Notes: FNA2: "Considerable disagreement exists concerning the circumscription and proper name of this family. The taxa comprising the Pteridaceae in this treatment were assigned to the Sinopteridaceae and Pteridaceae by D. B. Lellinger (1985) and were included in five families by R. E. G. Pichi-Sermolli (1977). The broad concept followed here is similar (except for the exclusion of Ceratopteris ) to that espoused by R. M. Tryon and A. F. Tryon (1982), who applied the name Pteridaceae to the group. Until very recently, the newer name Adiantaceae was more commonly used.
As represented in North America, Pteridaceae comprise three major evolutionary lines (the adiantoids, the pteroids, and the cheilanthoids). Characteristics holding the family together include abaxial (usually submarginal) sori that lack indusia or are protected by a reflexed or revolute leaf margin, spores that are usually globose-tetrahedral and trilete, and chromosome base numbers of 30 or 29 (rarely 27). The xeric-adapted members of the family (particularly the cheilanthoids) have undergone extensive parallel and convergent evolution, and they have frustrated attempts to produce a natural generic classification based on macromorphologic characteristics alone. Although some workers have aggregated species into a few large genera (e.g., J. T. Mickel 1979b), most tend to recognize smaller segregate genera based on a combination of morphologic, chromosomal, and biochemical data. The latter approach seems to provide a more useful, evolutionarily informative classification and is the one adopted here. Aspidotis and Notholaena are maintained here as distinct from Cheilanthes , and three recently described genera ( Argyrochosma , Astrolepis , and Pentagramma ) have been incorporated into the treatment. The reasons for these changes in generic circumscription are discussed under the individual genera."
Family information last updated 12/28/2008 by David Giblin.