Flora of the Southeastern United States
2022 Edition


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Vittaria J.E. Smith. Shoestring Fern.

Key to Vittaria

A genus of about 7 species, mainly epiphytic and epipetric perennial herbs, of the tropics and subtropics. The circumscription of Vittaria has been significantly narrowed (PPG I; Kessler, Smith, & Prado 2017).

ID notes: Vittaria in its sporophytic form is readily recognized by its epiphytic or epipetric habit (usually epiphytic on Sabal palmetto), and narrow (< 4 mm wide), linear, pendent leaves. It might be mistaken for Campyloneurum, which has broader leaves and separate sori on the lower surface (as opposed to sori sunk in submarginal grooves in Vittaria). The gametophytic species, Vittaria appalachiana, is mistakable only for a non-fascular plant.

Ref: Farrar (1993a) In Flora of North America Editorial Committee (1993b); Farrar & Mickel (1991); Kramer & Green (1990); Pinson, Chambers, & Sessa (2017). Show full citations.

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image of plant© Alan M. Cressler
image of plant© Alan Cressler: Vittaria graminifolia, Clonal Gametophytes, and Juvenile Sporophytes, Alabama 11a by Alan Cressler source
image of plant© Alan Cressler: Vittaria graminifolia, Sporophyte and Gametophyte Phases, Arch Cave, Broxton Rocks Preserve, The Nature Conservancy, Coffee County, Georgia 1 by Alan Cressler source