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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 2 | Polypodiaceae | Pleopeltis

1. Pleopeltis astrolepis (Liebmann) E. Fournier, Mexic. Pl. 1: 87. 1872.

Star-scaled fern

Polypodium astrolepis Liebmann, Kongel. Danske Vidensk. Selsk. Skr., Naturvidensk. Math. Afd., ser. 5, 1: 185. 1849; Grammitis elongata Swartz (not Polypodium elongatum Aiton); G. lanceolata Schkuhr; G. revoluta Sprengel ex Willdenow; Pleopeltis revoluta (Sprengel ex Willdenow) A. R. Smith

Stems long-creeping, branched, ca. 1 mm diam.; scales round to ovate-lanceolate, centrally clathrate with cell luminae clear, pubescent, hairs reddish brown. Leaves to 20 cm, weakly hygroscopic. Petiole conspicuously flattened, sparsely scaly; scales rarely overlapping, margins fringed. Blade linear-elliptic, simple, to 2 cm wide, margins entire, moderately scaly abaxially, sparsely scaly adaxially; scales bicolored, mostly round, less than 0.5 mm wide, centers brown, clathrate, margins transparent, deeply fringed. Venation complexly anastomosing, fertile areoles with several included veinlets. Sori oval to oblong, discrete or often confluent, surficial to shallowly embossed, soral scales attached to receptacle. Spores shallowly and irregularly papillate to verrucose, ca. 58 ┬Ám. 2 n = 136.

Epiphytic in swamps on pond apple ( Annona glabra Linnaeus); 0 m; Fla.; Mexico; West Indies; Central America; South America.

Pleopeltis astrolepis is a common species in tropical America, including the West Indies. The only known North American locality, in Broward County, Florida, was discovered in 1977, and (in 1992) the plants are in danger of extirpation from development.


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