Cyrtomium C. Presl

Cyrtomium is a taxonomically difficult genus in which species delimitation is often controversial. Christensen (1930) only recognised nine species whereas Shing (1965) accepted 59 species! Currently, Cyrtomium is estimated to accommodate ca. 35 species, mostly native to eastern Asia. Even the generic circumscription of Cyrtomium is debated. Inclusion within Polystichum is sometimes suggested (see for instance Mabberley 2008) but this is not confirmed by molecular data (Lu & al. 2007). At least three species of Cyrtomium are cultivated in Europe. In addition to the two species treated below, Page & Bennell (1986) also cite Cyrtomium caryotideum (Wallich) C. Presl.

  • Fronds leathery-coriaceous, very glossy when fresh. Margins of the fronds entire, with a thick, white cartilagineous border. Median pinnae broad (L/w usually less than 2,5), very oblique at base and often rather abruptly acuminate at apex. Number of pinnae (in mature fronds) usually less than 20 === Cyrtomium falcatum
  • Fronds herbaceous, dull when fresh. Margins of the fronds serrate at apex, without or with a narrow cartilagineous border. Median pinnae narrower (L/w more than 3), less oblique at base and long acuminate at apex. Number of pinnae (in mature fronds) often more than 20 === Cyrtomium fortunei



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Edgington J.A. (2006) Wall-to-wall ferns. BSBI News 102: 20-21.

Edie H.H. (1978) Cyrtomium. In: Ferns of Hong Kong. Hong Kong University Press: 209-211.

Guillot Ortiz D., Mateo Sanz G. & Rosselló Picornell A. (2006) Claves para la pteridoflora ornamental de la Comunidad Valenciana. Bouteloua 1: 25-33.

Iwatsuki K. (1995) Cyrtomium. In: Iwatsuki K. & al. (eds.), Flora of Japan, vol. 1. Kodansha, Tokyo: 121-124.

Lu J.-M., Barrington D.S. & Li D.-Z. (2007) Molecular Phylogeny of the Polystichoid Ferns in Asia Based on rbcL Sequences. Systematic Botany 32(1): 26-33. [available online at:]

Mabberley D.J. (2008) Mabberley’s plant-book (3th ed.). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: XVIII + 1021 p.

Marchetti D. (2004) Le pteridofite d’Italia. Ann. Mus. Civ. Rovereto, Sez. Arch., St., Sc. Nat. 19: 71-231.

Mei-Lu J. & Cheng X. (2003) Distributional study of the genus Cyrtomium C. Presl (Dryopteridaceae). In: Chandra S. & Srivastava M. (eds.), Pteridology in the New Millenium. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht-Boston-London: 133-141.

Page C.N. & Bennell F.M. (1986) Cyrtomium. In: Walters S.M. & al. (eds.), The European Garden Flora, vol. 1: 54. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Prelli R. (2001) Les fougères et plantes alliées de France et de l’Europe occidentale. Belin, Paris: 431 p.

Roux J.P. (2011) The genus Cyrtomium (Pteridophyta: Dryopteridaceae) in Africa and Madagascar. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 167: 449-465.

Sant S. & Malatrasi T. (2013) Le genre Cyrtomium C. Presl (Pteridophyta, Dryopteridaceae) dans le département des Alpes-Maritimes (France). Biocosme Mésogéen 30(1): 1-6.

Shing K.H. (1965) A taxonomical study of the genus Cyrtomium Presl. Acta Phytotax. Sin., suppl. 1: 1-48.

Tagawa M. (1934) A review of the genus Cyrtomium of Japan. Acta Phytotax. Geobot. 3: 57-67 (in Japanese).

Verloove F., van der Ham R. & Denters T. (2007) Exotische muurvarens in België en Nederland. Dumortiera 92: 1-16.

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