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Notholaena trichomanoides is the type of the genus (Brown, 1810; but see Pichi Sermolli, 1989; Yatskievych and Smith, 2003). It is a species of the Caribbean, found on each of Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico, and is unusual for a notholaenid in being absent from Mexico. It has linear leaves, with widely spaced, more-or-less undivided leaf segments, densely covered underneath with white farina. The farina may, in turn, be densely covered with a dense layer of dissected scales (N. trichomanoides var. trichomanoides—the Scaly Caribbean Cloakfern), or largely exposed (N. trichomanoides var. subnuda Jenm.—the Bald Caribbean Cloakfern). Both varieties occur on all four islands, frequently grow together, and appear to differ mostly (if not entirely) in only this one character (Tryon, 1956).


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