star cloak fern, more...
[Cheilanthes hookeri (Kummel.) Domin, more]
Stem scales strongly bicolored, margins brown, broad and well defined, thin, entire. Leaves 5--30 cm. Petiole brown, equal to or somewhat longer than blade, rounded adaxially, glabrous except for a few scales at base. Blade broadly pentagonal, deeply pinnatifid but not fully pinnate above base (distal pinnae connected by narrow wing of green tissue), 1--2 times longer than wide, abaxially with conspicuous yellowish farina, scales absent, adaxially glabrous; basal pinnae much larger than adjacent pair, strongly inequilateral, proximal basiscopic pinnules greatly enlarged. Ultimate segments sessile, broadly adnate to costae; segment margins slightly recurved, rarely concealing sporangia. Sporangia containing 32 or 16 spores. 2 n = 60. Sporulating late spring--fall. Rocky slopes and cliffs, on a variety of substrates including granite and limestone; 300--2100 m; Ariz., Colo., N.Mex., Okla., Tex.; Mexico. The low numbers of spores per sporangium in Notholaena standleyi are apparently not associated with apogamy because all plants thus far analyzed are sexual diploids (M. D. Windham, unpublished data). D. S. Siegler and E. Wollenweber (1983) identified three chemotypes in this species correlated with substrate specificity and subtle variations in farina color. These three 'races' occupy different portions of the geographic range, and further investigation may indicate that they deserve formal taxonomic recognition. A report of Notholaena standleyi from Nevada (D. B. Lellinger 1985) must be considered suspect because it is disjunct, and the closest populations in Arizona represent a different chemotype.
FNA 1993, Kearney and Peebles 1969, Wiggins 1964
Common Name: star cloak fern General: Strongly bicolored stem scales, margins brown, broad and well defined, thin, entire. Leaves: Fronds 5-30 cm, on brown petiole, equal to or somewhat longer than blade, rounded above, glabrous except for a few scales at base, blade broadly pentagonal, deeply pinnatifid, but not fully pinnate above base, upper pinnae connected by narrow wing of green tissue, 1-2 times longer than wide, conspicuous yellowish powdery covering below, scales absent, glabrous above, basal pinnae much larger than adjacent pair, strongly unequal, upper pinnules greatly enlarged. Sporangia: Dark brown, dull, with 32 or 16 spores, sori continous along magins of weakly revolute segments. Ecology: Found in rocky canyons, along cliffs, and among rocks from 1,000-6,500 ft (305-1981 m); sporulating late spring to fall. Notes: Distinguished by the bipinnatifid blade that is not divided into separate segments. Ethnobotany: Unknown Etymology: Notholaena is from the Greek nothos, false, and chlaina, a cloak, a reference to the incomplete indusium, while standleyi is named for the American botanist Paul Standley. Synonyms: Cheilanthes hookeri, C. standleyi Editor: SBuckley, 2010