The generic limits between Cheilanthes and Pellaea Link have long been unclear. Species of Pellaea often have fronds 1-pinnate with pinnae petiolate and their pseudoindusium is continuous along the margins of each segment. In turn, Cheilanthes-species are often characterized by fronds more divided with pinnae sessile and a discontinuous pseudoindusium but these morphological characteristics contrast with recent molecular phylogenetic investigations (Kirkpatrick 2007).

The only taxon here concerned has been accommodated in Cheilanthes as well as in Pellaea, even by recent pteridologists. Kirkpatrick l.c. rather suggests inclusion in Cheilanthes.

Cheilanthes itself is native in parts of southern Europe as well. Jermy & Fuchs (1964) cite five species (incl. Notholaena R. Brown). It is the largest genus of xeric-adapted ferns. If Pellaea and Notholaena are excluded, Cheilanthes counts ca. 150 species, mostly confined to the New World.

Cheilanthes viridis


Anthony N.C. (1984) A revision of the southern African species of Cheilanthes Swartz and Pellaea Link (Pteridaceae). Contr. Bolus Herb. 11: 1-293.

Burrows J.E. (1990) Southern African ferns and fern allies. Frandsen Publishers, Sandton: XIII + 359 p.

Jermy A.C. & Fuchs H.P. (1964) Cheilanthes. In: Tutin T.G. & al. (eds.), Flora Europaea, vol. 1. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: 10.

Kirkpatrick R.E.B. (2007) Investigating the monophyly of Pellaea (Pteridaceae) in the context of a phylogenetic analysis of cheilanthoid ferns. Syst. Bot. 32(3): 504-518.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith