Roots not proliferous. Stems erect, unbranched; scales black with lighter margins, linear-lanceolate, 3–6 × 0.4–0.8 mm, margins entire. Leaves monomorphic. Petiole reddish brown throughout, lustrous, 1–12(–20) cm, 1/3–1/10 length of blade; indument of black filiform scales. Blade linear, 1-pinnate throughout, 5–25(–40) × 1–2.5(–3) cm, thick, glabrous; base gradually tapered; apex acute, not rooting. Rachis reddish brown throughout, lustrous, glabrous. Pinnae in 10–40 pairs, oblong to quadrangular, somewhat asymmetric; medial pinnae 4–15 × 2–5 mm; base rounded to cuneate; margins crenulate or ± entire; apex obtuse. Veins free, obscure. Sori 1(–3) per pinna, only on basiscopic side. Spores 32 per sporangium. n = 2n = 108 (apogamous).
Elevation: 50–1000 m
Ala., Ariz., N.C., S.C., Mexico, West Indies in Hispaniola, Jamaica, Central America, South America to n Argentina, Africa including Madagascar, Madeira, Réunion, Tristan da Cunha, Pacific Islands (Hawaii).