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Erect terrestrial ferns of moderate size, rhizome short-creeping, protostelic with a large, solid vascular strand, densely covered with soft, pale brown, reddish, multiseptate hairs. Fronds long-stipitate, dimorphic, the fertile fronds narrower and on longer stipes, the stipes not articulate to the rhizome, 2 vascular strands dividing upwards into 4 or more strands in a shallow arc, lamina simple, sterile lamina ovate or bilobed with a broad apical sinus, main veins dichotomous, +/- zig-zag, free and converging in the apex of the frond or lobes, secondary lateral veins forming 2 large series of areoles between the main veins, including secondary areoles with included free veinlets, fertile lamina narrow-elliptic with 2 - 3 apically converging main veins. Sporangia acrostichoid, completely covering lower surface of fertile frond, borne on a secondary vascular reticulum, exindusiate, filiform-clavate paraphyses present, annulus slightly oblique; spores trilete, tetrahedral (sometimes monolete), translucent.


A monotypic family segregated from the Polypodiaceae, from Malesia and southeast Asia.


Johns, R.J.& Bellamy, A. 1979. The ferns and fern allies of Papua New Guinea. Part four: the Cheiropleuriaceae. Pp. 18.1 - 18.3. (published by the P.N.G. Office of Forests).


A monotypic family ... Cheiropleuria (1)


Some treatments include Cheiropleuria and Dipteris (Dipteridaceae) in the Polypodiaceae; they are kept separate here mainly on the basis of their hairy or bristly rhizomes which would be anomalous in the Polypodiaceae.

Updated November 1999 by Jim Croft (