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Terrestrial ferns, rhizome underground, moderately long-creeping, woody, solenostelic with a dense pith, bearing dark reddish wide-based bristles (sometimes appearing scale-like when dry. Frond very long-stipitate, the stipes not articulate to the rhizome, with a single U-shaped vascular strand, the lamina in 2 equal halves, +/- deeply incised between the veins or costae, often glaucous beneath, glabrous or loosely hairy, main lateral veins or costae +/- equally dichotomously branched, the lateral veins forming a single series of primary areoles with included and submarginal areoles with included free veinlets, or as regular cross-veins between the costae with 2 - 3 orders of areoles with included free veinlets. Sporangia borne as discrete round sori at the union of minor veinlets, exindusiate, with filiform glandular paraphyses, annulus complete, oblique; spores monolete, smooth, translucent.


A family of single genus with possible eight species from China to tropical east Asia and Australasia. Three species occur in Papuasia.


Johns, R.J. & Bellamy, A. 1979. The ferns and fern allies of Papua New Guinea. Part 5: the Dipteridaceae. Pp. 19.1 - 19.10. (published by the P.N.G. Office of Forests).

Genera in Australia and Papuasia

A family of a single genus ... Dipteris (3)


Some authors include Dipteris and Cheiropleuria (Cheiropleuriaceae) 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 (