Nearly worldwide, mainly tropical and hyperoceanic south temperate regions.
Genera 14, species ca. 150 (1 in the flora).
Most genera of Daltoniaceae are complanate-foliate (W. Frey 2009+, part 3); it is conspicuous that Daltonia, the only genus in the flora area and one of the three largest in the family, has terete-foliate leaves that are spirally inserted. Daltonia is one of the few genera in the family to display a synoicous sexual condition, in addition to autoicous but not dioicous species. Only Distichophyllum Dozy & Molkenboer, usually dioicous or autoicous, is rarely synoicous (Frey). The leaf shape of Daltonia is also distinctive in the family. Leaves of many Daltonia species are lanceolate with nearly parallel margins and gradually acuminate apices, quite distinct from the ovate or obovate, abruptly apiculate or obtuse leaves common in other genera in the family. Daltonia shares the epiphytic characteristic of the family.