Thelypteris ovata

R. P. St. John

in Small, Ferns S. E. States 230, with plate. 1938.

Common names: Ovate maiden fern
Synonyms: Christella ovata (R. P. St. John) A. Löve & D. Löve Dryopteris ovata (R. P. St. John) Broun
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 2.

Stems usually long-creeping, 3–6 mm diam. Leaves monomorphic, evergreen, (0.5–)1–4 cm apart, (30–)55–135(–165) cm. Petiole straw-colored, 15–80 cm × 2–6 mm, at base with tan to brownish, linear-lanceolate, hairy scales. Blade about equaling petiole length, broadest at base, gradually to somewhat abruptly tapered to pinnatifid apex. Pinnae (5–)10–25 × 0.8–2.2 cm, incised 4/5 of width; segments oblique, somewhat curved, basal pair from middle pinnae often elongate parallel to rachis; proximal pair of veins from adjacent segments reaching margin at or just above sinus. Indument abaxially of hairs mostly 0.2–0.5 mm on costae, veins, and blade tissue, also sometimes of a few tan scales on costae and rachises; blades adaxially glabrous except along rachises and costae. Sori round, supramedial to inframarginal; indusia tan, hairy, hairs mostly 0.2–0.4 mm; sporangia glabrous. 2n = 72.


Ala., Fla., Ga., S.C., Tex., Mexico, West Indies, Central America.


Varieties 2 (2 in the flora).

Selected References



1 Scales usually absent on costae abaxially; blade tissue glabrous adaxially; petiole base and stem scales brownish. Thelypteris ovata var. ovata
1 Scales few, very narrow, on costae abaxially; blade tissue minutely pubescent or glabrous adaxially; petiole base and stem scales tan. Thelypteris ovata var. lindheimeri
... more about "Thelypteris ovata"
Alan R. Smith +
R. P. St. John +
Undefined subg. Cyclosorus +
Ovate maiden fern +
Ala. +, Fla. +, Ga. +, S.C. +, Tex. +, Mexico +, West Indies +  and Central America. +
in Small, Ferns S. E. States +
Christella ovata +  and Dryopteris ovata +
Thelypteris ovata +
Thelypteris subg. Cyclosorus +
species +