Description from Flora of China
Leptolepidium K. H. Shing & S. K. Wu; Sinopteris C. Christensen & Ching.
Plants small, usually on rocks. Rhizomes erect or ascending, short; scales brown to black, concolorous or bicolorous with dark, central stripe and lighter margins, mostly narrowly to broadly lanceolate. Fronds numerous, clustered. Stipe and rachis black, dark brown, or reddish brown, shiny, terete or rarely sulcate, scaly proximally or less commonly throughout, occasionally also hairy. Lamina variously shaped, pinnate-pinnatifid to pinnate-tripinnatifid, abaxially farinose or less commonly lacking farina, farina white to milky yellow or yellow, otherwise glabrous or occasionally hairy and/or scaly abaxially, adaxially glabrous or rarely with hairs or scales; rachis grooved adaxially. Pinnae sessile or subsessile, at least some pinnae often somewhat falcate, basal pinnae usually largest; basal basiscopic segments enlarged, longer than adjacent acroscopic ones. Veins free but often obscure, pinnate, usually branched. Sori consisting of 1-10 sporangia, orbicular, at vein tips, separate when young, often confluent at maturity. False indusia membranous or herbaceous, brown, grayish brown, or rarely light green, often drying brown, continuous, or interrupted, margins entire, erose, lacerate, or fimbriate. Spores globose to globose-tetrahedral or tetrahedral, trilete, perispore reticulate, cristate, echinate, rugulate, or granular. x = 29, 30.
The genus Aleuritopteris is here circumscribed relatively broadly to include Leptolepidium and Sinopteris, which were segregated based on morphological characters that represent specializations within Aleuritopteris. Additionally, most of the species assigned by previous authors to Cheilosoria Trevisan and Notholaena R. Brown are more closely related to Aleuritopteris based on molecular data, which would raise the total number of species in the genus to ca. 70. See Cheilanthes for further discussion of these groups. Circumscription of Aleuritopteris remains controversial, and a stable resolution must await future publication of a comprehensive generic classification for the cheilanthoid ferns that incorporates the full range of morphological, cytological, and molecular data.
About 40 species: tropical and subtropical regions of both the Old and New Worlds; 29 species (14 endemic) in China.
(Authors: Zhang Gangmin (张钢民); George Yatskievych, Elisabeth A. Hooper)