Spiny Cliff Brake Leaflet Spiny Cliff Brake Leaflet Spiny Cliff Brake Leaves Spiny Cliff Brake Plant

Other Plants of Southern Arizona

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Spiny Cliff Brake.
Pellaea truncata.
Fern (Pteridaceae) Family.

General: Compact ascending stems, 5-10 mm in diameter; scales bicolored, linear-subulate, 0.1-0.3 mm wide, black centers, thick, brown margins, thin, erose-dentate. Leaves: Somewhat dimorphic, sterile leaves shorter and less divided than fertile leaves, clustered on stems, 8-40 cm; young growth sparsely villous; petiole dark brown, lustrous, flattened or slightly grooved above, without prominent articulation lines; blade ovate-deltate, 2-pinnate near end, 4-18 cm wide, pale green, rachis brown throughout, straight, shallowly grooved above, glabrous; pinnae perpendicular to rachis, to slightly ascending, usually with 9-25 ultimate segments, narrowly oblong, 4-10 mm, leathery, glabrous, margins recurved, nearly entire with a mucronate apex. Sporangia: Long-stalked, containing 64 spores intermixed with abundant flour-producing glands, sori obscured and dull brownish. Ecology: Found on cliffs and among rocks from 2,000-8,000 ft (610-2438 m); sporulating late spring to fall. Notes: Rarely observed on limestone, but found on a variety of other substrates. There is a possibility of P. wrightiana hybidizing with this species, but P. wrightiana has a range only down to 4,000 ft (1219 m). Etymology: Pellaea is from the Greek pellaios, dark, alluding to the stalk, while truncata means abruptly cut off.

Santa Catalina Mountains
Prison Camp
Location: Rocky slope across from wall by wash before waterfall.

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