Common Names in English:
, on rock, or often epiphytic, erect
, or occasionally pendent. Stems long- to short-creeping, branched or not, bearing scales
and few to numerous
, usually dictyostelic. Leaves monomorphic
in bud. Petiole
, as in Loxogramme ], lacking scales or sometimes scaly
, with usually 3 vascular bundles
. Blade simple
to often pinnatifid
, or pinnate, infrequently more divided
; rachis grooved
or not adaxially. Veins free
(and simple to several times forked
) to often anastomosing in complex
, areoles with or without included
. Indument on blade
absent, or petiole, rachis, costae, and sometimes blade tissue usually bearing hairs
(these often septate
and with reddish crosswalls) and/or scales. Sori borne abaxially on veins, round
, occasionally elongate
, rarely marginal
, rarely covering surface; paraphyses present or absent; sporangia with stalk
of 2 or 3 rows
; indusia absent. Spores usually transparent or yellowish (rarely greenish), all 1 kind, bilateral
, monolete [rarely trilete, as in some Loxogramme], surface most often smooth
, or granulate
, occasionally spiny
, 64 per sporangium (spores globose
and 32 per sporangium in apogamous spp.
) . Gametophytes green, aboveground, cordate or elliptic
or sometimes glandular
; archegonia and antheridia borne on lower surface, antheridia 3-celled.
Genera ca. 40, species perhaps 500 (7 genera, 25 species in the flora ) : worldwide, especially tropics and subtropics.
Genera in this family are variously circumscribed, and the New World species historically were placed in the single genus Polypodium . Many of the segregates recognized here are still placed in Polypodium in recent floristic accounts. Limits of genera in both Old World and New World are controversial and are currently under study by several workers.
on rock, occasionally terrestrial
or epiphytic. Stems creeping
, usually branched, 3--15 mm diam., sometimes whitish pruinose
concolored to bicolored
, lanceolate to ovate-acuminate, not clathrate to strongly clathrate, glabrous
entire to denticulate
. Leaves monomorphic
, closely spaced to distant
, not conspicuously narrowed at tip
, to 90 cm. Petiole
to stem, straw-colored, somewhat flattened or grooved
to nearly terete
to deltate, pinnatifid
to 1-pinnate at base
, not pectinate
, usually with fewer than 25 pairs of pinnae, not glaucous or conspicuously scaly
; rachis sparsely scaly to glabrescent
to glabrous adaxially; scales ovate-lanceolate to linear
, not peltate or clathrate. Segments linear to oblong
; margins entire to serrate; apex rounded
to attenuate. Venation
to anastomosing, if strongly anastomosing, then never with more than 1 included
areoles. Sori often confined to distal region of leaf, discrete, circular to oval
, borne at tips of single veins, in 1--3 rows
on either side of midrib
absent or of modified sporangia (sporangiasters), often bearing glandular
on bulbous head
. Spores monolete, rugose
Species ca. 100: worldwide.
Some species traditionally included in Polypodium are treated here in other genera, for example, Pleopeltis and Pecluma.
Except for the tropical species Polypodium triseriale, North American Polypodium is a complex assemblage of interactive species. The North American species have ties to European taxa (e.g. , P . vulgare sensu stricto , which probably originated by allopolyploidy between P . glycyrrhiza and P . sibiricum ) but are quite distinct from them. Morphologic comparisons and continuing biochemical and molecular studies indicate that two groups of diploid species occur within the North American P . vulgare complex. One group includes P . glycyrrhiza and P . californicum ; the second, P . amorphum, P . appalachianum, and P . sibiricum . Allopolyploid species have originated following hybridizations within a species group (i.e. , P . calirhiza from P . glycyrrhiza × californicum, P . saximontanum from P . amorphum × sibiricum, and P . virginianum from P . appalachianum × sibiricum ) as well as between members of the two groups (i.e., P . hesperium from P . amorphum × glycyrrhiza ) . These reticulate relationships are summarized in the reticulogram. We consider P . scouleri to be peripheral to the "core" diploids even though hybrids have been reported.
Species Polypodium californicum
or inconspicuously glaucous, moderately stout, to 10 mm
or bland-tasting; scales
uniformly brown or slightly
darker near point
of attachment, lanceolate-ovate, symmetric
entire to erose. Leaves to 70 cm. Petiole
usually slender, to 3 mm
deltate to lanceolate-ovate, pinnatifid
, usually widest
, to 20 cm wide, leathery to herbaceous; rachis sparsely
adaxially; scales deltate
, usually more than 10 cells
wide. Segments linear-lanceolate
, usually less than 15 mm wide; margins serrate; apex widely
to rarely attenuate; midrib
puberulent adaxially. Venation
weakly to conspicuously anastomosing, most segments containing several
areoles, often forming 1 row
. Sori midway between margin and midrib
or slightly closer to midrib, usually less than 3 mm diam., oval
. Sporangiasters absent. Spores less than 58 µm,
, with surface projections to 3 µm. 2 n = 74. Sporulating
early winter--spring. [source]
R. M. Lloyd and F. A. Lang (1964) recognized two cytotypes within Polypodium californicum. The tetraploid has proved to be an allopolyploid involving P. californicum and P. glycyrrhiza and is treated here as a separate species, P. calirhiza, following S. A. Whitmore and A. R. Smith (1991). Polypodium californicum can be confused with P. calirhiza, but it usually can be distinguished by blade shape, venation, spore size, and geographic distribution. D. S. Barrington et al. (1986) reported that spores of northern populations of P. californicum can be as large as those of P. calirhiza, but the former species has veins forming more areoles per segment than does the latter. [source]
Flowers: Flower Color: inconspicuous, none
Size: 6-12" tall.
Typically found at an altitude of 0 to 2,458 meters (0 to 8,064 feet).
Temperature: Cold Hardiness: 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b. (map)
- Whittaker & Margulis,1978
- Haeckel, 1866
- Cavalier-Smith, 1981
- Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Vascular Plants
- Kenrick & Crane, 1997, Nom. Nud.
- Cronquist et al.
- Berchtold & J. Presl, 1820
- common ferns, licorice ferns
- Subfamily: Polypodioideae ()
- Family: Polypodiaceae () - Berchtold & J. Presl, 1820 - common ferns, licorice ferns
- Order: Polypodiales () - Link
- Class: Polypodiopsida () - Cronquist et al.
- Infraphylum: Moniliformopses () - Kenrick & Crane, 1997, Nom. Nud.
- Subphylum: Euphyllophytina ()
- Phylum: Tracheophyta () - Sinnott, 1935 ex Cavalier-Smith, 1998 - Vascular Plants
- Subkingdom: Viridaeplantae () - Cavalier-Smith, 1981
- Kingdom: Plantae () - Haeckel, 1866 - Plants
P. vulgare Linnaeus californicum (Kaulfuss) Hultén • P. vulgare var. kaulfussii (D. C. Eaton) Fernald • Polypodium californicum var. kaulfussii D. C. Eaton
Status: Accepted Name
Last scrutiny: 15-Mar-2000
Members of the genus Polypodium
ZipcodeZoo has pages for 37 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus:
P. amorphum (Irregular Polypody) · P. appalachianum (Appalachian Polypody) · P. attenuatum (Tapered Polypody) · P. bulbiferum (Bulblet Bladderfern) · P. californicum (California Polypody) · P. calirhiza (Nested Polypody) · P. cambricum (Welsh Polypody) · P. carthusianum (Spinulose Wood Fern) · P. dissimile (Forkvein Polypody) · P. dulce (Treetrunk Polypody) · P. exaltatum (Sword Fern) · P. falax (Crested Poly) · P. formosanum (Catepillar Fern) · P. glycyrrhiza (Licorice Fern) · P. hesperium (Western Licorice Fern) · P. hexagonopterum (Broad Beech Fern) · P. ilvense (Rusty Woodsia) · P. interjectum (Polypody) · P. lanceolatum (Lanceleaf Polypody) · P. lonchitis (Northern Holly Fern) · P. loriceum (Clambering Polypody) · P. musifolium (Polypodium) · P. pellucidum (Ae) · P. pellucidum Kaulf. var. vulcanicum Skottsb. (Dotted Polypody) · P. pellucidum var. pellucidum (Dotted Polypody) · P. pellucidum var. vulcanicum (Dotted Polypody) · P. punctatum 'Grandiceps Cobra' (Climbing Bird's Nest Fern) · P. robertianum (Limestone Oak Fern) · P. saximontanum (Rocky Mountain Polypody) · P. scouleri (Coast Polypody) · P. sibiricum (Siberian Polypody) · P. subauriculatum var. knightii (Polypodium) · P. submarginale (Brownhair Lacefern) · P. triseriale (Angle-Vein Fern) · P. virginianum (Common Polypody) · P. virginianum var. peraferens (American Wall Fern) · P. 'Green Wave' (Polypodium)
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- The ferns of North America colored figures and descriptions, with synonymy and geographical distribution, of the ferns (including the ophioglassaceae) of the United States of America and the British North American possessions / by Daniel Cady Eaton; the drawings by J.H. Emerton and C.E. Faxon. Salem [Mass.]: S.E. Cassino, 1879. url .
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- Cranfill, R. and D. M. Britton. 1983. Typification within the Polypodium virginianum complex (Polypodiaceae). Taxon 32: 557--560.
- Evans, A. M. 1971. Polypodium. In: A. M. Evans, ed. 1971. A Review of Systematic Studies of the Pteridophytes of the Southern Appalachians. Blacksburg.
- Haufler, C. H. and M. D. Windham. 1991. New species of North American Cystopteris and Polypodium, with comments on their reticulate relationships. Amer. Fern J. 81: 7--23.
- Haufler, C. H. and Wang Z. R. 1991. Chromosomal analyses and the origin of allopolyploid Polypodium virginianum. Amer. J. Bot. 78: 624--629.
- Lang, F. A. 1971. The Polypodium vulgare complex in the Pacific Northwest. Madroño 21: 235--254.
- Whitmore, S. A. and A. R. Smith. 1991. Recognition of the tetraploid, Polypodium calirhiza (Polypodiaceae), in western North America. Madroño 38: 233--248.
- Brands, S.J. (comp.) 1989-present. The Taxonomicon. Universal Taxonomic Services, Zwaag, The Netherlands. Accessed March 27, 2012.
Accessed through GBIF Data Portal February 01, 2008:
- Berkeley Natural History Museums, University and Jepson Herbaria DiGIR provider
- Comisión nacional para el conocimiento y uso de la biodiversidad, Herbario del Instituto de Ecología, A.C., México
- Missouri Botanical Garden, Missouri Botanical Garden
- Oregon State University, Vascular Plant Collection
- UNIBIO, IBUNAM, MEXU/Plantas Vasculares
- USDA PLANTS, USDA PLANTS Database
- Utah State University, USU-UTC Specimen Database
- Biodiversity Heritage Library NamebankID: 2644465
- Catalogue of Life Accepted Name Code: ITS-17231
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility Taxonkey: 13728365
- Globally Unique Identifier: urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:17184660-1
- GRIN Nomen Number: 431511
- Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Taxonomic Serial Number (TSN): 17231
- International Plant Names Index (IPNI) ID: 17184650
- Natural Heritage Network Species Identifier: PPPOL02070
- U.S.D.A. Plant Symbol: POCAK
- Zipcode Zoo Species Identifier: 57583
- Alan R. Smith "Polypodiaceae". in Flora of North America Vol. 2. Oxford University Press. Online at EFloras.org. [back]
- Christopher H. Haufler, Michael D. Windham, Frank A. Lang, S. A. Whitmore "Polypodium". in Flora of North America Vol. 2. Oxford University Press. Online at EFloras.org. [back]
- "Polypodium californicum". in Flora of North America Vol. 2. Oxford University Press. Online at EFloras.org. [back]
- Mean = 220.370 meters (722.999 feet), Standard Deviation = 604.030 based on 87 observations. Altitude information for each observation from British Oceanographic Data Centre. [back]