Dryopteris cinnamomea

Dryopteris cinnamomea (Cav.) C. Chr.
(from Latin: cinnamum, cinnamon-colored or cinnamon-brown; see Osmundastrum cinnamomeum for further discussion of derivation)

Local names: cinnamon wood fern

Rhizomes shortcreeping to suberect; leaves monomorphic, evergreen; petioles ca. ¼ length of total leaf, with scales at least at base, the scales entire or slightly denticulate marginally, apically acute, cinnamon-colored; leaf blades 3-pinnate- pinnatifid at least at base to 2-pinnate-pinnatifid above, deltate-ovate, to ca. 37 cm long, herbaceous, often with an elongate tip; sori mostly either immediately adjacent to base of the sinuses between ultimate leaf segments or near margins of ultimate segments; 2n = 82 (Montgomery & Wagner 1993). In TX known only from a cave near Comstock (e of the Pecos River) in Val Verde Co. (Babcock 100, 1965, SBSC, TEX-LL) (in Mexico terrestrial or on rocky ledges in light shade of montane forests—Mickel & Smith 2004); in the U.S. known only from TX, but widespread in Mexico. This species was previously cited as occurring in AZ (Montgomery & Wagner 1993), but the AZ specimens have since been determined to be D. knoblochii A.R. Sm. (Mickel & Smith 2004; G. Yatskievych pers. comm.). Sporulating ?–Sep–? in TX. [Tectaria cinnamomea Cav.] This species is part of the poorly understood D. patula complex of Mexico and Central America (Montgomery & Wagner 1993). The TX location is considerably disjunct from other populations. Recently, Mickel and Smith (2004) in discussing D. cinnamomea, referred to the TX citation as “uncertain.” It is thus possible that the Val Verde Co. Babcock collection is actually another closely related species in the D. patula complex that is not currently known from the U.S. Because of its rareness and extremely limited distribution in both TX and the U.S., we consider this species to be of conservation concern.

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