Pteris cretica

Linnaeus

Mant. Pl. 130. 1767.

Common names: Cretan brake
Introduced
Synonyms: Pycnodoria cretica (Linnaeus) Small
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 2.

Stems slender, creeping, sparingly scaly; scales dark-brown to chestnut-brown. Leaves clustered to closely spaced, to 1 m. Petiole straw-colored to light-brown distally, darker proximally, 10–50 cm, base sparsely scaly. Blade irregularly ovate, primarily and irregularly pedately divided, 10–30 × 6–25 cm; rachis not winged; only terminal pinna decurrent on rachis. Pinnae 1–3 pairs, well separated, blade often 5-parted with terminal pinna and 2 lateral pairs of pinnae remaining green through winter, not articulate; sterile pinnae to 25 × 0.8–1.5 cm, serrulate; fertile pinnae narrower than sterile pinnae, to ca. 11 mm wide, spiny-serrate; base acute acroscopically and decurrent (sometimes narrowly and barely so) basiscopically, glabrous; proximal pinnae with 1 (rarely 2) basiscopic lobes. Veins free, simple or forked. Sori narrow, blade tissue exposed abaxially.

Distribution

Fla., La., Widely scattered in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide

Discussion

Pteris cretica is almost pantropical in distribution (C. V. Morton 1957). Because this species is so commonly and widely cultivated and appears to escape easily in warmer regions, its native range is uncertain.

Young leaves of young plants of Pteris multifida may key to P. cretica because only the terminal pinnae may be decurrent on the rachis as in P. cretica. Juveniles of P. multifida can be separated by proximal pinnae with long-attenuate apices and thinner-textured leaves than P. cretica. Juveniles of P. cretica have proximal pinnae with acute to blunt or nearly rounded apices and thicker-textured leaves.

Varieties 2 (2 in the flora).

Selected References

None.

Key

1 Pinnae green throughout. Pteris cretica var. cretica
1 Pinnae with broad, white, central stripe. Pteris cretica var. albolineata
... more about "Pteris cretica"
Clifton E. Nauman +
Linnaeus +
decurrent +  and acute +
not articulate +
10 cm100 mm <br />0.1 m <br /> (30 cm300 mm <br />0.3 m <br />) +
scaly +, pubescent +, sometimes +  and glabrous +
5-parted +, divided +  and ovate +
6cm;25cm +
Cretan brake +
Fla. +, La. +  and Widely scattered in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide +
yellow +  and white +
obcordate;reniform +
monomorphic +
clustered;closely spaced +
recurved +  and reflexed +
conspicuous +
noncircinate +  and circinate +
0 cm0 mm <br />0 m <br /> (100 cm1,000 mm <br />1 m <br />) +
darker;straw-colored;light-brown distally +
scaly +  and glabrous +
10 cm100 mm <br />0.1 m <br /> (50 cm500 mm <br />0.5 m <br />) +
spiny-serrate +  and serrulate +
0 cm0 mm <br />0 m <br /> (25 cm250 mm <br />0.25 m <br />) +
sterile +  and fertile +
0 cm0 mm <br />0 m <br /> (1.1 cm11 mm <br />0.011 m <br />) +
dark-brown;chestnut-brown +
persistent +
elongate +
Introduced +
intramarginal +
1 +, 32 +  and 64 +
tetrahedral +
not lustrous +
creeping +  and erect +
slender +
Pycnodoria cretica +
Pteris cretica +
species +
0.15 cm1.5 mm <br />0.0015 m <br /> (?) +  and 0.8 cm8 mm <br />0.008 m <br /> (?) +
crescent--shaped +  and roundish +
on rock +  and terrestrial +