1. Cryptogramma stelleri (S. G. Gmelin) Prantl in Engler, Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 3: 413. 1882.
Slender rock-brake or cliff-brake, Steller's rock-brake, fragile rock-brake, cryptogramme de steller
Pteris stelleri S. G. Gmelin, Novi Comment. Acad. Sci. Imp. Petrop. 12: 519. 1768
Stems creeping, few branched, slender, 1--1.5 mm diam., succulent, brittle; scales colorless, sparse, transparent-reticulate, ovate, 0.4 × 0.3 mm; stems shriveling in 2d year following emergence of leaves. Leaves scattered along stems, ephemeral (dying by late summer), soon shed; sterile leaves erect, 3--15 cm; fertile leaves erect, 5--20 cm; petioles, costae, and costules glabrous. Petiole dark brown in proximal 1/2 or less, becoming greenish distally, ca. 1 mm wide when dry, only slightly furrowed, glabrous. Blade broadly lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate, all pinnate-pinnatifid to 2-pinnate, herbaceous to membranous, thin; hydathodes superficial, often poorly developed or absent. Segments of sterile leaves ovate-lanceolate to fan-shaped, distal 1/2--1/3 shallowly lobed; segments of fertile leaves horizontal to ascending, often only partially differentiated from sterile leaves, lanceolate to linear, 8--25 × 2--4 mm; margins reflexed, forming continuous false indusia. Sporangia often in discrete sori. 2 n = 60.
New growth produced in spring, dying by late summer. Sheltered calcareous cliff crevices and rock ledges, typically in coniferous forest or other boreal habitats; 0--3000 m; Alta., B.C., N.B., Nfld., N.W.T., N.S., Ont., P.E.I., Que., Yukon; Alaska, Colo., Conn., Ill., Iowa, Maine, Mass., Mich., Minn., Mont., Nev., N.H., N.J., N.Y., Oreg., Pa., Utah, Vt., Wash., W.Va., Wis., Wyo.; Europe in ne former Soviet republics; Asia.