This article defines the Gleicheniales in a loose sense. For the restricted definition, see Gleicheniaceae.
Dipteris conjugata 破傘蕨 001 (天問)
Dipteris conjugata of the Dipteridaceae
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Class: Polypodiopsida
Subclass: Polypodiidae
Order: Gleicheniales



(but see text)

The ferns of the order Gleicheniales are – like all ferns – sometimes placed in an infradivision Monilophytes of subdivision Euphyllophytina, allowing for more precise phylogenetic arrangement of the tracheophytes. More conventionally, the name Pteridophyta, ranked as a division, is used in lieu of the Monilophytes.[1] The Gleicheniales showed up in the fossil record at least as early as the Cretaceous.[2]


These ferns are characterized by root steles having 3–5 protoxylem poles and antheridia with 6–12 narrow, twisted or curved cells in their walls.[1] Otherwise, their habitus is highly diverse, including plants with the typical fern fronds, others whose leaves resemble those of palm trees, and yet others again which have undivided leaves. They are tropical ferns, most diverse in Asia and the Pacific region.


In the molecular phylogenetic classification of Smith et al. in 2006, the Gleicheniales were placed in class Polypodiopsida (the leptosporangiate ferns). Three families, Dipteridaceae, Gleicheniaceae, and Matoniaceae were recognized.[3] The linear sequence of Christenhusz et al. (2011), intended for compatibility with the classification of Chase and Reveal (2009)[4] which placed all land plants in Equisetopsida,[5] reclassified Smith's Polypodiopsida as subclass Polypodiidae and placed the Gleicheniales there. The circumscription of the order and its families was not changed,[4] and that circumscription and placement in Polypodiidae has subsequently been followed in the classifications of Christenhusz and Chase (2014)[6] and PPG I (2016).[7]

The form taxon Microphyllopteris is used for some Mesozoic Gleicheniales that cannot be reliably assigned to the present-day orders. The Triassic Antarctipteris and Gleichenipteris are sometimes ascribed to the Gleicheniaceae, but are probably better considered Gleicheniales incertae sedis.[1]

In historical treatments, the order has sometimes been treated as a subclass Gleicheniatae of the Pteridopsida, with the taxa treated as families here upranked to orders, so that a distinct subclass can be established for the leptosporangiate ferns. In other treatments, they were expanded to include the filmy ferns (order Hymenophyllales), as well as the similar-looking genus Hymenophyllopsis (as order Hymenophyllopsidales). The resultant group was treated as class Gleichenopsida alongside the Pteridopsida, which would then be limited to the leptosporangiate ferns. However, this class is not monophyletic but rather a basal grade, retaining ancient traits among the living ferns.[1] Irrespective of their modern taxonomic treatment, the Gleicheniales were formerly included in the order Polypodiales. But the ferns in the loose sense are much too diverse a group to be shoehorned into one taxon at such a low rank.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Smith et al. (2006)
  2. ^ C.Michael Hogan. 2010. Fern. Encyclopedia of Earth. National Council for Science and Environment, topic ed. S Basu. ed in chief C. Cleveland
  3. ^ Smith, Alan R.; Pryer, Kathleen M.; Schuettpelz, Eric; Korall, Petra; Schneider, Harald; Wolf, Paul G. (August 2006). "A classification for extant ferns" (PDF). Taxon. 55 (3): 705–731. doi:10.2307/25065646. JSTOR 25065646.
  4. ^ a b Christenhusz, Maarten J. M.; Zhang, Xian-Chun; Schneider, Harald (18 February 2011). "A linear sequence of extant families and genera of lycophytes and ferns" (PDF). Phytotaxa. 19: 7–54. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.19.1.2.
  5. ^ Chase, Mark W.; Reveal, James L. (October 2009). "A phylogenetic classification of the land plants to accompany APG III". Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 161 (2): 122–127. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.01002.x.
  6. ^ Christenhusz, Maarten J. M.; Chase, Mark W. (13 February 2014). "Trends and concepts in fern classification". Annals of Botany. 113 (4): 571–594. doi:10.1093/aob/mct299. PMC 3936591. PMID 24532607.
  7. ^ The Pteridophyte Phylogeny Group (November 2016). "A community-derived classification for extant lycophytes and ferns". Journal of Systematics and Evolution. 54 (6): 563–603. doi:10.1111/jse.12229.


  • Smith, A. R.; Pryer, Kathleen M.; Schuettpelz, E.; Korall, P.; Schneider, H. & Wolf, P.G. (2006): A classification for extant ferns. Taxon 55(3): 705-731. PDF fulltext

Chiropteris is an extinct genus of plants that existed from the Early Permian (Sakmarian stage) to the Late Jurassic (?Oxfordian stage, maybe latter).It is unknon whether it belongs in the Matoniaceae or the Dipteridaceae


Dicranopteris (forkedfern) is a genus of tropical ferns of the family Gleicheniaceae. There are ten species described.


The Dipteridaceae is a family of ferns in the Gleicheniales order of the Polypodiopsida class. They are commonly known as umbrella ferns and contain the two genera Cheiropleuria and Dipteris, with a total of nine species. The following diagram shows the placement of Dipteridaceae in a likely phylogenic relationship with the other two families of Gleicheniales.


Dipteris is a genus of about seven species of ferns, native to tropical regions across the world, particularly Asia, with a species in north eastern Queensland in Australia. It is one of two genera in the family Dipteridaceae.


Gleichenia is a genus of ferns. Its closest relative is the genus Stromatopteris, restricted to New Caledonia.

Species include:

Gleichenia abscida Rodway

Gleichenia alpina R.Br.

Gleichenia cryptocarpa

Gleichenia dicarpa R.Br. – Pouched coral fern, tangle fern

Gleichenia mendellii (G.Schneid.) S.B.Andrews

Gleichenia microphylla R.Br. – Scrambling coral fern, parasol fern, umbrella fern

Gleichenia polypodioides (L.) Sm.

Gleichenia quadripartita

Gleichenia rupestris R.Br.

Gleichenia squamulosa

Gleichenia alpina

Gleichenia alpina, commonly known as alpine coral-fern, is a small fern species that occurs in Tasmania and New Zealand. It grows in alpine and subalpine areas with moist soils.The species was first formally described by botanist Robert Brown in 1810.

Gleichenia cryptocarpa

Gleichenia cryptocarpa known locally as yerba loza, cola de gallo and ampe, is a fern with a natural distribution in Chile ranging from Maule Region (~35° S) in the north to Aysén Region (~47° S) in the south including adjacent areas of Argentina. It grows also naturally in the Falkland Islands. It is found in altitude ranging from 20 to 2240 m.a.s.l..


The forked ferns are the family Gleicheniaceae, which includes six genera and 165 known species. They are sometimes – like all ferns – placed in an infradivision Monilophytes of subdivision Euphyllophytina, allowing for more precise phylogenetic arrangement of the tracheophytes. More conventionally, the name Pteridophyta, ranked as a division, is used in lieu of the Monilophytes. The formerly independent families Dicranopteridaceae and Stromatopteridaceae are nowadays generally included in the Gleicheniaceae, whereas the Dipteridaceae and Matoniaceae, though closely related, are considered spearate families by most authors.These tropical ferns are the most widespread living lineage of Gleicheniales. Their rhizomes have a "vitalized" protostele or in some taxa a solenostele. The leaves are indeterminate, with pseudodichotomously forked leaves except in Stromatopteris, and free veins. The sori are abaxial but not marginal and carry 5–15 exindusiate round sporangia each. These have a transverse-oblique annulus and contain 128 to 800 bilateral or globose-tetrahedral spores. The sori and sporangia mature at the same time, and the spores grow into surface-dwelling green prothalliums beset with club-shaped hairs.

Leptosporangiate fern

Polypodiidae, commonly called leptosporangiate ferns, is a subclass of ferns. It is the largest group of living ferns, including some 11000 species worldwide. They constitute the subclass Polypodiidae, but are often considered to be the class Pteridopsida or Polypodiopsida, although other classifications assign them a different rank. The leptosporangiate ferns are one of the four major groups of ferns, with the other three being the Eusporangiate ferns comprising the marattioid ferns (Marattiidae, Marattiaceae), the horsetails (Equisetiidae, Equisetaceae), and whisk ferns and moonworts.There are approximately 8465 species of living leptosporangiate ferns, compared with about 2070 for all other ferns, totalling 10535 species of ferns. Almost a third of leptosporangiate fern species are epiphytes.These ferns are called leptosporangiate because their sporangia arise from a single epidermal cell and not from a group of cells as in eusporangiate ferns (a polyphyletic lineage). The sporangia are typically covered with a scale called the indusium, which can cover the whole sorus, forming a ring or cup around the sorus, or can also be strongly reduced to completely absent. Many leptosporangiate ferns have an annulus around the sporangium, which ejects the spores.

List of pteridophytes of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a tropical island situated close to the southern tip of India. The invertebrate fauna is as large as it is common to other regions of the world. There are about 2 million species of arthropods found in the world, and still it is counting. So many new species are discover up to this time also. So it is very complicated and difficult to summarize the exact number of species found within a certain region.

This a list of the pteridophytes found from Sri Lanka.


Matonia is a genus of fern, named for English botanist William George Maton. It is native to Thailand, Malesia (the Malayan peninsula, Borneo, Sumatra, Maluku and the Philippines) and New Guinea.As of October 2019, Plants of the World Online and the Checklist of Ferns and Lycophytes of the World accept two extant species:

Matonia pectinata R.Br.

Matonia foxworthyi Copel.Matonia sarmentosa is now placed in the genus Phanerosorus as Phanerosorus sarmentosus (Baker) Copel.


Matoniaceae is one of the three families of ferns in the Gleicheniales order of the Polypodiopsida class. Fossil records reveal that Matoniaceae ferns were abundant during the Mesozoic era (about 250-million to 66-million years ago), during which they lived on every continent, including Antarctica, with eight genera and 26 species. Today the family is much less abundant, and also less diverse, with only two extant genera and four species, which are limited to portions of southeastern Asia.The following diagram shows a likely phylogenic relationship with the other two families of the Gleicheniales.


Phanerosorus is a genus of ferns in the family Osmundaceae.


The order Polypodiales encompasses the major lineages of polypod ferns, which comprise more than 80% of today's fern species. They are found in many parts of the world including tropical, semitropical and temperate areas.

Pteridophyte Phylogeny Group

The Pteridophyte Phylogeny Group, or PPG, is an informal international group of systematic botanists who collaborate to establish a consensus on the classification of pteridophytes (lycophytes and ferns) that reflects knowledge about plant relationships discovered through phylogenetic studies. In 2016, the group published a classification for extant pteridophytes, termed "PPG I". The paper had 94 authors (26 principal and 68 additional).


Sticherus is a genus of about 80 types of fern.In Australia they are commonly referred to as shield ferns. In the United States they are commonly referred to as umbrella ferns.The fronds are branched at least once with each pair of branches spreading out, forming an umbrella like layer of foliage. Fronds are mostly hairless and often glaucous beneath the frond.

Species include:

Sticherus cunninghamii, Umbrella fern

Sticherus flabellatus, Shiny fan fern

Sticherus lobatus, Spreading fan fern

Sticherus urceolatus

Sticherus cunninghamii

Sticherus cunninghamii, or umbrella fern, is a New Zealand native fern characterised by its drooping fronds that resemble an umbrella. The fronds are 15–30 cm long and it has an erect stalk between 20 and 50 cm high.

The fern is found from lowland to mountainous forest in dry areas often with infertile soil.


Stromatopteris moniliformis is a species of fern endemic to New Caledonia in the family Gleicheniaceae. It is the only species of the genus Stromatopteris. Its closest relative is the more widespread genus Gleichenia.


Weichselia is an extinct genus of fern in the family Matoniaceae. They were abundant from the Middle Jurassic to Early Cretaceous.


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