Description from Flora of China
Polypodium [par.] Phegopteris C. Presl, Tent. Pterid. 179. 1836.
Plants mid- and small-sized, terrestrial. Rhizome long creeping or short and erect, densely covered with brown scales and whitish acicular hairs. Fronds remote or clustered; stipe stramineous, shiny, slender, base scaly; scales brown, lanceolate and sparsely long hairy along margins; lamina bipinnatifid or pinnate-pinnatifid, ovate-triangular or narrowly lanceolate; pinnae connected to each other by a narrow wing along rachis, or proximal 1-3 pairs free, proximal pinnae not shortened or basal pair only slightly shortened, or proximal several pairs gradually reduced to auricles; veins pinnate, lateral veins simple or forked, veinlets reaching margins; lamina herbaceous or soft papery, with whitish acicular hairs on both surfaces, rachis, costae, and costules rounded and raised on both sides and similarly with dense acicular hairs, sometimes mixed with a few forked hairs, with more brownish hairs and lanceolate, ciliate scales abaxially. Sori orbicular to oblong, borne above middle of ultimate veins, exindusiate or indusia very small and vestigial; sporangia often with a few short acicular hairs or capitate hairs near annulus. Spores bilateral, reniform, perispores winged, thin, and transparent, granular on surfaces. x = 30.
Phegopteris is monophyletic and differs from Pseudophegopteris in its smaller stature, stramineous stipes, laminae usually triangular or narrowly lanceolate, proximal pinna bases decurrent and adnate to each other by a rachis wing, veinlets reaching margin, sparsely ciliate scales on abaxial side of rachises, and costae sparsely ciliate. Phegopteris is primarily N temperate and circumboreal, while Pseudophegopteris is tropical and subtropical and restricted to the Paleotropics.
The following taxa are excluded from the present treatment, pending further research: Phegopteris amaurophylla Christ (Bull. Herb. Boissier 7(1): 14. 1899), described from Yunnan, and P. somae (Hayata) Tagawa (Acta Phytotax. Geobot. 7: 75. 1938; Dryopteris somae Hayata, Icon. Pl. Formosan. 5: 287. 1915 ["somai"]), described from Taiwan.
Four species: widely distributed throughout the N temperate zone, one species in SE Asia; three species (one endemic) in China.
(Authors: Lin Youxing (林尤兴); Alan R. Smith)