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Dryopteris carthusiana.jpg
Dryopteris carthusiana
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophytes
Class: Polypodiopsida /
 Pteridopsida (disputed)
Order: Polypodiales
(unranked): Eupolypods I
Family: Dryopteridaceae
Herter 1949 (nom. cons.)

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.[2] The largest genera are Elaphoglossum (600), Polystichum (260), Dryopteris (225), and Ctenitis (150). These four genera contain about 70% of the species.[3] Dryopteridaceae diverged from the other families in eupolypods I about 100 Mya (million years ago).[4]


Rhizomes often stout; creeping, ascending or erect, sometimes scandent or climbing, with non-clathrate scales at apices. Fronds usually monomorphic, less often dimorphic, sometimes scaly or glandular, less commonly hairy. Petioles with numerous round, vascular bundles arranged in a ring, or rarely as few as 3; the adaxial bundles largest. Veins pinnate or forking, free to variously anastomosing; the areoles with or without included veinlets; sori usually round, acrostichoid (covering the entire abaxial surface of the lamina) in a few lineages; usually indusiate, sometimes exindusiate. Indusia, when present, round-reniform or peltate. Sporangia with 3-rowed, short to long stalks; spores reniform, monolete, perine winged.[3]


The following table shows the currently accepted Dryopteridaceae genus names and the corresponding synonyms.

Accepted Genus Names[3] Synonyms[5][6]
Acrophorus C. Presl 1836
Acrorumohra (H.Itô) H.Itô 1938
Arachniodes Blume 1828
  • Byrsopteris C.V.Morton 1960
  • Leptorumohra (H.Itô) H.Itô 1938
  • Polystichopsis (J.Sm.) Holttum 1947
Ataxipteris Holttum 1984
Bolbitis Schott 1834
  • Anapausia C. Presl
  • Campium C. Presl
  • Cyrtogonium J.Sm.
  • Edanyoa Copel.
  • Egenolfia Schott 1836
  • Heteroneurum C.Presl
  • Jenkinsia Hook.
  • Poecilopteris C.Presl
Coveniella M.D.Tindale 1986
Ctenitis (C.Chr.) C.Chr. 1938
  • Atalopteris Maxon & C. Chr.
  • Ataxipteris Holttum
Cyclodium C.Presl 1836
Cyrtogonellum Ching 1938
Cyrtomidictyum Ching 1940
Cyrtomium C.Presl 1836
  • Amblia C. Presl
  • Cyrtogonellum Ching
  • Cyrtomidictyum Ching
Didymochlaena Desv. 1811
  • Monochlaena Gaudich.
  • Tegularia Reinw.
Dryopolystichum Copel. 1947
Dryopsis Holttum & P.J.Edwards 1986
Dryopteris Adans. 1763
  • Acrorumohra (H.Itô) H.Itô 1938
  • Arthrobotrys (C.Presl) Lindl. 1846
  • Dichasium (A.Braun) Fée 1852
  • Diclisodon T.Moore 1857
  • Filix Ség. 1754
  • Filix-mas Hill ex Farw. 1931
  • Lophodium Newman 1851
  • Nephrodium Marthe ex Michx. 1803
  • Nothoperanema (Tagawa) Ching 1966 – Island Lacefern[7]
  • Pteris Gled. ex Scop. 1753
  • Pycnopteris T. Moore 1855
Elaphoglossum Schott ex J. Sm. 1842
  • Aconiopteris C.Presl 1836
  • Dictyoglossum J.Sm. 1846
  • Hymenodium Fée 1845
  • Microstaphyla C.Presl 1851
  • Peltapteris Link 1841
  • Rhipidopteris Schott ex Fée 1845
Hypodematium Kunze 1833
Lastreopsis Ching 1938
  • Parapolystichum (Keyserl.) Ching 1940
Leucostegia C.Presl 1836
Lithostegia Ching 1933
Lomagramma J.Sm. 1841
  • Cheiloepton Fée 1845
Maxonia C.Chr. 1916
Megalastrum Holttum 1986
Mickelia R.C.Moran, Labiak & Sundue 2010
Oenotrichia Copel. 1929 pro parte
Olfersia Raddi 1819
  • Dorcapteris C.Presl 1851
Peranema D.Don 1825
  • Diacalpe Blume 1828
  • Sphaeropteris R.Br. ex Wall. 1830 (non Bernh. 1801)
Phanerophlebiopsis Ching 1965
Pleocnemia C.Presl 1836
Polybotrya Humb. & Bonpl. ex Willd. 1810
  • Soromanes Fée 1845
Polystichum Roth 1800
  • Acropelta T.Nakai 1953
  • Adenoderris J.Sm. 1875
  • Aetopteron Ehrh. ex House 1920
  • Hemesteum H.Lév. 1915
  • Hypopeltis Michx. 1803
  • Papuapteris C. Chr. 1937
  • Phanerophlebia C. Presl 1836
  • Plecosorus Fée 1852
  • Sorolepidium Christ 1911
Revwattsia D.L.Jones 1998
Rumohra Raddi 1819
Stenolepia Alderw. 1909
Stigmatopteris C.Chr. 1909
Teratophyllum Mett. ex Kuhn 1870
  • Arthrobotrya J.Sm. 1875
Wessiea Pigg & Rothwell 2001 (extinct)


In 1990, Karl U. Kramer and coauthors defined Dryopteridaceae broadly to include the present family as well as Woodsiaceae sensu lato, Onocleaceae and most of Tectariaceae.[8] Molecular phylogenetic studies found Kramer's version of Dryopteridaceae to be polyphyletic and it was split up by Smith and others in 2006.[3] The inclusion of Didymochlaena, Hypodematium, and Leucostegia in Dryopteridaceae is doubtful. If these three are excluded, then the family is strongly supported as monophyletic in cladistic analyses.[9] Some authors have already treated these genera outside of Dryopteridaceae.[1]

Nothoperanema is now included in Dryopteris. In 2007, a phylogenetic study of DNA sequences showed that Pleocnemia should be transferred from Tectariaceae to Dryopteridaceae.[10] In 2010, in a paper on bolbitidoid ferns, Arthrobotrya was resurrected from Teratophyllum.[11] Later that year, Mickelia was described as a new genus.[12]

Some species have been removed from the genus Oenotrichia because they do not belong there or even in the family Dennstaedtiaceae where Oenotrichia sensu stricto is placed. These species probably belong in Dryopteridaceae, but have not yet been given a generic name.[9]


  1. ^ a b Christenhusz, Maarten J. M.; Zhang, Xian-Chun; Schneider, Harald (18 February 2011). "A linear sequence of extant families and genera of lycophytes and ferns" (PDF). Phytotaxa 19: 7–54. ISSN 1179-3163. 
  2. ^ Sue Olsen. 2007. Encyclopedia of Garden Ferns Timber Press: Portland, OR, USA. ISBN 978-0-88192-819-8
  3. ^ a b c d Smith et al., 2006 Alan R. Smith, Kathleen M. Pryer, Eric Schuettpelz, Petra Korall, Harald Schneider & Paul G. Wolf: "A classification for extant ferns," Taxon, 55(3): 705–731 (Aug 2006)
  4. ^ Eric Schuettpelz and Kathleen M. Pryer. 2009. "Evidence for a Cenozoic radiation of ferns in an angiosperm-dominated canopy". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106(27):11200-11205. doi:10.1073/pnas.0811136106
  5. ^ Family:Dryopteridaceae USDA-ARS Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) 25 Jan 2012
  6. ^ Dryopteridaceae Tropicos.org. Missouri Botanical Garden. 25 Jan 2012
  7. ^ Nothoperanema, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Profile, 25 Jan 2012 
  8. ^ Karl U. Kramer (with Richard E. Holttum, Robin C. Moran, and Alan R. Smith). 1990. "Dryopteridaceae". pages ??. In: Klaus Kubitzki (general editor); Karl U. Kramer and Peter S. Green (volume editors) The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants volume I. Springer-Verlag: Berlin;Heidelberg, Germany. ISBN 978-0-387-51794-0
  9. ^ a b Alan R. Smith, Kathleen M. Pryer, Eric Schuettpelz, Petra Korall, Harald Schneider, and Paul G. Wolf. 2008. "Dryopteridaceae". pages ??. In: "Fern Classification". pages 417-467. In: Tom A. Ranker and Christopher H. Haufler (editors). Biology and Evolution of Ferns and Lycophytes. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-87411-3
  10. ^ Hong-Mei Liu, Xian-Chun Zhang, Wei Wang, Yin-Long Qiu, and Zhi-Duan Chen. 2007. "Molecular Phylogeny of the Fern Family Dryopteridaceae inferred from Chloroplast rbcL and atpB genes". International Journal of Plant Sciences 168(9):1311-1323. doi:10.1086/521710
  11. ^ Robbin C. Moran, Paulo H. Labiak, and Michael Sundue. 2010. "Phylogeny and character evolution of the bolbitidoid ferns (Dryopteridaceae)". International Journal of Plant Sciences 171(5):547-559. doi:10.1086/652191
  12. ^ Robbin C. Moran, Paulo H. Labiak, and Michael Sundue. 2010. "Synopsis of Mickelia, a newly recognized genus of bolbitidoid ferns (Dryopteridaceae)". Brittonia 62(4):337-356.

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