Cheilanthes lanosa

Cheilanthes lanosa (Michx.) D.C. Eaton
(Latin: lana, wool, = woolly, in reference to the leaf hairs)

Local names: hairy lip fern, woolly lip fern

Rhizomes compact to short-creeping or sometimes long-creeping; leaves clustered or along the rhizome, 7–50 cm long; petioles dark brown, rounded on upper surface, with jointed hairs; leaf blades linear-oblong to lanceolate, 1.5–5 cm wide, usually 2-pinnate-pinnatifid at base, the pinnae not articulate, the ultimate segments oblong to lanceolate, not bead-like, the largest 3–5 mm long, with sparse, long, jointed hairs on both upper and lower surfaces; costae without scales on lower surfaces; 2n = 60 (Windham & Rabe 1993). Dry rocky slopes and ledges, sandstone, limestone, and granite; in TX only known from McLennan Co. (E.T. Wherry s.n., 1925, US; Correll 1956; Holmes et al. 2011;); the species is also mapped for ne TX by Windham and Rabe (1993); e U.S. from NY s to FL w to MN, KS, OK (e.g., L. Kelly 36, BAYLU, Wichita Mts. Wildlife Refuge), and disjunct to McLennan Co. in TX. Sporulating Apr–Oct. While the species has consistently been included in the TX flora (e.g., Cory & Parks 1937; Correll 1956; Correll & Johnston 1970; Hatch et al. 1990; Turner et al. 2003; Diggs et al. 2006), its status in TX has not always been clear (e.g., Diggs et al. 1999, 2006). Correll (1949) noted that only “one locality was known for Texas” and in (1956) cited only the Wherry s.n. collection from McLennan Co. (but did not indicate in what herbarium it was deposited). The location and actual identity of the specimen were uncertain until Holmes et al. (2011) relocated it at the U.S. National Herbarium (accession number 1466623; annotated by Correll in 1947 as C. lanosa) and confirmed its identity. Holmes et al. (2011) provide a detailed discussion and a photo of the collection. Attempts to relocate the species in McLennan Co. have been unsuccessful (Holmes et al. 2011). Weakley (2010) noted that this is “the most ‘eastern’ [species] of a predominantly western genus.” It is similar in some respects to C. tomentosa but with hispidulous jointed hairs instead of tomentum on the petiole and rachis, and with ultimate leaf segments not bead-like. 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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