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Waratah Track Comb Fern.JPG
Schizaea cf. bifida from Waratah Track, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, Australia
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Class: Polypodiopsida
Order: Schizaeales
Family: Schizaeaceae

See text

Schizaeaceae is a family of ferns in the order Schizaeales. In the Pteridophyte Phylogeny Group classification of 2016 (PPG I), it includes only two genera.[1] Alternatively, two families kept separate in PPG I, Lygodiaceae and Anemiaceae, may be included in Schizaeaceae (as the subfamilies Lygodioideae and Anemioideae)[2] so that the family has four genera.[3][4] In this approach, the Schizaeaceae of PPG I is treated as the subfamily Schizaeoideae.[2]

Species are mainly distributed in the tropics, but several are found in temperate regions in North America, South Africa, Australasia and Northeast Asia.[5][6] The sporangia are borne on specialised pinnae, distinct from ordinary vegetative pinnae. The pinnae form small comb-like, pinnate structures on which the sporangia are formed.[citation needed]


In the narrow circumscription of the family, there are two genera:[1]

Two further genera are included in the broader circumscription:[3]

  • Anemia Sm. – otherwise placed in the monotypic family Anemiaceae
  • Lygodium Sw. – otherwise placed in the monotypic family Lygodiaceae


  1. ^ a b c PPG I (2016). "A community-derived classification for extant lycophytes and ferns". Journal of Systematics and Evolution. 54 (6): 563–603. doi:10.1111/jse.12229.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ a b "Schizaeaceae Kaulf". Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 2019-11-24.
  4. ^ Christenhusz, M. J. M. & Byng, J. W. (2016). "The number of known plants species in the world and its annual increase". Phytotaxa. Magnolia Press. 261 (3): 201–217. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.261.3.1.
  5. ^ "Actinostachys Wall". Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 2019-08-08.
  6. ^ "Schizaea Sm.". Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 2019-08-08.