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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 2-3 | Polypodiaceae

24. Microsorum Link, Hort. Berol. 2: 110. 1833.

星蕨属 xing jue shu

Authors: Zhang Xianchun & Hans P. Nooteboom

Kaulinia B. K. Nayar.

Plants medium-sized, mainly epiphytic or epilithic, rarely terrestrial. Rhizome thick, fleshy, white waxy or not, creeping, with peltate or pseudopeltate clathrate or subclathrate scales. Fronds dimorphic or not, simple or pinnatifid; lamina leathery or herbaceous, veinlets anastomosing, free included veinlets forked, ending in hydathode. Sori scattered and sometimes forming 2-8 irregular rows between veins, often some connate, elongate on veinlets, without scalelike paraphyses. Spores verrucate or irregularly rugate.

About 40 species: mainly in tropical Asia, few to Africa; five species in China.

There is debate as to the exact delimitation of Microsorum, as molecular data indicates that it is not monophyletic (Kreier et al., Molec. Phylogen. Evol. 48: 1155-1167. 2008). Li Wang et al. (Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 162: 28-38. 2010) confirmed this and have transferred one species to Lepidomicrosorium and two to Neolepisorus. These will key out to Microsorum in the key to genera, so they have been included within the following key to species. X. C. Zhang has recently resurrected the genus Kaulinia and transferred M. insigne to it (Lycophytes Ferns China, 627. 2012).

1 Fronds normally pinnate or forked, sometimes simple; rhizome often dorsiventrally flattened, closely attached to rocky substrate   (2)
+ Fronds simple, entire, lanceolate; rhizome usually cylindrical, often more loosely attached and epiphytic   (3)
2 (1) Fronds normally pinnate, occasionally trilobate or simple; stipe and costa abaxially not scaly; spores covered with abundant globules.   4 M. insigne
+ Fronds normally trilobate or simple; stipe and costa abaxially scaly; spores covered with abundant globules and irregular spines.   5 M. pteropus
3 (1) Rhizome slender; fronds far apart   (4)
+ Rhizome thick; fronds clustered   (5)
4 (4) Scales spreading, broadly lanceolate, gradually narrowing toward apex.   Lepidomicrosorium superficiale (see p. 830)
+ Scales appressed, ovate-deltoid, acuminate at apex.   Neolepisorus fortunei (see p. 807)
5 (3) Lateral veins prominent, raised prominently, almost from main veins to margin   (6)
+ Lateral veins obscure   (7)
6 (5) Fronds thinly herbaceous; stipe with edges, cross section subtriangular; scales on rhizomes slightly spreading, ovate to triangular; sori small, scattered or irregularly confluent.   1 M. membranaceum
+ Fronds papery; stipe cylindric; scales on rhizomes prominently spreading, lanceolate; sori large, in 2 regular rows between adjacent main veins.   Neolepisorus zippelii (see p. 807)
7 (5) Fronds linear-lanceolate, gradually narrowed toward apex; scales on rhizome appressed or slightly spreading, broadly ovate, ca. 3 mm, broad at base, rounded, acuminate at apex; apical cell of paraphyses not enlarged.   2 M. punctatum
+ Fronds oblanceolate, acuminate at apex; scales on rhizome prominently spreading, lanceolate, 3-4 mm, gradually narrowed toward apex; apical cell of paraphyses often large and curved.   3 M. steerei

Lower Taxa


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Photos by The Biodiversity of the Hengduan Mountains Project  
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