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Notholaena candida, a species of limestone or igneous cliffs and outcrops, is widespread in Mexico and extends southward to Costa Rica. It has attractive triangular-to-pentagonalish glabrous leaves, and is thus a well-behaved member of the core Notholaena II clade. Notholaena candida is here treated in a restricted sense; N. copelandii is treated separately. The two taxa are often lumped (N. copelandii as N. candida var. copelandii), based primarily on a number of intermediate specimens from San Luis Potosí (Tryon, 1956). Those specimens aside, however, the two taxa show strong morphological differences, geographic isolation, different farina chemistry (Wollenweber, 1984), and significant DNA sequence divergence (Rothfels et al., 2008). I thus follow recent authors (Mickel and Smith, 2004; Windham, 1993a) in treating them as distinct species.

Mickel and Smith (2004) report specimens of N. candida with light yellow farina instead of the typical white; these individuals deserve further attention.


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