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Small to medium-size terrestrial or epiphytic ferns, when terrestrial the rhizome radially symmetric or nearly so, solenostelic or a special protostele with internal phloem, when epiphytic the rhizome strongly dorsiventral, in some small species the xylem open and U-shaped, rhizome bearing non-peltate, non-clathrate scales. Fronds long-stipitate, the stipe with a single U- or V-shaped vascular bundle, the axes grooved above, the grooves and borders mostly continuous with those of a higher order, the lamina pinnate to many-times pinnate, anadromous, the ultimate divisions often dimidiate, veins free, not reaching the margin, or anastomosing without included free veinlets. Sori terminal on 1 - many vein ends, often on a vascular commissure +/- parallel to the margin, indusiate, the indusium attached at the base of the sorus and opening towards the margin, sporangia with a 3-seriate stalk, annulus longitudinal, interrupted, filiform paraphyses mostly present; spores trilete or less often monolete, smooth or with little sculpture, perispore absent.


Essentially a pantropic family extending into the warmer temperate regions, of 6 genera covering c. 200 species. Three genera are represented in Papuasia with a total of perhaps 50 species.


Copeland, E.B. 1949. Pteridaceae of New Guinea. Philip. J. Sci. 78: 5 - 40.

Kramer, K.U. 1968. The Lindsaeoid ferns of the Old World II. A revision of Tapeinidium. Blumea 15: 545 - 556.

Kramer, K.U. 1968. The Lindsaeoid ferns of the Old World III. Notes on Lindsaea and Sphenomeris in the Flora Malesiana area. Blumea 15: 557 - 574.

Kramer, K.U. 1970. The Lindsaeoid ferns of the Wold World V. The smaller Pacific Islands. Blumea 18: 157 - 194.

Kramer, K.U. 1971. Lindsaea group. Fl. Males. ser. 2, 1: 177 - 254.

Kramer, K.U. & Tindale, M.D. 1976. The Lindsaeoid ferns of the Old World VII. Australia and New Zealand. Telopea 1: 91 - 128.



Sori on 1-8 vein ends; indusium entirely or largely adnate to the lamina at the sides


Sori on many vein ends, or, if 8 or fewer, the sides of the indusium free, and/or pinnules dimidiate, and/or veins anastomosing

Lindsaea (c. 35)


Lamina +/- thick; sori on the lateral margins of the lobes of the ultimate divisions; ultimate segments not of linear- or cuneate-divaricate type

Tapeinidium (c. 9)

Lamina thin; sori on apical margins of the lobes of the ultimate divisions; segments of a linear- or cuneate-divaricate type

Sphenomeris (2)


This family is sometimes included in the Adiantaceae, Dennstaedtiaceae or Pteridaceae by those authors who prefer broader families.

Updated November 1999 by Jim Croft (