Cyrtomium falcatum (L.f.) C. Presl


=Polypodium falcatum


Dryopteridaceae (Wood Fern Family)


East Asia


Holly Fern    

                                           April Photo


Plant Characteristics:  Stiff erect, perennial fern, with stout very shaggy stipes; fronds dark heavy green, 1-2.5 ft. long, 4-8 in. broad, long-oblong in outline, pinnate, glossy above; pinnae alternate, short-stalked, usually 3-4 in. long, ovate to falcate-ovate, long-acuminate, the margin entire or obscurely wavy; sori circular, large, abundantly scattered over the lower surface.


Habitat:  Generally moist cliffs, banks, crevices below 900 meters.  North Sierra Nevada foothills; South Coast; Kern, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara San Bernardino and Ventura Counties; south east U.S.  Cultivated as an ornament.  (Hickman, Ed. 91).  Naturalized at La Jolla, San Diego, Big Dalton Canyon (San Gabriel Mts.).  (Munz, Flora So. Calif. 18).


Name:  Greek, Cryto-mium, a bow. (Bailey 87).  Greek, arch, from the pattern of netted veins.  (Hickman, Ed. 91).  Falcatum, sickle-shaped or scythe shaped.  (Bailey  14).  Referring to the leaf shape.  (my comment).


General:  Rare in the study area, found only once and this on the northerly-facing bluff below Eastbluff North.  Bailey has this plant in Polypodiaceae, Munz in Aspidiaceae.  (my comments).       A segregate from Polystichum, differing in the anastomosing veins; distinguished also from Dryopteris by this character and by the centrally attached indusium.  Species 4 or 5 from Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands.  (Bailey 87).       About 20 species generally from east Asia.  (Hickman, Ed. 91).


Text Ref:  Bailey 87; Hickman, Ed. 91; Munz, Flora So. Calif. 18.

Photo Ref:  April-May 95 # 8,10.

Identity: by R. De Ruff, confirmed by John Johnson.


Computer Ref:  Plant Data 487.

Have plant specimen.

Last edit 12/24/02.


                                          April Photo