The green links below add additional plants to the comparison table. Blue links lead to other Web sites.
enable glossary links

Hottentot fern, spready tri-vein fern, Willdenow's fern, Willdenow's maiden fern


long-creeping, cordlike, 3–6 mm diam.


monomorphic, evergreen, 3–6 cm apart, 50–150(–250) cm.


straw-colored to tan, 20–125 cm × 3–6 mm, scaleless.


30–125 cm, broadest at base, gradually narrowed distally to pinnatifid apex.


7–30 × 1–2 cm, incised 1/3–1/2(–3/5) of width;

segments deltate, rounded to acute;

proximal pair of veins from adjacent segments united at acute or obtuse angle below sinus, with excurrent vein 2–4 mm.


round, medial to supramedial;

indusia tan, glabrous to hairy;

sporangia with red- or orange-capped, stalked, globose glands arising from sporangial stalks.


abaxially of hairs 0.1–0.3 mm on costae and veins, or hairs often lacking, costae also with tan, ovate scales;

veins, costules, and costae adaxially glabrous or sparsely pubescent;

blade tissue without hairs on both sides, or hairy abaxially, usually with red to orange, shiny, sessile, hemispheric glands abaxially.


= 144.

Thelypteris interrupta

Habitat Wet roadside ditches, riverbanks, marshes, and cypress swamps
Elevation 0–50 m (0–200 ft)
from FNA
FL; LA; Mexico; Central America; West Indies in the Antilles; South America to Argentina; tropical and subtropical Asia; Africa

D. B. Lellinger (1985) applied the name Thelypteris interrupta to specimens from India, while using T. totta (type from South Africa) for North American and South American specimens. Diploid cytotypes are known from Africa and Asia, whereas all counts from the Neotropics are tetraploid. Until more counts are available and the morphologic variation (chiefly in glands, pubescence, and leaf size) in this species complex is better understood, I prefer to circumscribe the species broadly.

R. E. Holttum (1982) circumscribed Cyclosorus (as a genus) to include this species and one or two others.

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

Source FNA vol. 2.
Parent taxa Thelypteridaceae > Thelypteris > subg. Cyclosorus
Sibling taxa
T. augescens, T. dentata, T. grandis, T. hispidula, T. kunthii, T. nevadensis, T. noveboracensis, T. ovata, T. palustris, T. patens, T. pilosa, T. puberula, T. quelpaertensis, T. reptans, T. resinifera, T. reticulata, T. sclerophylla, T. serrata, T. simulata, T. tetragona
Synonyms Pteris interrupta, Cyclosorus gongylodes, Cyclosorus interruptus, Cyclosorus tottus, Dryopteris gongylodes, T. gongylodes, T. totta
Name authority (Willdenow) K. Iwatsuki: Jap. J. Bot. 38: 314. (1963)
Web links