Orange CloakfernCarl Rothfels
This is the striking fern long known as Cheilanthes aurantiaca. Plastid DNA data, however, demonstrate that it is not closely related to Cheilanthes and is instead embedded within Notholaena (Rothfels et al., 2008), within which it has recently been given this name (Yatskievych and Arbeláez, 2008).
This species occurs in much of central Mexico, from Sinaloa to Oaxaca, where it prefers dry forests (usually oak or pine), and is typically found on or among rocks.
Notholaena ochracea has vibrant orange farina, a feature that is otherwise only seen in one or two species of African Cheilanthes (C. welwitschii; C. mossambicensis—in the hemionitids) and in the rare scaly Notholaena aurantiaca. The leaves of N. ochracea are elliptic or lanceolate, and tend to be pinnate-pinnatifid, with broad blunt leaf segments. This silhouette is distinctive, but surprisingly reminiscent of the otherwise very dissimilar Cheiloplecton rigidum var. lanceolatum.
- Cheilanthes aurantiaca
- Aleuritopteris aurantiaca
- Vernacular Names: Orange Cloakfern
Gastony, G. J., and D. R. Rollo. 1995. Phylogeny and generic circumscriptions of cheilanthoid ferns (Pteridaceae: Cheilanthoideae) inferred from rbcL nucleotide sequences. American Fern Journal 85:341-360.
Gastony, G. J., and D. R. Rollo. 1998. Cheilanthoid ferns (Pteridaceae: Cheilanthoideae) in the southwestern United States and adjacent Mexico--A molecular phylogenetic reassessment of generic lines. Aliso 17:131-144.
Mickel, J. T., and A. R. Smith. 2004. The Pteridophytes of Mexico. The New York Botanical Garden Press, New York.
Rothfels, C. J., M. D. Windham, A. L. Grusz, G. J. Gastony, and K. M. Pryer. 2008. Toward a monophyletic Notholaena (Pteridaceae): Resolving patterns of evolutionary convergence in xeric-adapted ferns Taxon 57:712-724.
Schuettpelz, E., H. Schneider, L. Huiet, M. D. Windham, and K. M. Pryer. 2007. A molecular phylogeny of the fern family Pteridaceae: assessing overall relationships and the affinities of previously unsampled genera. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 44:1172-1185.
Windham, M. D., L. Huiet, E. Schuettpelz, C. J. Rothfels, J. Beck, A. L. Grusz, G. Yatskievych, and K. M. Pryer. 2008. Using plastid and nuclear DNA sequences to redraw generic boundaries and demystify species complexes in cheilanthoid ferns. American Fern Journal (in review).
Windham, M. D., and G. Yatskievych. 2003. Chromosome studies of cheilanthoid ferns (Pteridaceae: Cheilanthoideae) from the western United States and Mexico. American Journal of Botany 90:1788-1800.
Yatskievych, G., and A. L. A. ArbelŠez. 2008. A new species and three generic transfers in the fern genus Notholaena (Pteridaceae). Novon 18:120-124.
Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA
Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Carl Rothfels at
Page copyright © 2008 Carl Rothfels
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- First online 23 December 2008
- Content changed 23 December 2008
Citing this page:
Rothfels, Carl. 2008. Notholaena ochracea http://tolweb.org/Notholaena_ochracea/133622/2008.12.23 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/. Orange Cloakfern. Version 23 December 2008 (under construction).