Polystichum Roth

7 species endemic AUST.; all states and territories except W.A. & N.T.

Terrestrial ferns. Rhizomes erect, short, thick, densely clothed with lacerate, non-peltate, non-clathrate scales which are often of several kinds. Stipes clustered, not articulated to the rhizome, often densely scaly. Main rhachis with proliferous scaly buds in some species; the ridges of the upper surface never continuous with the frond-margin; the intervening channel glabrous or scaly. Lamina coriaceous, anadromous, 1-pinnate to decompound, seldom dilated towards the base, not basiscopically produced, glandular hairs absent. Pinnae not articulated to the rhachis, unequally-sided, usually clothed with fibrillose scales having fimbriate bases; basal acroscopic pinnule or lobe of the middle primary pinnae either slightly more remote from or slightly closer to the main rhachis than the basal basiscopic pinnule or lobe (Fig. 10). Ultimate segments mostly with aristate marginal teeth or at least a mucronate apex. Veins free, anadromous (Fig. 10). Sori orbicular, superficial. Indusium orbicular-peltate, rarely absent. Sporangia with an annulus of 12–18 or more thick-walled cells and 6–9 thin-walled cells including a 2-celled stomium, with or without glandular hairs on the long, narrow pedicels. Spores bilateral, mostly globoso-ellipsoidal or oblong, with a perispore which is tuberculate or echinulate or covered with balloon-like wings or plicate and broadly winged.