteridium aquilinum var. caudatum. Phytochemistry 44: 901-906.

[C49] Crookes, M. W. 1949. A revised and annotated list of New Zealand Filicinae. Transactions and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New Zealand 77 (2): 209-225.

[HR96] Heather, B. D., & H. A. Robertson. 1996. The Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand. Viking: Auckland.

[I88] Iwatsuki, K. 1988. An enumeration of the pteridophytes of Nepal. In The Himalayan Plants vol. 1 (H. Ohba & S. B. Malla, eds) The University Museum, University of Tokyo, Bulletin 31: 231-339.

[J87] Judd, W. S. 1987. Floristic study of Morne La Visite and Pic Macaya National Parks, Haiti. Bulletin of the Florida State Museum – Biological Sciences 32 (1): 1-136.

[L54] Lötschert, W. 1954. Beitrag zur Pteridophyten-Flora von Mittel-Amerika. Senckenbergiana Biologica 35 (1-2): 109-119.

[SS04] Schneider, H., E. Schuettpelz, K. M. Pryer, R. Cranfill, S. Magallón & R. Lupia. 2004. Ferns diversified in the shadow of angiosperms. Nature 428: 553-557.

[SL05] Small, R. L., E. B. Lickey, J. Shaw & W. D. Hauk. 2005. Amplification of noncoding chloroplast DNA for phylogenetic studies in lycophytes and monilophytes with a comparative example of relative phylogenetic utility from Ophioglossaceae. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 36: 509-522.

[S89] Squinabol, S. 1889. Res Ligusticae. VII. – Cenno preliminare sulla flora fossile di Santa Giustina. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Genova, Serie 2a 7: 73-76.

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