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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

Rhizome shortly creeping; rhizome scales lanceolate, entire, dark brown, up to 3 mm long.  Fronds tufted, up to 1.2m long, erect to arching, firmly herbaceous to coriaceous, dimorphous with the fertile fronds taller and with narrower pinnae than that of the sterile fronds.  Stipe up to 60 cm in sterile fronds and up to 90 cm in fertile fronds, strawcoloured to brown and scaly at the base, glabrous.  Sterile lamina 13-55 × 13-38 cm, ovate in outline, pinnate in the upper part, the lower part basiscopically developed, terminal pinnae larger or as long as the longest lateral pinnae; pinnae linear-lanceolate, apex tapering to a point, base cuneate, margins toothed, glabrous on both surfaces, veins free.   Fertile lamina up to twice as large as the sterile lamina, pinnate with basal pinnae basiscopically developed; pinnae narrowly linear to narrowly lanceolate in outline, apex tapering to a point, base tapering, 7-13 mm wide, margin entire, glabrous on both surfaces.  Sori linear, marginal, continuous, extending almost up to the apex; indusium membranous, entire.   
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© Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten and Petra Ballings

Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

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Derivation of specific name

cretica: from Crete; misleading as the species does not naturally occur on Crete.
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Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

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Distribution

Worldwide distribution

Widespread in eastern S. Africa and the mountains of E. tropical Africa, Ascension I., Madagascar, Réunion and in Asia to Japan, and in southern Europe.
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© Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten and Petra Ballings

Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Source: NatureServe

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Global Range: Indigenous to Hawaii, but first described from Crete (Valier 1995).

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

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.
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© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Pycnodoria cretica (Linnaeus) Small
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Ecology

Habitat

Comments: Terrestrial, in dry or wet forests up to 915m (Valier 1995).

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Pteris cretica

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Pteris cretica

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 3
Specimens with Barcodes: 13
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Wikipedia

Pteris cretica

Pteris cretica, the Cretan brake fern, is a species of evergreen fern in the family Pteridaceae, native to Europe, Asia and Africa.

Description[edit]

The fern grows to 75 cm (30 in) tall by 60 cm (24 in) broad. It has arching pinnate fronds each bearing up to five pinnae.[1][2]

Cultivation[edit]

Pteris cretica is cultivated widely by plant nurseries. It is used in gardens in the ground and as a potted plant, and as a houseplant. The variety with variegated foliage, Pteris cretica var. albolineata, is also widely used, brightening shade gardens.

Both types thrive year round outdoors in subtropical climates, such as California. With a minimum temperature of 2 °C (36 °F), both require protection from frost, though the species is hardier and can be grown outdoors during the summer months in cold climates.[1]

The species, [3] and the albolineata' variety, [4] have both gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

A relictuous presence is certificated in the italian peninsula; Lazio (Ponte Terra gorge, San Vittorino, Rome).

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964. 
  2. ^ "Missour Botanical Garden - Pteris cretica". Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  3. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Pteris cretica". Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  4. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Pteris cretica var. albolineata". Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
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Notes

Comments

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.

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