Asplenium palmeri

Asplenium palmeri Maxon
(for its collector, Edward Palmer, 1831–1911, British born botanist who collected in the sw U.S., Mexico, and South America)

Local names: Palmer’s spleenwort

Rhizomes short-creeping, not branched; leaves monomorphic; leaf blades linear to linear-lanceolate in outline, usually recurved, with rachis elongated into a naked whip-like extension ending in a bud capable of rooting and giving rise to a new plant; petiole and rachis purplish black, shiny; pinnae opposite or nearly so, oblong, somewhat coriaceous, irregularly crenate-serrate to serrate, marginally } inflexed, the medial ones 6–9 mm long. Dry rock crevices of granite cliffs; in TX known only from Jeff Davis Co. (Correll 13489, Soxman 469, Warnock 21781, TEX-LL; Warnock 46560, SRSC) in the Trans-Pecos and disjunct to the Edwards plateau in Edwards Co. (Pulliam Creek, Blue Hole, Cory 37695, GH, verified by T. Wendt); AZ and TX; also Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize (a previous report from NM is thought to be erroneous—Alexander 2006). Sporulating summer–fall. The relatively small pinnae, 6–9 mm long, distinguish this species from both A. platyneuron and A. resiliens (which typically have pinnae 10 mm or more long), while its more oblong pinnae and purplish black rachises distinguish it from A. trichomanes (with oval to broadly oblong pinnae and reddish brown rachises). Given its rareness and limited distribution in the state, we consider this species to be of conservation concern in TX.

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