Description from Flora of China
Pteris laeta Wallich ex Ettingshausen, Farnkr. Jetztw. 96. 1864; P. cretica var. cartilagidens Christ; P. cretica subsp. laeta (Wallich ex Ettingshausen) Fraser-Jenkins; P. cretica var. rosthornii Diels; P. plumbea Y. C. Wu, K. K. Wong & Pong (1932), not Christ (1909).
Stipe often brown, surface scabrous. Pinna base narrowly cuneate, decurrent, margins undulate, apex long acute.
Pteris cretica var. laeta is taller and stronger than var. cretica. It is an apomictic triploid.
Pteris pellucidifolia Hayata, described from Taiwan (Icon. Pl. Formosan. 6, Suppl. (Gen. Ind. Fl. Formos.): 114. 1917), is most closely related to P. cretica but differs by having 6-8 pairs of lateral pinnae to 2 cm wide and with the lower 1-3 pairs branched. W. C. Shieh (Fl. Taiwan, ed. 2, 1: 231. 1994) indicates that it also occurs in "Indo-China" and SW China. Fraser-Jenkins (Taxon. Revis. Indian Subcontinental Pteridophytes, 100. 2008) regarded P. pellucidifolia as a synonym of P. cretica var. laeta. However, Knapp (Ferns Fern Allies Taiwan, 478. 2011) maintained that the two are not closely related.
Acidic soils in valleys; 900-2600 m. Fujian, Guangdong (Ruyuan), Guangxi, Guizhou (Kaili), Jiangxi (Huanggangshan, Tonggushan), Sichuan (Emei Shan, Yaan), SE Xizang, Yunnan [Bhutan, Cambodia, N India, Nepal, Vietnam].