The morphology of Pellaea bridgesii is so distinctive that its sectional (and even generic) placement in Pellaea has long been a source of contention. W. H. Wagner Jr. et al. (1983) documented the existence of sterile diploid hybrids (called P . × glaciogena ) between P . bridgesii and P . mucronata (see reticulogram), suggesting that P . bridgesii is most closely related to members of sect. Pellaea . In addition to the more obvious characters mentioned above, P . bridgesii is distinguished from other North American species (except P . ternifolia ) by its anastomosing veins.