PTERIDACEAE

Pteridaceae is a family of ferns in the order Polypodiales, including some 1150 known species in ca 45 genera (depending on taxonomic opinions), divided over five subfamilies. The family includes four groups of genera that are sometimes recognized as separate families: the adiantoid, cheilanthoid, pteroid, and hemionitidoid ferns. Relationships among these groups remain unclear, and although some recent genetic analyses of the Pteridales suggest that neither the family Pteridaceae nor the major groups within it are all monophyletic, as yet these analyses are insufficiently comprehensive and robust to provide good support for a revision of the order at the family level.

Members of Pteridaceae have creeping or erect rhizomes. The leaves are almost always compound and have linear sori that are typically on the margins of the leaves and lack a true indusium, typically being protected by a false indusium formed from the reflexed margin of the leaf.

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