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(Gr. pteris: kind of fern; phyton: plant) In traditional classification systems, a division of the plant kingdom that included ferns, horsetails, and clubmosses, i.e. the nonseed-bearing tracheophytes. These are now classified as separate phyla: Filicinophyta (ferns), Sphenophyta (horsetails), Lycophyta (clubmosses), and Psilophyta.


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The Phylum Pteridophyta is a member of the Kingdom Plantae. Here is the complete "parentage" of Pteridophyta:

The Phylum Pteridophyta is further organized into finer groupings including:


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Dryopteridaceae, is a family of leptosporangiate ferns in the order Polypodiales. They are known colloquially as the wood ferns. They comprise about 1700 species and have a cosmopolitan distribution. They may be terrestrial, epipetric, hemiepiphytic, or epiphytic. Many are cultivated as ornamental plants. The largest genera are Elaphoglossum (600), Polystichum (260), Dryopteris (225), and Ctenitis (150). These four genera contain about 70% of the species. Dryopteridaceae diverged from the other families in eupolypods I about 100 Mya (million years ago). [more]








Ceratopteridaceae is the family name for the clade that is now known to include the two genera Ceratopteris and Acrostichum. [more]




Pteridaceae is a large family of ferns in the order Pteridales. Members of the family have creeping or erect rhizomes and are mostly terrestrial or epipetric (growing on rock). The leaves are almost always compound and have linear sori that are typically on the margins of the leaves and lack a true indusium, typically being protected by a false indusium formed from the reflexed margin of the leaf. The family includes four groups of genera that are sometimes recognized as separate families: the adiantoid, cheilanthoid, pteroid, and hemionitidoid ferns. Relationships among these groups remain unclear, and although some recent genetic analyses of the Pteridales suggest that neither the family Pteridaceae nor the major groups within it are all monophyletic, as yet these analyses are insufficiently comprehensive and robust to provide good support for a revision of the order at the family level. [more]


Adiantaceae (as construed here, sensu strictu, not a synonym of Pteridaceae) is a family of ferns in the order Pteridales. This includes the family formerly known as the "Vittariaceae." Recent genetic analyses based on chloroplast genes demonstrate that the vittarioid ferns cladistically nest within the genus Adiantum, making that genus paraphyletic. [more]

At least 45 species and subspecies belong to the Family Vittariaceae.

More info about the Family Vittariaceae may be found here.


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Last Revised: August 25, 2014
2014/08/25 12:36:46