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Illustration Asplenium trichomanes0.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Class: Polypodiopsida
Order: Polypodiales
Suborder: Aspleniineae
Family: Aspleniaceae
Type genus

The Aspleniaceae (spleenworts) is a family of ferns, included in the order Polypodiales[1] or in some classifications as the only family in the order Aspleniales.

Members of the family all have intramarginal, linear sori with a flap-like indusium arising along one edge. Most pteridologists today consider this family of consisting of just two genera. Others still maintain segregate genera such as Phyllitis and Ceterach; however, the species segregated into these genera all hybridize readily with undisputed Asplenium species.[specify] A recent phylogenenetic study of Aspleniaceae (Murukami et al. 1999) shows that species segregated as Camptosorus and Neottopteris are nested within Asplenium and recommends that they be included in that genus, but suggests that Hymenasplenium (including Boniniella) and Phyllitis are distantly related to other Asplenium species and should be recognized at the generic level.

The genus Diellia, consisting of six species found only in Hawaii, was long considered to be independent, but now has been shown to nest within Asplenium.[2]

The Aspleniaceae includes the two genera:[3]

The genus Hemidictyum (formerly also placed in the Woodsiaceae) has been shown to be a phylogenic sister to Aspleniaceae,[4] and therefore considered for membership in this family, but has instead been moved to its own family Hemidictyaceae.[5]

Phylogenic relationships[edit]

The following diagram for the eupolypods II, based on Lehtonen, 2011,[4] and Rothfels & al., 2012,[6] shows a likely phylogenic relationship between the Aspleniaceae and the other families of the eupolypods II clade.

eupolypods II











In the classification of Christenhusz & Chase (2014), Aspleniaceae is one of eight families in the order Polypodiales. Polypodiales being one of 7 orders of subclass Polypodiidae. They place Polypodiidae and three other subclasses in the Polypodiophyta or ferns. The older division of Pteridophyta no longer being accepted, because it is paraphyletic.[7]


Christenhusz & Chase (2014) recommended the transfer of all eupolypods I to Polypodiaceae and all eupolypods II to Aspleniaceae, with previous families becoming subfamilies.[7] Accepting their reclassification, the corresponding cladogram for the subfamilies of Aspleniaceae is:


Cystopteridoideae (Acystopteris, Cystoathyrium, Cystopteris, Gymnocarpium)

Rhachidosoroideae (Rhachidosorus)

Diplaziopsidoideae (Diplaziopsis, Homalosorus)

Asplenioideae (Asplenium, Hemidictyum, Hymenasplenium)

Thelypteridoideae (Macrothelypteris, Phegopteris, Thelypteris)

Woodsioideae (Woodsia)

Blechnoideae (Blechnum, Onoclea, Stenochlaena, Woodwardia)

Athyrioideae (Athyrium, Cornopteris, Deparia, Diplazium)


  1. ^ Alan R. Smith; Kathleen M. Pryer; Eric Schuettpelz; Petra Korall; Harald Schneider; Paul G. Wolf (2006). "A classification for extant ferns" (PDF). Taxon. 55 (3): 705–731. doi:10.2307/25065646. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-02-26.
  2. ^ Schneider H; et al. (2005-02-22), "Origin of the endemic fern genus Diellia coincides with the renewal of Hawaiian terrestrial life in the Miocene", Proc Biol Sci, 272 (1561): 455–60, doi:10.1098/rspb.2004.2965, PMC 1634989, PMID 15734701
  3. ^ Maarten J. M. Christenhusz, Xian-Chun Zhang & Harald Schneider (2011). "A linear sequence of extant families and genera of lycophytes and ferns" (PDF). Phytotaxa. 19: 7–54.
  4. ^ a b Samuli Lehtonen (2011). "Towards Resolving the Complete Fern Tree of Life" (PDF). PLoS ONE. 6 (10): e24851. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0024851. PMC 3192703. PMID 22022365.
  5. ^ Maarten J. M. Christenhusz & Harald Schneider (2011). "Corrections to Phytotaxa 19: Linear sequence of lycophytes and ferns" (PDF). Phytotaxa. 28: 50–52. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.28.1.6.
  6. ^ Carl J. Rothfels; Anders Larsson; Li-Yaung Kuo; Petra Korall; Wen- Liang Chiou; Kathleen M. Pryer (2012). "Overcoming Deep Roots, Fast Rates, and Short Internodes to Resolve the Ancient Rapid Radiation of Eupolypod II Ferns". Systematic Biology. 61 (1): 70. doi:10.1093/sysbio/sys001. PMID 22223449.
  7. ^ a b Christenhusz, Maarten J.M. & Chase, Mark W. (2014). "Trends and concepts in fern classification". Annals of Botany. 113 (9): 571–594. doi:10.1093/aob/mct299. PMC 3936591. PMID 24532607.