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Moderate to very large terrestrial ferns, rhizome very fleshy and succulent, erect, massive-globose, bearing deciduous, flat, non-peltate scales, radial, vascular bundles in a complex polycyclic dictyostele. Fronds long-stipitate, the stipes fleshy and succulent, with an enlarged base subtended by 2 large stipules that remain on the rhizome after the frond has fallen, vascular bundles numerous in several concentric rings, lamina bipinnate, thick and fleshy, the pinnae swollen at the base, pinnules free and swollen at the base, stalked, costate, veins free to the margin, simple or forked, recurrent false veins often present between true veins. Sporangia large, thick-walled, free, along the vein in a short, close, double row, dehiscing by a longitudinal slit towards the vein, arranged in a single intramarginal row, exindusiate, pluricellular uniseriate paraphyses usually present at the base of the sporangia; spores monolete, minutely pustular.


A family of 3 genera of the old world tropics and subtropics; estimates of the number of species involved varies from 3 to over 100, depending on how authors divide the complex genus Angiopteris. Angiopteris is the only genus in Papuasia with perhaps as many as 20 species.


Van Alderwerelt van Rosenburg, C.R.W.K. 1918. Two critical fern genera: Angiopteris Hoffman; Lecanopteris Blume. Bull. Jard. Bot. Buit. ser. 2, 28: 57 - 64.

Holttum, R.E. 1978. The morphology and taxonomy of Angiopteris (Marattiaceae) with description of new species. Kew Bull. 32: 587 - 594.

Johns, R.J. 1981. The ferns and fern allies of Papua New Guinea. Part seven: the Marattiaceae in part. P.N.G. Univ. Tech. Res. Rep. R 48 - 81: 7.1 - 7.16.


A single genus in Papuasia ... Angiopteris (c. 20)


Some authors place Angiopteris with Christensenia (Christenseniaceae) and Marattia in the Marattiaceae. The families are undoubtedly closely related.

Updated November 1999 by Jim Croft (