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Pteris L.

Erect terrestrial ferns of small to large size. Rhizome shortly creeping and +/- solenostelic, to compact, erect and dictyostelic, bearing broad, thick, sometimes thin-margined and setose scales attached by a broad base, sometimes with hairs as well. Fronds long-stipitate, the stipes adaxially grooved, with a single U-shaped vascular strand, the adaxial arms of which are incurved then recurved, the lamina pinnatifid, simply pinnate to bipinnate, or sometimes tripinnate, sometimes pedate with the lateral pinnae as large as the remainder of the frond, and similarly basiscopically enlarged, the frond thus appearing tripartite, apical pinna mostly similar to the lateral pinnae, rachises and costae flattened or grooved, the grooves decurrnt and open to admit those of a higher order, the costal grooves with raised edges, often produced into teeth at the base of the costules (when present), the ultimate lobes entire or serrate, or incisocrenate, herbaceous to coriaceous, glabropus or rarely hairy, the veins simple or forked, free except in the sorus, or anastomosing to form a single series of areoles without free included veinlets along the costae and sometimes the costules, or more copiously anastomosing with or without free included veinlets, the free veins ending in large hydathodes. Sporangia borne in sub marginal coenosori, on an elongate, continuous or rarely interrupted fertile commissure along the margins of the ultimate lobes, not on the apices and generally not in the sinuses, protected by a scariose reflexed margin of the lamina (pseudoindusium), filiform paraphyses usually present, annulus longitudinal interrupted, of 16-34 thickened cells. Spores trilete, rarely monolete, smooth to rugose or papillose, pale to very dark.

Sect. Campteria: fronds bipinnatifid, pedate or not; ultimate pinnae conform; costae grooved above; veins free; sori continuous along margins of ultimate segments.

Sect. Litobrochia: fronds pinnatifid, pinnate to bipinnatifid, pedate or not; ultimate pinnae confirm; costae grooved above; veins anastomosing; sori continuous aong margins of ultimate segments

Sect. Hemipteris: fronds bipinnatifid, pedate; ultimate pinnae conform; costae grooved above; veins regularly anastomosing; sori interrupted, borne on the basiscopic margin of the teeth of the ultimate segments.

Sect. Syrracha: fronds deeply pinnatifid or subpinnate to bipinnatifid; the apical lobes gradually reduced; costae flattened above, veins free or anastomosing with or without included free, recurrent, simple or forked veins; sori continuous along the margins of the fronds.

Species in Papuasia

1a. Veins free, except in sori 2
Veins anastomosing, forming at least one series of costal areoles which may be very narrow 24
2a. Fronds pinnate, the pinnae sometimes divided 3
Fronds more compound 12
2c. Fronds simple or with one pair of small basal pinnae; fertile fronds very long and linear P. simplex
3a. All pinnae simple 4
Lower pinnae forked 8
4a. Stipe and rachis purplish 5
Stipe and rachis stramineus 6
5a. Base of pinnae sessile, +/- cordate P. orientalis
Base of pinnae +/- stalked, cuneate or narrowed P. moluccana
6a. Pinnae cordate or subcordate at the base; plants of limestone hills or soils 7
7a. Pinnae mostly flated at the base and tapering towards a pointed apex; costae glabrous P. vitatta
Pinnae oblong with rounded apices; rachis and costae with long persistent pale-yellow hairs P. sp.nov.
8a. Large fern with many pinnae P. papuana
Small or medium size ferns with few pinnae 9
9a. Stipe rough, dark P scabripes
Stipe smooth, usually stramineus 10
10a. Pinnae adnate and decurrent onto rachis P. rosenstockii
Pinnae not so adnate 11
11a. Lamina herbaceous P. cretica
Lamina coriaceous P. pellucida
12a. Fronds sparingly bipinnate 13
Pinnae pectinate or compound 14
13a. Fronds uniform P. deltoidea
Fronds somewhat dimorphic P. ensiformis
14a. Pinnae pectinate on the lower side only P. semipinnata
Pinnae pectinate on both sides 15
15a. Lowest pair of pinnae not exceedingly enlarged, at most a single basiscopic branch 16
Lowest pari of pinae greatly enlarged, the fronds tripartite 20
16a. Huge ferns 17
Ferns of small to moderate size 18
17a. Ultimate segments 1 cm wide above the base P. excelsa
Segments much narrower P. gardneri
18a. Apices of pinnae long-caudate; axes black P. ligulata
Apices of pinnae only moderately elongate; axes stramineus or reddish 19
19a. Ultimate segments over 4 mm wide P. blumeana
Ultimate segments under 4 mm wide P. pacifica
20a. Ultimate divisions confluent segments 21
Ultimate divisions free pinnules P. montis-wilhelminae
21a. Sori short, far form sinus P. schlechteri
Sori long, c. midway between sinus and apex 22
22a. Large ferns 23
Small ferns, lamina c. 20 cm long P. brassii
23a. Segments serrate at the apex P. keysseri
Segments entire P. macrophylla
24a. Sori single and continuous along each side of +/- entire ultimate segments 25
Sori several along each side of toothed ultimate segments P. werneri
25a. Pinnules with a single row narrow areoles along the costae only P. wallichiana
Pinnules with a single row of areoles along both the costae and costules or with copious areoles 26
26a. A single series of areoles along the costae and costules P. tripartita
Areoles numerous 27
27a. Frond pinnatifid, or pinnate at the base 28
Frond more compound P. comans
28a. Axes black; frond with many pinnaeor lobes P. warburghii
Axes stramineus; frond with 1-2 pairs of pinnae or lobes P. sp. nov.