Notholaena neglecta

Notholaena neglecta Maxon
(Latin: neglectus, pay no attention, neglected, overlooked)

Local names: Maxon’s cloak fern

Leaves 15 cm or less long; leaf blades narrowly deltate-pentagonal, 3–4-pinnate, 1–2 times as long as wide, the lower surface with pale yellow farina, without scales, the upper surface glabrous or with sparse glandular pubescence, the basal pinnae much larger than adjacent pair due to the proximal basiscopic pinnules being much enlarged, with at least some ultimate segments constricted near point of attachment and slightly stalked, the margins of the ultimate segments strongly recurved and often hiding sporangia; n = 2n = 90 (Windham 1993f). Rocky limestone slopes and cliffs, crevices, canyons; Brewster (Correll 13583, 14075, BRIT, TEX-LL), Val Verde (Correll & Correll 12900, TEX-LL, Rio Grande Canyon, Langtry [w of the Pecos River]), and Culberson (J.L. Blassingame 3156, BRIT; Sierra Diablo Mts., Yarborough & Powell 2002) cos. in the Trans- Pecos, and Uvalde Co. (Correll 1956) in the far w Edwards Plateau; AZ and TX; also n Mexico. Sporulating Apr–Nov. [Cheilanthes neglecta (Maxon) Mickel, Chrysochosma neglecta (Maxon) Pic. Serm.] Notholaena neglecta is similar to N. copelandii (though typically smaller) but differs in having leaf blades that are more finely dissected, more pentagonal in outline, and with pale yellow farina. This and N. greggii are the only TX species with the margins of the ultimate segments strongly recurved. Windham (1993f) pointed out that all known U.S. populations are apogamous triploids; however, sexually reproducing forms have been found in Mexico (Windham & Yatskievych 2003b). According to Moore (2008) the “dry leaves curl into crescent shapes.” Correll noted on some collections that this species is “Rare!” and it is also considered rare by Yarborough and 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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