Notholaena greggii

Notholaena greggii (Mett. ex Kuhn)
Maxon, (for Josiah Gregg, 1806–1850, who collected in Mexico and died in the wilderness in n CA)

Local names: Gregg’s cloak fern

Leaves 20 cm or less long; leaf blades narrowly deltate, 2–3-pinnate, 2–4 times longer than wide, the lower surface with obvious but sometimes sparse whitish farina, but scales absent, the upper surface with dense whitish glandular pubescence, the basal pinnae } the same size as adjacent pair, without greatly enlarged proximal basiscopic pinnules, the ultimate leaf segments sessile or subsessile, the margins of the ultimate segments strongly recurved and often hiding sporangia; 2n = 60 (Windham 1993f). Rocky mountain slopes, bluffs, ledges, crevices, and canyons, on limestone or gypsum; in the Trans-Pecos in the Big Bend area of s Brewster Co. (e.g., J.L. Blassingame 1325, BRIT, TEX-LL, “lava ledges,” Black Gap; J.W. Stanford et al. 2538, BRIT, Black Gap; Correll & Warnock 14978, TEX-LL, Boquillas Canyon; S. Adair 91, HPC, Black Gap) and in s Presidio Co. (e.g., Correll & Johnston 24461, SRSC, TEX-LL, Bofecillos Mts.); in the U.S. known only from TX; also n Mexico. Sporulating summer–fall. [Cheilanthes greggii (Mett. ex Kuhn) Mickel, Chrysochosma greggii (Mett. ex Kuhn) Pic. Serm., Pellaea greggii Mett. ex Kuhn] Windham (1993f) noted that all known U.S. populations lie within 25 km of the international border. The combination of densely glandular upper leaf surfaces and petioles with their upper side flattened or grooved is distinctive. This and N. neglecta are the only TX species with the margins of the ultimate segments strongly recurved. Jim Blassingame (pers. comm.) notes that it one of the most dry-adapted ferns of the Trans-Pecos— it can grow in “desert” areas (creosote bush flats with only around 8–10 inches of annual rain) versus the seasonally dry habitats of many other Trans-Pecos ferns. It is considered rare (Windham 1993f; Yarborough & Powell 2002). 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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