Description from Flora of China
Plants evergreen. Rhizome erect, densely covered with lanceolate brown scales. Fronds 12-25 cm; stipe stramineous, 2-12 cm, 1-4 mm in diam. at base, densely scaly; scales light brown, ovate and narrowly lanceolate. Lamina lanceolate, 8-25 × 1.8-5 cm, usually not contracted at base, bipinnatifid or rarely bipinnate and with 1 or 2 free pinnules, acuminate; rachis stramineous, without proliferous bulbils; scales light brown, linear-lanceolate or filiform, denser abaxially, linear-lanceolate scales with ciliate margins, filiform scales ciliate at base. Pinnae 15-26 pairs, alternate, slightly ascendant, ovate to narrowly ovate, 0.8-2.5 × 0.6-2 cm, obliquely truncate or nearly rounded, shortly stalked, pinnatifid or pinnate, acute or obtuse and mucronate. Lobes or pinnules 1-4 pairs, alternate, attached at right angles to rachis, obovate, rhombic-ovate, or oblong, basal acroscopic lobes or pinnules largest, margins entire or sometimes serrulate, apices obtuse and mucronate; abaxially scaly; microscales filiform, strongly ciliate at base; frond texture leathery; venation pinnate on lobes or pinnules, slightly raised abaxially, indistinct adaxially. Sori in 1 row on each side of midrib; indusia present, slightly incised.
Polystichum acanthophyllum (Franchet) Christ p.p. in S. K. Wu & X. Cheng (in W. T. Wang, Vasc. Pl. Hengduan Mts. 1: 144. 1993) is a misidentification of P. cyclolobum.
On rocks, basic soils; 2100-3000 m. Guizhou, W Sichuan, SE Xizang (Zayü), Yunnan [Bhutan, India (Sikkim), Nepal].