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NZ Plants

Cheilanthes distans - woolly cloak fern

Family name: Pteridaceae

Cheilanthes distans is a terrestrial fern with a short creeping stem (rhizome). Fronds are narrow, rigid and upright and harsh to the touch. The stipe, rachis and lower frond surface is covered in long white hairs and scales
Found in drier, exposed areas in the eastern parts of the North Island from the Bay of Islands the middle of the South Island.

Vegetative characteristics

Fertile frond and sporangia

Plant form: tufted stems with fronds up to 25 cm in length

Frond appearance: similar to sterile frond

Frond stalk, midrib: stipe red to brown, very scaly; rachis densely covered with scales

Sporangium location: on lower frond surface

Frond shape:  linear-lanceolate or ovate

Sporangium position: marginal

Frond blade: 2-3-pinnate (divided 2-3x into leaflets or pinnae)

Sporangia distribution: in groups (sori)

Frond surface: hairs and scales

Sorus shape: elongate to continuous around margin

Leaflets: oval to oblong, notched margins; margins often inrolled

Sorus covering: inrolled leaflet margin