Plants terrestrial or on rock. Stems ± compact, short-creeping, ascending at tip, branched; scales mostly dark brown, often with very narrow margin of lighter color, lanceolate, margins entire. Leaves monomorphic to somewhat dimorphic, crowded, 8–35 cm. Petiole usually dark reddish brown, with single groove adaxially, glabrous, with single vascular bundle. Blade ovate-triangular, deltate, or pentagonal, 3–4(–5)-pinnate, thick to thin, abaxially glabrous, adaxially lustrous, striate, glabrous; rachis straight. Ultimate segments of blades short-stalked or with base narrowed and decurrent onto costa or costule-bearing segments, linear to lanceolate, mostly 0.5–1.3 mm wide; stalks greenish, not darkened; fertile margins recurved. Veins of ultimate segments obscure, free, ± pinnate and unbranched. False indusia appearing inframarginal, scarious, whitish, broad, partly concealing sporangia. Sporangia in marginal, discrete or continuous sori on abaxial surface, containing 64 spores, lacking paraphyses and glands. Spores dark brown, tetrahedral-globose, trilete, reticulate, equatorial flange absent. x = 30.
North America, 1 in Mexico.
D. B. Lellinger (1968) recognized Aspidotis as separate from Cheilanthes based on its elongate, distantly dentate segments with striate shining surface and on its broad, scarious indusia.
Species 4 (3 in the flora).
|1||Mature, fertile blades with continuous sori along length of segments (not at apex); indusia with 10–35 shallow, regular teeth or erose; fertile segments linear, margins ± entire.||Aspidotis densa|
|1||Mature, fertile blades with sori discrete or partially discontinuous; indusia with coarse, irregular teeth or entire; fertile segments lanceolate to deltate, distantly dentate.||> 2|
|2||Sori discrete, 1–3(–5) per blade segment; indusia margins with 2–6 coarse, irregular teeth or ± entire.||Aspidotis californica|
|2||Sori partially discontinuous, connected by narrow indusial wings, 3–7(–9) per blade segment; indusia margins with 6–10 coarse, irregular teeth or lobes.||Aspidotis carlotta-halliae|