7. Aleuritopteris likiangensis Ching in S. K. Wu, Acta Phytotax. Sin. 19: 64. 1981.
丽江粉背蕨 li jiang fen bei jue
Rhizomes erect, short; scales concolorous, dark brown to black, narrowly lanceolate. Fronds clustered. Stipe ebony, lustrous, 5-20 cm, base covered with reddish brown, concolorous, lanceolate scales. Lamina dark green, ovate-pentagonal, (4-)6-15 × (4-)6-12 cm, 3-pinnatipartite, thinly leathery when dry, abaxially with white farina, also appearing to have contrasting red glands (these actually red terminal cells of farinose glands), adaxially glabrous, apex long acuminate or caudate; rachis and costae of same color as stipe. Pinnae 2-4 pairs, sessile, basal pair largest, subtriangular, 2-pinnatipartite; pinnules 4 or 5 pairs, basal basiscopic pinnule largest, 4-6.5 cm × 3-4 mm, 1-pinnatipartite; second and third pinnae gradually shortened distally, narrowly triangular, 1-pinnatipartite. Veins pinnate, obscure. Sori consisting of 3 to several sporangia, confluent at maturity. False indusia continuous, margins entire.
● Rock crevices in dry hot valleys; 1500-2900 m. SW Sichuan, NW Yunnan.
Specimens of Aleuritopteris likiangensis and A. veitchii are often difficult to separate. Many specimens determined as A. veitchii have at least some colored apical cells on farinose glands, especially along costae, but they are tan rather than red. The species are retained here provisionally but in the future may prove to be merely forms of a single species.