Aldama CloakfernCarl Rothfels
This species is known from a single hillside and associated roadside rockcut in southern Tamaulipas, near the town of Aldama. A moderately open dry deciduous forest of spiny Fabaceae, Croton, Ceratozamia, and grasses dominates the hillside; the Notholaena is restricted to pockets at the base of rocks, or, most commonly, the face of the rockcut itself.
This location—deep in Mexico’s Gulf coastal plain—is unusual for any notholaenid, almost all of which are restricted to higher elevation sites that have more abundant rocky habitats. Notholaena brevistipes was first described in 2004 (Mickel & Smith, 2004).
Notholaena brevistipes is a well-behaved member of the core Notholaena I clade: it is strongly white farinose beneath, with linear (slightly elliptical) leaves, and has scattered scales and hairs on the stalks and rachises. For a discussion of similar species, see the Phylogenetic Relationships section, below. The only time I have been able to see this species, unfortunately, Mexico was still in a drought, and thus all the plants were dormant, with their leaves curled up.
Notholaena brevistipes is very likely closely related to another species that is also known from a single location—Notholaena brachycaulis. Both species have very short stalks (the leaf lobes start close to the point where the leaf branches off from the rhizome), but brevistipes has more pinna pairs, each with fewer lobes, and is white rather than yellow farinose (Mickel & Smith, 2004). Notholaena brachycaulis has not yet been included in any phylogenetic analyses.
Mickel, J. T., and A. R. Smith. 2004. The Pteridophytes of Mexico. The New York Botanical Garden Press, New York.
Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA
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Page copyright © 2010 Carl Rothfels
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- First online 07 January 2010
- Content changed 07 January 2010
Citing this page:
Rothfels, Carl. 2010. Notholaena brevistipes http://tolweb.org/Notholaena_brevistipes/133592/2010.01.07 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/. Aldama Cloakfern. Version 07 January 2010 (under construction).