Description from Flora of China
Polystichum franchetii Christ; P. gracilipes C. Christensen; P. gracilipes var. gemmiferum Tagawa; P. morii Hayata.
Plants evergreen. Rhizome erect, short, densely covered with lanceolate microscales; scales reddish brown, membranous, with few long teeth. Fronds 5-22 cm; stipe often light purple, slender, 0.5-10 cm, less than 0.5 mm in diam., with few small scales similar to those at rhizome apex. Lamina light green when dry, adaxially darker, light purple on both surfaces when young, often linear elliptic-lanceolate, widest at middle, sometimes nearly linear-lanceolate, base nearly as wide as middle, 3-10 × 0.5-2 cm at middle, 1-pinnate, apex with an apical pinna; rachis often light purple, with few small scales on both surfaces similar to those on stipe, often with 1 small proliferous bulbil near rachis tip. Pinnae 12-20 pairs, alternate or nearly opposite, ovate-oblong or oblong, shortly stalked, middle pinnae 2-10 × 1.5-10 mm, apices often obtuse, rarely acute, acroscopic base auriculate, adaxial lateral side truncate, parallel or nearly parallel to rachis, sometimes overlapping rachis, basiscopic base cuneate, margins often shallowly pinnatilobate, sometimes pinnatifid, or serrate and slightly biserrate, teeth acute or with mucronate tips; adaxially glabrous, abaxially with brown microscales; microscales broadly ovate-lanceolate, toothed; frond texture papery; venation pinnate, indistinct, lateral veins mostly forked or unbranched, often unbranched on auricles. Sori terminal on veinlets of pinnae, medial on each side of midrib, 1-5 on acroscopic side, 1 or 2 or sterile on basiscopic side; indusia brown, large, thickly membranous, subentire, approximate or margins overlapping, persistent.
Polystichum atkinsonii has been placed in P. sect. Polystichum by Fraser-Jenkins (Himalayan Ferns (Guide to Polystichum), 7. 1997).
Rock crevices on mountains, often in alpine regions; 1500-4000 m. Chongqing, Guizhou, Hubei, Hunan, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Xizang, Yunnan [Bhutan, India, Japan, Nepal].