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Notholaena grayi is a typical member of core Notholaena I, with lanceolate leaf blades and scattered scales on the stalks. It occurs on a wide variety of rocky slopes and cliffs, in central and northern Mexico, and Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas (where it is rare to uncommon). It has two known cytotypes: some populations are diploid (two complete chromosome sets) whereas others are triploid (three complete sets). The diploid populations reproduce sexually and are recognized taxonomically as N. grayi subsp. sonorensis Windham (Diploid Gray’s Cloakfern). The triploid populations—N. grayi subsp. grayi (Triploid Gray’s Cloakfern)—reproduce apogamously (the sporophytes produce unreduced spores, which develop into triploid gametophytes, which then produce a new sporophyte directly from their vegetative tissue, without sexual reproduction; Windham, 1993a). The two cytotypes can only be distinguished by spore size and by spore number per sporangium. Notholaena grayi ssp. sonorensis is a taxon of southern Arizona and western Mexico; N. grayi ssp. grayi is more widespread.