Notholaena copelandii

Notholaena copelandii C.C. Hall
(for Edwin Bingham Copeland, 1873–1964, American botanist and fern specialist)

Local names: Copeland’s cloak fern

Leaves 25 cm or less long; leaf blades ovate, 2-pinnate-pinnatifid, 1–2 times as long as wide, the lower surface with obvious stark white farina, without scales, the upper surface with glandular pubescence, the basal pinnae having proximal basiscopic pinnules being much enlarged (almostlike an extra pinna arising at the same point of attachment on the rachis), the basal pinnae thus much differently shaped than the more distal pinnae, the ultimate leaf segments sessile, the margins of the ultimate segments only slightly recurved; 2n = 60 (Windham 1993f). Limestone substrates, canyons, ledges, crevices, and rocky slopes; Brewster (e.g., Correll & Correll 35364, TEX-LL), Terrell (Warnock & Johnston 17265, TEXLL), and Pecos (Correll 1956) cos. in the Trans-Pecos and scattered in the w Edwards Plateau from Val Verde (E. Whitehouse s.n. 1932, SRSC, Del Rio [on e side of Pecos River]; C.M. Rowell & J.L. Blassingame 3053, BRIT; Correll & Correll 12911, BRIT), Bandera, Edwards, Kerr, Kimble, Real (J. Blassingame 3111), Uvalde (all BRIT), and Kinney (TEX-LL) cos. e to Gillespie Co. (B. O’Kennon 10457, Enchanted Rock SNA, BRIT; G. Jermy 349, US, fide Hall 1950); in the U.S. known only from TX; also n Mexico. Sporulating Mar–Dec. [Cheilanthes candida M. Martens & Galeotti var. copelandii (C.C. Hall) Mickel, Chrysochosma candida (M. Martens & Galeotti) Kummerle var. copelandii (C.C. Hall) Pic. Serm., N. candida (M. Martens & Galeotti) Hook. var. copelandii (C.C. Hall) R.M. Tryon] The ovate leaf blades with stark white farina are distinctive. While sometimes in the past treated as a variety of the Mexican and Central American N. candida, Windham (1993f) discussed a variety of evidence pointing to the two as separate species.

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