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Cheilanthes parryi 1.jpg
Cheilanthes parryi in a rock crevice in southern Nevada
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Polypodiopsida
Order: Polypodiales
Family: Pteridaceae
Genus: Cheilanthes
Type species
Cheilanthes micropteris

See text


Chrysochosma (J.Sm.) Kümmerle
Cincinalis Gled. ex Desv.
Leptolepidium K.H.Hsing & S.K.Wu
Neurosoria Mett. ex Kuhn
Oeosporangium Vis.
Pomatophytum M.E.Jones[1]

Cheilanthes (lip ferns)[2] is a genus of about 180 species of rock-dwelling ferns with a cosmopolitan distribution in warm, dry, rocky regions, often growing in small crevices high up on cliffs. Most are small, sturdy and evergreen. The leaves, often densely covered in trichomes, spring directly from the rootstocks. Many of them are desert ferns, curling up during dry times and reviving with the coming of moisture. At the ends of veins sporangia, or spore-bearing structures, are protected by leaf margins, which curl over them.

This genus is now known to be highly paraphyletic, comprising at least four generically separate groups. The type species, C. micropteris, is most closely allied to the genera Aleuritopteris and Sinopteris (Schuettpelz et al.). In 2012, seventeen species were moved to the new genus Gaga, which also includes two new species.

The genus name is derived from the Greek words χεῖλος (cheilos), meaning "lip," and ἄνθος (anthos), meaning "flower."[3]

Selected species[edit]

Formerly placed here[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Genus: Cheilanthes Sw". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2007-10-05. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^ a b "Cheilanthes". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 2011-10-23. 
  3. ^ Moran, Robbin Craig (2004). A Natural History of Ferns. Timber Press. p. 94. ISBN 978-0-88192-667-5. 
  4. ^ C. cavernicola International Plant Names Index (IPNI) 13 Jan 2012
  5. ^ a b c Gaga Pryer, F.W. Li & Windham. Missouri Botanical Garden. 28 Jul 2014
  6. ^ "GRIN Species Records of Cheilanthes". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2011-06-07.