Thelypteris kunthii

Thelypteris kunthii (Desv.) C.V. Morton
(for Karl Sigismund Kunth, 1788–1850, German botanist)

Local names: widespread maiden fern, southern shield fern, Kunth’s maiden fern

Rhizomes short- to long-creeping; leaves monomorphic, evergreen; petioles straw-colored; leaf blades (9–)30–80 cm long, usually broadest at or near base, the basal pinnae as long as or only slightly shorter than more distal pinnae, the basalmost pinnae varying from perpendicular to rachis to angled downward, the blades glabrous or sparsely hairy above, except along veins, the lower surface with indument of short hairs on veins and blade tissue; basal veins of adjacent ultimate leaf segments not united, extending to sinus between segments or nearly so and sometimes meeting at the sinus; sori medial to supramedial; indusia with pubescence; 2n = 144 (Smith 1993a). Woodlands, streambanks, swamps, ditches; widespread in East TX and adjacent Gulf Prairies and Marshes w to the Blackland Prairie or slightly further w (Bastrop, Dallas, Travis—TEX-LL, Bell, Burnet, Wilson—Turner et al. 2003, and McLennan—J.Mink pers. comm.) cos.; several collections are also known from the Cross Timbers and Prairies, including Tarrant (O’Kennon 17144, BRIT) and Wise (O’Kennon & McLemore 18841, BRIT) cos. And a Parker Co. collection (Jeff Quayle s.n., 1997, BRIT) at the w margin of the species’ range; se U.S. from NC s to FL w to AR and TX; also West Indies and Mexico to South America. Sporulating spring–fall. [Christella normalis (C. Chr.) Holttum, Dryopteris normalis C. Chr., T. normalis (C. Chr.) Moxley] This species has often been confused and lumped (e.g., Correll 1956) with Thelypteris ovata var. lindheimeri, sometimes under the name Dryopteris normalis. Thelypteris kunthii has been reported to hybridize with T. hispidula and T. ovata (Smith 1993a). Willis and Nester-Hudson (2006) reported a T. kunthii × T. ovata var. lindheimeri hybrid from Walker Co., TX.

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