Notholaena aschenborniana

Notholaena aschenborniana Klotzsch
(for Alwin Aschenborn, 1816–1865, 19th century plant collector who found the type specimen in Mexico)

Local names: Aschenborn’s cloak fern, scaled cloak fern

Leaves 8–35 cm long; leaf blades lanceolate, 2-pinnate, 2–6 times longer than wide, the lower surface with yellowish or whitish farina and tan to brownish, deeply dissected, stellate scales (with obvious scale body, but the scale branches long and so thin as to be hair-like), the farina completely hidden by the dense overlapping scales, the upper surface with stellate hairs giving the blade a grayish green appearance, the basal pinnae } the same size as adjacent pair, without greatly enlarged proximal basiscopic pinnules, the ultimate segments sessile or subsessile, the margins of the ultimate segments only slightly recurved; n = 2n = 90 (Windham 1993f). Rocky areas on limestone substrates in the mts.; Brewster (Glass and Del Norte Mts.) (Correll 13588, Correll 14076, both BRIT, TEX-LL), Pecos (G. Mckenzie 447, SRSC), Terrell (P. Zelazny 181, 183, SRSC), Val Verde (Correll & Correll 12904, TEX-LL), and Culberson (Turner et al. 2003) cos. in the Trans-Pecos and Real (J.L. Blassigame 2912, 2686, BRIT) and Val Verde (J.L. Blassingame 2809 [e of Pecos River], BRIT) cos. in the Edwards Plateau; AZ and TX; also Mexico. Sporulating May–Nov. [Cheilanthes aschenborniana (Klotzsch) Mett., Chrysochosma aschenborniana (Klotzsch) Pic. Serm., Notholaena bipinnata Liebm.] Windham (1993f) noted that all of the individuals tested were apogamous triploids. This species is distinguished by the overlapping scales completely hiding the farina on the lower leaf surfaces. Because of its rareness and limited distribution in the state, we consider this species to be of conservation concern in TX.

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