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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 2 | Thelypteridaceae | Thelypteris

12. Thelypteris kunthii (Desvaux) C. V. Morton, Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 38: 53. 1967.

Widespread maiden fern, southern shield fern

Nephrodium kunthii Desvaux, Mém. Soc. Linn. Paris 6: 258. 1827; Christella normalis (C. Christensen) Holttum; Dryopteris normalis C. Christensen; Thelypteris macrorhizoma R. P. St. John; T. normalis (C. Christensen) Moxley; T. saxatilis R. P. St. John; T. unca R. P. St. John

Stems short- to long-creeping, 4--8 mm diam. Leaves monomorphic, evergreen, up to 2(--3) cm apart, (15--)50--160 cm. Petiole straw-colored, (5--)20--80 × (1--)3--6 mm, at base with brown, linear-lanceolate, hairy scales. Blade (9--)30--80 cm, broadest at base, gradually tapered to pinnatifid apex. Pinnae (2--)8--15(--20) × (0.6--)1--2.5 cm, incised 3/5--4/5 of width; segments oblong, rounded to acute at apex; proximal pair of veins from adjacent segments running to sinus, or nearly so. Indument abaxially of hairs mostly 0.3--1 mm on costae, veins, and blade tissue; veins adaxially with similar hairs but blade tissue usually without hairs, often with scattered yellowish, stalked glands 0.1 mm. Sori round, medial to supramedial; indusia tan, hairy, hairs 0.2--0.4 mm; sporangial glands obscure, yellowish, stalked, arising from sporangial stalks. 2 n = 144.

Roadsides, ditches, riverbanks, woodlands, limestone sinks; 0--100 m; Ala., Ark., Fla., Ga., La., Miss., S.C., Tex.; e,s Mexico; West Indies; Bermuda; Central America to Costa Rica; South America from Colombia to n Brazil.

Thelypteris kunthii occasionally hybridizes with T . augescens and T . ovata in Florida; hybrids with T . hispidula may also occur.


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