Description from Flora of China
Adiantum nelumboides X. C. Zhang.
Plants 5-20 cm tall. Rhizomes erect, short, scales brown, lanceolate, also multicellular villous. Fronds clustered; stipe dark castaneous, 3-14 cm, 0.5-1.5 mm in diam., base densely scaly, distally villous, hairs easily rubbed off when dried; lamina a single terminal pinnule, orbicular or orbicular-reniform, 2-6 cm in diam., papery or hard papery, greenish when dried, dark brown upon natural drying, adaxially laxly brown multicellular villous, base symmetrical, cordate, sinus shallow to deep with overlapping lobes forming 1-3 concentric rings around apex of stipe, margins bluntly crenate but crenation indistinct on fertile lamina; veins radiate from bases to all sides, multidichotomous, visible on both surfaces. Sori many per pinnule; false indusia deep brown, orbicular or subrectangular, membranous, flat and straight at upper margins and spreading along margins, approximate or wider spaced, persistent. 2n = 120*.
This plant is endangered in its native habitat by road building and collection for medicinal use (L. K. Fu & J. M Jin, China Red Data Book 1: 2-3. 1992). It is now cultivated (e.g., in the Wuhan Botanical Garden) as an ornamental.
Adiantum reniforme var. sinense has been used in Chinese medicine for more than 100 years; it is known as "荷叶金钱草 he ye jing quan cao" in Sichuan.
X. C. Zhang very recently elevated the Chinese variety to a distinct species. The typical variety occurs in the Atlantic Ocean islands while further varieties are recorded from scattered localities throughout Africa, Madagascar, Mauritius, and Réunion.
● Gregarious on rocks or in rock crevices; ca. 300 m. Sichuan (Shizhu).