Pteris L.

14 species in AUST. (11 native, 3 naturalized); all states and territories

Terrestrial ferns. Rhizome thick, shortly creeping, with a dictyostele or a complex solenostele, clothed with scales which are non-peltate but attached by a broad base. Stipes grooved on the upper surface, yellow or red or bright brown in the Australian species. Lamina 1-pinnate to pinnately decompound, usually with the pinnae divided near the base, glabrous or sometimes with articulate hairs. Secondary rhachises of species with decompound fronds deeply grooved on the upper surface, with raised edges; the basiscopic margins of the latter being continuous with the edges of the groove of the main rhachis; short spines often present at the base of the costules. Veins free below the sori (as in the 3 species below) or anastomosing without free vein-endings in the areolae. Sori linear, continuous along the margin of the pinnae or pinnules except at the apices, borne on a vascular commissure connecting the ends of the veins. Indusium consisting of the recurved modified margin of the pinnae or pinnule, opening introrsely. Paraphyses present, often numerous. Sporangia having long pedicels with 3 rows of cells; the annulus including 16–34 thick-walled cells. Spores mostly tetrahedral or sometimes bilateral, smooth, light-coloured to almost black, covered with tubercles or often elaborately sculptured.