Description from Flora of China
Plants terrestrial, sometimes climbing. Rhizome usually long creeping, solenostelic, siphonostelic, or polystelic, usually covered with multicellular hairs, less often with few-celled, cylindrical, glandular hairs or multicellular bristles, scales absent. Fronds medium-sized to large, sometimes indeterminate, monomorphic; stipes not articulate to rhizome, usually hairy, rarely glabrous; lamina 1-4-pinnately compound, thinly herbaceous to leathery, hairy or glabrous, without scales; rachis grooved adaxially, sometimes with buds (Monachosorum); pinnae opposite or alternate; veins usually free, pinnate or forked, not reaching margin, reticulate without included veinlets in Histiopteris. Sori marginal or intramarginal, linear or orbicular, terminal on a veinlet or on a vascular commissure joining apices of veins; indusia linear or bowl-shaped, sometimes double with outer false indusium formed from thin reflexed lamina margin and inconspicuous inner true indusium; paraphyses present or not. Spores tetrahedral and trilete, or reniform and monolete, spinulose, tuberculate, or smooth. Gametophytes green, cordate. x = 26, 29, 30, 31, 33, 34, 38, 46, 47, 48, and probably others.
Ching Ren-chang, Fu Shu-hsia, Wang Chu-hao & Shing Gung-hsia. 1959. Dennstaedtiaceae and Monachosoraceae. In: Ching Ren-chang, ed., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 2: 198-256, 357-371; Wu Shiewhung. 1990. Pteridiaceae and Histiopteris. In: Ching Renchang & Shing Kunghsia, eds., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 3(1): 1-10, 89-90.
Ten or 11(-15) genera and ca. 170(-300) species: mostly tropical but also extending into temperate regions; seven genera and 52 species (16 endemic) in China.
(Authors: Yan Yuehong (严岳鸿), Qi Xinping (齐新萍), Liao Wenbo (廖文波), Xing Fuwu (邢福武), Ding Mingyan (丁明艳), Wang Faguo (王发国), Zhang Xianchun (张宪春), Wu Zhaohong (吴兆洪 Wu Shiew-hung); Shunshuke Serizawa, Jefferson Prado, A. Michele Funston, Michael G. Gilbert, Hans P. Nooteboom)