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Incl. Kaulfussiaceae

Moderate size terrestrial ferns, rhizome fleshy and succulent, short-creeping with close fronds, bearing deciduous, flat, non-peltate scales, dorsiventral, vascular bundles in a complex polycyclic dictyostele. Fronds long-stipitate, the stipes fleshy and succulent, with an enlarged base subtended by 2 fleshy stipules that remain on the rhizome after the frond has fallen, vascular bundles numerous, lamina thick and fleshy, palmate with 3 - 5 leaflets, a large medial leaflet and 2 slightly smaller lateral leaflets which may bear a single basal basiscopic leaflet each, the leaflets costate with distinct lateral veins with distinct glandular hairs, secondary veins immersed in the lamina, fine, not easily visible, reticulate, with occasional free included veinlets. Sporangia large, thick-walled, fused into a radial, torose, 8 - 10 locular synangium, each sporangium dehisching by a short radial slit towards the centre of the synangium, the synangia +/- regularly arranged in 2 ( - 3) rows between each pair of lateral veins, exindusiate, paraphyses absent; spores monolete, densely finely echinate.


A monotypic family from the Philippines and southeast Asia to New Guinea.


Braithwaite, A.F. 1977. A chromosome count and range extension for Christensenia (Marattiaceae. Amer. Fern J. 67: 49 - 50.

Ching, R.C. 1940. Christenseniaceae. A new fern family in tropical Asia. Bull. Fan Mem. Inst. Biol. Bot. 10: 227 - 229.

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 monotypic family ... Christensenia (1)


Some treatments place Christensenia with Angiopteris (Angiopteridaceae) and Marattia in the Marattiaceae. The three genera are without doubt closely related.

Updated November 1999 by Jim Croft (