Description from Flora of China
Phegopteris ornata Wallich ex J. Smith, Hist. Fil. 233. 1875, based on Polypodium ornatum Wallich ex Beddome, Ferns S. India 56, t. 171. 1864, not Klotzsch (1847); Dryopteris ornata (Wallich ex J. Smith) C. Christensen; Lastrea ornata (Wallich ex J. Smith) Copeland; Nephrodium ornatum (Wallich ex J. Smith) Christ; Thelypteris ornata (Wallich ex J. Smith) Ching.
Plants 3-4 m or more tall. Rhizomes erect, cylindric, with dense scales; scales brownish, ciliate along margins, long subulate and thick. Fronds clustered; stipes 60-100 cm, thick, ca. 2.5 cm in diam., stramineous, polished, bases with similar scales as on rhizomes, distally scales sparser, after falling leaving tuberculate or lunate rough marks; laminae large, triangular-ovate, long and wide, to above 2 m, not tapering to bases, 4-pinnatifid, acuminate and pinnatifid at apices; pinnae 18-25 pairs, subopposite, spreading, proximal ones stalked, oblong-lanceolate, ca. 60 × 30 cm, 3-pinnatifid, acuminate at apices; pinnules of 1-pinnate laminae large, spreading, shortly stalked, lanceolate, 10-16 × 3-4 cm, bases truncate, symmetrical, pinnate-pinnatifid, apices acuminate. Pinnules of 2-pinnate laminae 18-25 pairs, subopposite, spreading, sessile, lanceolate, slightly falcate, 1.5-2 × ca. 0.4 cm, bases decurrent, connected to each other by narrow wing along costae, pinnatifid to 1/2 or more of distance to costules, apices pointed; segments 10-12 pairs, crenatelike or triangular, oblique distally, entire. Veins pinnate, veinlets 2 or 3 pairs per segment, forked, not evident. Laminae herbaceous, when dry yellowish green, abaxial sides with multicellular acicular hairs along costules and main veins, costae with sparse linear-lanceolate scales abaxially, scales inflated at bases, persistent, adaxial sides with short acicular hairs along costae. Sori small, orbicular, 1 pair per segment, attached near top of basal acroscopic veinlets; indusia not developed. 2n = 62.
The nomenclatural history of this taxon is confusing. The epithet was introduced as a nomen nudum by Wallich (Numer. List, no. 327. 1829). Fée (Mém. Foug. 5: 243. 1852) made the combination "Phegopteris ornata" based on Wallichs name but provided no further information, so this name is another nomen nudum and was likewise not validly published (Melbourne Code, Art. 38.1(a)). Beddome (1864) provided the first actual description in his account of Polypodium ornatum in 1864, but unfortunately this name is a later homonym and is therefore illegitimate. The earliest legitimate name appears to be that of J. Smith in 1875, as his combination can be indirectly associated with Beddomes description through his citation of Wallich.
Forests in river valleys of subtropical regions. SE Xizang, W Yunnan [Bhutan, India, Nepal, Thailand].