Pellaea cordifolia

Pellaea cordifolia (Sesse & Moc.) A.R. Sm.
(Latin: cordis, heart, and folius, leaved, = heart leaf)

Local names: heart-leaf, cliff-brake

Plant to 50 cm tall; rhizomes compact, ascending, distinctive in being rather stout (> 5 mm in diam.) and soft or brittle, the scales uniformly colored, orangish brown, relatively long; petioles strawcolored, tan, or gray, not shiny; leaf blades 2 pinnate below, 5–20 cm wide, somewhat dimorphic, the sterile ones shorter; rachis and costae glabrous; pinnae attached to rachis so that their tips point } straight out or slightly towards tip of leaf; ultimate leaf segments round to deltate, cordate basally, rounded or even retuse apically, herbaceous to leathery, glabrous or puberulent; 2n = 58 (Windham 1993c). Canyons, cliffs, mtn. slopes; Chinati Mts., Presidio Co. (McVaugh 7451, Muller 8334, BRIT, TEX-LL), Chisos Mts., Brewster Co. (E.G. Marsh, 251a, TEX-LL), and Davis Mts., Jeff Davis Co. (J.W. Stanford & J.L. Blassingame 1168, BRIT; Correll 34978, A.M. Powell & S.A. Powell 4915, TEX-LL) in the Trans-Pecos; in the U.S. known only from TX; also Mexico. Sporulating Jul–Nov. [Adiantum cordifolium Sesse & Moc., P. cardiomorpha Weath., P. sagittata (Cav.) Link var. cordata (Cav.) A.F. Tryon] This species is a diploid. In the past it was treated as a variety of the Mexican, Central and South American P. sagittata; however, the two are separated by a number of morphological differences and “it seems unlikely that they represent cytotypes of a single species” (Windham 1993c). Yarborough and Powell (2002) considered P. cordifolia to be rare in TX. 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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