Description from Flora of China
Aspidium aculeatum (Linnaeus) Swartz var. setosum C. B. Clarke, Trans. Linn. Soc. London, Bot. 1: 510. 1880; Polystichum aculeatum (Linnaeus) Roth ex Mertens var. setosum (C. B. Clarke) Beddome; P. aculeatum var. setulosum Rosenstock; P. setosum (C. B. Clarke) Khullar & S. C. Gupta (1980), not (Wallich) Schott (1834), nor C. Presl (1836).
Plants evergreen. Rhizome erect or ascending, short, densely covered with linear brown scales. Fronds 50-120 cm; stipe yellowish brown, 16-48 cm, 4-7 mm in diam. at base, densely covered with linear, lanceolate, brown scales and larger scales; large scales dense, shiny, ovate and ovate-lanceolate, up to 13 × 6 mm, subentire or serrulate, caudate. Lamina bipinnate, oblong-lanceolate or oblong, 32-87 × 11-25 cm near base, not or slightly contracted toward base, base sterile, apex caudate or acuminate, fertile; rachis without proliferous bulbils, abaxially densely covered with linear, lanceolate, brown scales and larger scales; large scales sparse, ovate-lanceolate and broadly lanceolate, up to 10 × 4 mm, densely serrulate, long acuminate. Pinnae 25-40 pairs, alternate, slightly ascendant, shortly stalked, lanceolate, bases not contracted, asymmetrical, apices caudate; pinnae near lamina base 7-14 × 1.7-2 cm, 1-pinnate; rachis without proliferous bulbils, abaxially covered with linear brown scales. Pinnules 16-38 pairs, alternate, subsessile, oblong, 0.5-1 × 0.3-0.5 cm, bases cuneate, acroscopic margins entire, not spinulose, exauriculate (except for a few large individuals), apices acute and mucronate; basiscopic margins shortly spinulose, basal acroscopic pinnules largest, incised; both surfaces densely covered with long-filiform microscales; frond texture papery; venation pinnate, lateral veins 5-7 pairs, dichotomous, distinct. Sori (1 or)2-5 pairs per pinnule, in 1 row on each side of midrib, close to midrib, terminal on veinlets, small, exindusiate.
Broad-leaved forests, coniferous forests, bamboo forests, shrubs; 1100-2600 m. Guangxi (Damiao Shan, Longsheng), Guizhou, Hunan (Xinning), Sichuan, Xizang (Dinggyê, Mêdog), Yunnan [Bhutan, India, Nepal].