Description from Flora of China
Pteris vittata f. cristata Ching.
Plants (20-)30-100(-150) cm tall. Rhizome erect, short and robust, 2-2.5 cm in diam., woody, apex densely clothed with yellow-brown scales. Fronds clustered; stipe firm, dark straw-colored or light brown, 10-30 cm or larger, 3-4 mm in diam., densely scaly when young, scales like those of rhizome, sparse; rachis straw-colored, sparsely scaly; lamina 1-pinnate, oblanceolate-oblong in outline, 20-90 × 5-25 cm or larger; lateral pinnae up to 40 pairs, alternate or sometimes subopposite; lower pinnae 3-4 cm apart, decumbent, sessile, not connate with rachises, progressively shorter toward base, basal pair auriculiform, middle pinnae longest, narrowly linear, 6-15 × 0.5-1 cm, base slightly expanded and cordate, both sides slightly auriculiform, upper ones larger and overlapping rachis; pinnae 1-1.5 cm apart, sterile margin minutely and evenly serrate, not cartilaginous, apex acuminate; midvein prominent abaxially and light straw-colored; veins slender, contiguous, oblique, simple or forked; terminal pinna similar to lateral pinnae in shape. Lamina pale green, opaque, thinly leathery, glabrous.
Plants of Pteris vittata are very different in shape and size, varying according to their habitats.
Calcareous soils, on limestone, also on stone and on walls; below ca. 2000 m. Anhui, Fujian, SE Gansu (Kangxian), Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, SW Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Xizang, Yunnan, Zhejiang [widely distributed in tropics and subtropics of the Old World].