Cheiroglossa palmata

(Linnaeus) C. Presl

Suppl. Tent. Pterid. 57. 1845

Common names: Hand fern
Basionyms: Ophioglossum palmatum Linnaeus Sp. Pl. 2: 1063. 1753
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 2.
Roots tan, to 15 per plant, 1–1.5 mm diam., proliferating in humus or underneath palm leaf bases. Stems 0.5–1.5 cm, covered near apex with dense tuft of white to light brown, multicellular hairs to 7 mm. Trophophore blades green, shiny, to 45 × 30 cm, proximal margins diverging 90°–150° from stalk, with up to 7 rounded to mostly linear, acute lobes; venation complex-reticulate, very coarse, veinlets included in (usually elongate) very large major areoles to 35 × 8 mm, veinlets free or sometimes forming individual secondary areoles; blades firm, herbaceous. Trophophore stalk well defined, 1–2.5 times as long as trophophore blade. Sporophores single and central only on youngest or smallest leaves, normally to 10 per leaf, arising closely spaced from both sides of base of trophophore blade and top of stalk, sporangial clusters 1–7cm × 2.5–3 mm, apiculum absent.

Habitat: Evergreen. Among leaf bases on palmetto trunks [Sabal palmetto (Walter) Loddiges ex Schultes & Schultes f.], mainly in hammocks and swamps
Elevation: 0–50 m


V2 460-distribution-map.gif

Fla., Mexico, West Indies, Central America, South America, disjunct in Asia in s Vietnam, Africa in Madagascar, Seychelles, and Réunion.


This very remarkable plant is becoming extremely rare in Florida.

Selected References


Lower Taxa


Facts about "Cheiroglossa palmata"
AuthorWarren H. Wagner Jr. + and Florence S. Wagner +
Authority(Linnaeus) C. Presl +
BasionymsOphioglossum palmatum +
Common nameHand fern +
DistributionFla. +, Mexico +, West Indies +, Central America +, South America +, disjunct in Asia in s Vietnam +, Africa in Madagascar +, Seychelles + and and Réunion. +
Elevation0–50 m +
HabitatEvergreen. Among leaf bases on palmetto trunks [Sabal palmetto (Walter) Loddiges ex Schultes & Schultes f.], mainly in hammocks and swamps +
IllustrationPresent +
Illustration copyrightFlora of North America Association +
IllustratorJohn Myers +
Publication titleSuppl. Tent. Pterid. +
Publication year1845 +
ReferenceNone +
Source xml grained fna xml/V2/V2 460.xml +
Taxon familyOphioglossaceae +
Taxon nameCheiroglossa palmata +
Taxon parentCheiroglossa +
Taxon rankspecies +
VolumeVolume 2 +