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Mariana maiden fern, swordfern, Torres' fern

marsh fern family, thelypteris family

Habit Plants terrestrial or on rock [epiphytic].

short-creeping, thick, to 10 mm diam.

creeping to erect, scaly at apex.


monomorphic, evergreen, 60–150 cm.

monomorphic or somewhat dimorphic [dimorphic].


to 75 cm × 3–12 mm, glaucous when living.

in cross section with 2 crescent-shaped vascular bundles at base.


2–3-pinnate, to ca. 85 cm.

pinnate to pinnate-pinnatifid, rarely more than 2-pinnate [simple];

rachis grooved adaxially or not, grooves not continuous with grooves of next order.


to 35 × 10(–17) cm;

pinnules sessile to adnate, oblique, 2–8 × 0.8–2.5 cm, incised almost to costule into oblique segments 2–4 mm wide, segments entire to dentate or pinnatifid;

veins forked or simple.


free or anastomosing, running to margin, areoles with or without included free veinlets.


round, indusia small, less than 0.3 mm diam., glabrous or glandular;

sporangia with minute capitate glands near annulus.

inframedial to supramedial, occasionally nearly marginal, round or oblong, rarely elongate along veins;

indusia reniform or sometimes absent.


bilateral, monolete [rarely globose-tetrahedral and trilete], usually with a prominent, crested, echinate, or reticulate perispore.


green, cordate, usually hairy or glandular;

antheridia 3-celled.


abaxially of septate hairs 1–2 mm on costae and costules;

rachis, costae, and blade tissue with capitate glands 0.05 mm.

of transparent, needlelike, hooked, septate, or stellate hairs, or rarely hairs lacking.


= 124.

Macrothelypteris torresiana


Habitat Terrestrial in damp woods and along stream banks
Elevation 0–100 m (0–300 ft)
from FNA
AL; AR; FL; GA; LA; MS; SC; TX; s Mexico; Central America; West Indies in the Antilles; South America to n Argentina; native to tropical and subtropical Asia; Africa [Introduced in North America]
[WildflowerSearch map]
[BONAP county map]
Mostly tropical
[BONAP county map]

The name Dryopteris setigera (Blume) Kuntze has been misapplied to plants in the flora.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Members of Thelypteridaceae have historically been associated with Dryopteridaceae (in particular, Dryopteris) but in fact have no close relationship with that family. Thelypteris and allies differ from Dryopteris and allies by their indument of transparent needlelike hairs (versus needlelike hairs absent in Dryopteridaceae); general absence of blade scales (versus blade scales often present); petiole vasculature in cross section with two crescent-shaped bundles (versus many round bundles arranged in an arc, Athyrium and allies exceptional); generally 1-pinnate to pinnate-pinnatifid blades (versus often more divided); veins usually not forking in the ultimate segments (versus often forking); adaxial grooves discontinuous from rachis to costae, or grooves lacking (versus grooves often continuous); and chromosome base numbers from 27–36 (versus generally 40, 41).

Genera 1 to ca. 30, depending on circumscription, species ca. 900 (as circumscribed here, 3 genera and 25 species in the flora).

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

1. Blades 1-pinnate to deeply pinnate-pinnatifid; costae grooved adaxially; veins meeting margin at or above sinus or united below sinus.
1. Blades 2-pinnatifid, with pinnae at least in distal 1/2 of blade connected by wings along rachis, or blades 2-pinnate-pinnatifid; costae not grooved adaxially; veins commonly meeting margin above sinus.
→ 2
2. Pinnae free, rachis not winged; blades 2-pinnate or more divided; costal hairs septate, often longer than 1 mm; indusia small, less than 0.3 mm diam.
2. Pinnae mostly connected by wings along rachis, the wings often forming semicircular lobes between pinnae; blades 2-pinnatifid; costal hairs not septate, shorter than 0.5 mm; indusia absent.
Source FNA vol. 2. FNA vol. 2, p. 206.
Parent taxa Thelypteridaceae > Macrothelypteris
Subordinate taxa
Macrothelypteris, Phegopteris, Thelypteris
Synonyms Polystichum torresianum, Dryopteris uliginosa, Thelypteris torresiana, Thelypteris uliginosa
Name authority (Gaudichaud Beaupré) Ching: Acta Phytotax. Sin. 8: 310. (1963) Ching ex Pichi Sermolli
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