Description from Flora of China
Aspidium aristatum (G. Forster) Swartz var. simplicior Makino, Bot. Mag. (Tokyo) 15: 65. 1901; Arachniodes aristatissima Ching; A. calcarata Ching; A. fujianensis Ching ["fujiangensis"]; A. jiulungshanensis Ching; A. liyangensis Ching & Y. C. Lan; A. parasimplicior Ching ex Y. T. Hsieh; A. tibetana Ching & S. K. Wu; A. yasu-inouei Sa. Kurata; Byrsopteris simplicior (Makino) Sa. Kurata; Polystichopsis simplicior (Makino) Tagawa; Polystichum aristatum (G. Forster) C. Presl var. simplicior (Makino) Matsumura; P. simplicior (Makino) Tagawa; Rumohra simplicior (Makino) Ching.
Rhizome shortly creeping, stiff, apex densely scaly; scales (reddish or dark) brown, linear-lanceolate or subulate, ca. 8 × 0.5-1.5 mm, base often remotely fimbriate, apex hairlike and often tortuous, firmly membranous. Fronds approximate, 0.4-1.1 cm; stipe stramineous, 20-65 cm, ca. 3 mm in diam., base with scales similar to those on rhizome, scales sparser upward, or rarely glabrescent; lamina (2 or)3-pinnate, pale green when dried, ovate-oblong, deltoid-ovate, or pentagonal, 20-60 × 15-40 cm, firmly papery or leathery, base rounded, cordate, or hastate, apex abruptly caudate with a stalked conform terminal pinna, rachis sparsely scaly as distal portion of stipe, or glabrescent throughout; lateral pinnae 2-5(or 6) pairs, alternate or lowest pair opposite, with to 2.5 cm stalk, obliquely spreading; lowest pinnae obliquely deltoid, to 28 × 15 cm, base broadly cuneate, apex caudate-acuminate; primary pinnules ca. 20 pairs, with to 1 cm stalk, basal pair elongated (basiscopic one longer, to 15 × 2.2 cm), lanceolate, base cuneate, apex acuminate, pinnate, larger fronds with proximal 2 pairs of pinnules elongated and pinnate; secondary pinnules shortly stalked or sessile, oblong or larger ones slightly falcate, ca. 1.5 × 0.6 cm, base acroscopically truncate and auriculate, basiscopically cuneate, apex acute, margin sharply serrate (or shallowly pinnatifid), aristate; upper 1-3 pairs of pinnae with basal pair of pinnules elongated, other lateral pinnae shorter and lanceolate; axes and veins of ultimate segments with minute (dark) brown subulate appressed scales abaxially. Sori terminal on veinlets, 1-6 pairs per ultimate segment, medial between midvein and margin or closer to margin; indusia (dark) brown, membranous, entire. 2n = 82*.
Wet slopes in broad-leaved forests or bamboos, on wet rocks or cliffs (in crevices) by streams, thickets mixed with grasses, open places near forests; 200-1800 m. Anhui, Chongqing, Fujian, SE Gansu, Guangxi, Guizhou, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, S Shaanxi, Sichuan, SW Xizang, Yunnan, Zhejiang [Japan].