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   Index



 

POLYPODIOPSIDA & LYCOPODIOPSIDA

(Ferns, Horsetails, & Lycophytes)

 

• Medicinal / Folk-medicinal aspects: A number of ferns have long been recognised as having medicinal value in the treatment of skin conditions, especially in regions of the World where they grow luxuriantly. The conditions they have variously been used to treat include dandruff, hair loss, burns, scalds, sores between the toes, eczema, boils, carbuncles, furuncles, open sores / ulcers, cuts and wounds, haemorrhoids, lice and scabies. •
• Adverse effects: Although substances known to be contact allergens have been reported from pteridophytes, contact dermatitis following exposure to pteridophytes or their extractives has only very occasionally been described. Potentially contact allergenic substances in pteridophytes would include nickel and/or chromium compounds found in terrestrial ferns that have the ability to hyperaccumulate nickel and/or chromium from soils rich in these elements. Certain aquatic ferns, when growing in water contaminated with these [and other] metals may similarly acquire the potential to elicit dermatitis in metal-sensitised individuals. More commonly reported are positive skin test reactions to various fern spore extracts in atopic (Geller-Bernstein et al. 1987, Simán et al. 1999, Sharma et al. 2010) and in allergic rhinitis patients (Bunnag et al. 1989, Kofler et al. 2000). Galleried rhizomes are found in two or three genera of myrmecophytic ferns (Gerson 1979), in which ants will nest. If the ants they house are an aggressive species, these ferns can be dermatologically hazardous to those who attempt to collect them in their natural habitat (see also Schmidt 1985). These myrmecophytic ferns can be found growing singly or in communities of two or more species of botanically unrelated epiphytes known as "ant gardens". These are arboreal ant nests. Various other adventitious species of fern that are neither myrmecophytes nor "ant garden restricted" can also be found growing on ant gardens (Davidson 1988) or may otherwise provide nesting sites for ants as "nest epiphytes" in which the leaves or fronds form a kind of funnel where humus accumulates and water is retained, or "bracket epiphytes" in which humus accumulates and water is retained in the spaces between appressed leaves or fronds and the bark of the tree (Derzhavina 2017). These would be similarly hazardous for plant collectors. Mite-infested fern wreaths are another potential cause of fern-related "pseudophytodermatitis". •
• Veterinary aspects: Bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum Kuhn) and also Pteridium esculentum Cockayne (fam. Dennstaedtiaceae), Cheilanthes sieberi Kunze = Hemionitis sieberi Christenh. (fam. Pteridaceae), Marsilea drummondii A.Braun (fam. Marsileaceae), and perhaps other species contain a thiaminase enzyme that can induce avitaminosis B1 (beri-beri in humans) in animals that graze on these ferns. Bracken fern also contains other toxins and in particular ptaquiloside, a carcinogen, that is/are hazardous for farm animals (see Evans et al. 1982, Gil da Costa et al. 2012, Tourchi-Roudsari 2014). Literature describing veterinary dermatological uses or adverse effects of these or other ferns is otherwise sparse to non-existent. •

Ferns, horsetails, and lycophytes (collectively, "pteridophytes") are vascular plants that reproduce by spores rather than seeds. They are of widespread distribution, with greatest diversity occurring in wet tropical mountainous regions (Tryon 1986).

The taxonomy and nomenclature of ferns has proved to be challenging and this has spawned a multitude of names for almost every fern taxon. Only in recent years has molecular phylogenetics begun to clarify relationships. The Pteridophyte Phylogeny Group [PPG] consensus classification of 2016 (PPG I 2016) treated an estimated 11916 species in 51 families comprising 337 genera in 4 sub-classes: Equisetidae (the horsetails), Ophioglossidae (the whisk ferns, grape ferns, adder's tongues, and moonworts), Marattiidae (giant ferns), and Polypodiidae (the true ferns). However, not all authorities accept the consensus classification produced by the PPG, Christenhusz and Chase (2018) arguing explicitly that the PPG recognises too many fern genera.

The lycophytes (the club mosses, spike mosses, and quillworts) represent a line of evolution distinct from that leading to all other vascular plants including ferns. They are placed by the PPG (PPG I 2016) in a separate class, the Lycopodiopsida.

As ornamental foliage plants grown in gardens, in greenhouses, as houseplants, or encountered as weeds (Hunt 1968/70), many are known to homemakers, gardeners, horticulturalists, florists, and others who may handle these plants occupationally.



FERNS – ANEMIACEAE

(Flowering Fern family)

 



Anemia caffrorum Christenh.
(syns Mohria caffrorum Desv., Polypodium caffrorum L.)
Frankincense Fern, Parsley Fern, Scented Fern

Whilst some authorities would place the genus Anemia Sw. in the family Schizaeaceae (see Christenhusz & Chase 2014, Plants of the World Online), the Pteridophyte Phylogeny Group (PPG I 2016) concluded that it should be placed in the Anemiaceae.

In southern Africa, an ointment containing the dried frond from Mohria caffrorum has been used as a cooling application to burns and scalds. The bruised fern gives off a fragrant balsamic odour (Watt & Breyer-Brandwijk 1962).

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



FERNS – ASPLENIACEAE

(Spleenwort family)

 



Asplenium bulbiferum G.Forst.
(syns Caenopteris bulbifera Desv., Chamaefilix bulbifera Farw.)
Hen and Chickens Fern, Mother Spleenwort

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Asplenium ceterach L.
(syns Ceterach officinarum Willd., Hemidictyum ceterach Bedd., Vittaria ceterach Bernh.)
Rustyback Fern, Scale Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Asplenium laciniatum D.Don
(syns Asplenium fimbriatum Kunze, Asplenium parvulum Wall., Asplenium ruta Wall., Asplenium varians Wall. ex Hook. & Grev., etc.)
Variable Spleenwort

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Asplenium lamprophyllum Carse
Shining Leaf Spleenwort

According to Plants of the World Online, this fern is native to the North Island (Te Ika-a-Māui) of New Zealand. Briggs & Taylor (1947) reported that the odour of oil of wintergreen (methyl salicylate) could be detected in the freshly broken stalks of this fern. Steam distillation of the stalks followed by fractionation afforded an oil that was chemically identified as methyl salicylate.

[Methyl Salicylate]

Methyl salicylate is recognised as a rubefacient when applied to the skin (Derry et al. 2014). When applied in various vehicles to the shaved skin of rabbits at a concentration as low as 1%, it is a moderate irritant and may elicit necrosis and intradermal and subcutaneous haemorrhage. Undiluted, it is a severe irritant to guinea pig skin and eyes. A maximisation test with 8% methyl salicylate in petrolatum failed to sensitise any of 27 volunteers (Opdyke 1978). However, contact sensitivity to methyl salicylate, confirmed by positive patch test reactions, has occasionally been reported, usually as an iatrogenic reaction following the use of topical medicaments containing methyl salicylate (Hindson 1977, Rudner 1977, Morgan 1968, Ueda et al. 1999, Oiso et al. 2004).



Asplenium mysorense Roth
(syns Asplenium bipinnatum Philcox, Asplenium polyodon G.Forst. var bipinnatum Sledge)

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Asplenium nidus L.
(syns Asplenium nidus-avis hort., Neottopteris nidus J.Sm., Thamnopteris nidus C.Presl, Thamnopteris nidus-avis auct.)
Bird's Nest Fern, Hawai'i Birdnest Fern, Nest Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Asplenium obtusatum G.Forst.
(syns Asplenium lucidum G.Forst. var obliquum T.Moore, Asplenium obliquum G.Forst., Asplenium obtusatum G.Forst. var obliquum Hook.f.)
Shore Spleenwort

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Asplenium ruta-muraria L.
(syns Acrostichum ruta-muraria Lam., Phyllitis ruta-muraria Moench, Scolopendrium ruta-muraria Roth)
Stone Fern, Wall Rue, Wall Rue Spleenwort, White Maidenhair, Doradille des Murailles, Mauerraute, Mauerstreifenfarn

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Asplenium scolopendrium L. ssp scolopendrium
(syns Phyllitis scolopendrium Newman, Scolopendrium officinale Sm., Scolopendrium vulgare Sm.)
Hart's Tongue, Hind's Tongue, Horse Tongue

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Asplenium serratum L.
(syns Asplenium crenulatumC.Presl, Chamaefilix serrata Farw.)
Bird's Nest Spleenwort, New World Birdnest Fern, Wild Birdnest Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Asplenium trichomanes L.
(syns Athyrium trichomanes Shafer, Chamaefilix trichomanes Farw.)
Maidenhair Spleenwort

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Stenochlaena palustris Bedd.
(syns Acrostichum scandens Raddi, Polypodium palustre Burm.f., Pteris scandens Roxb., etc.)
Climbing Fern, Hagnaya, Swamp Fern

Shelley et al. (1985) described a case of a 21-year-old man who presented with a pruritic erythematous eruption of the volar forearms, lower parts of the legs, and eyelids, that had increased in severity over 12 days. He was working in a wholesale florist supply shop handling "Polypodium fern wreaths" also described as "Hagnaya wreaths". The botanical identity of the fern was not stated, but the common name hagnaya is used in the Philippines for the fern Stenochlaena palustris (see Belonias & Bañoc 1994, de Winter & Amoroso 2003). These fern wreaths had been imported into the US from the Philippines. Investigation of the pruritic eruption revealed that the fern wreaths were infested with at least six different species of mite, one of which, Cheyletus malaccensis Oudemans (fam. Cheyletidae) having previously been proven able to cause pruritic disease (Yoshikawa 1985).

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



FERNS – BLECHNACEAE

(Chain Fern family)

 



Blechnopsis C.Presl

Whilst some authorities would place the two species of this genus in the genus Blechnum L. within the Aspleniaceae (see Christenhusz & Chase 2014, Plants of the World Online), the Pteridophyte Phylogeny Group (PPG I 2016) concluded that they should be separated from Blechnum and that both genera be placed in the Blechnaceae.



Blechnopsis orientalis C.Presl
(syns Asplenium orientale Bernh., Blechnum elongatum Gaudich., Blechnum orientale L., etc.)
Barking Deer Fern, Centipede Fern, Oriental Blechnum, Oriental Hammock Fern, Shield Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Blechnum discolor Keyserl.
(syns Lomaria discolor Willd., Osmunda discolor G.Forst.)
Crown Fern, Piupiu

Blechnum Discolor Leaf Extract [INCI; of uncertain composition (see Schmidt 2017)], is a recognised cosmetic product ingredient purported to have humectant and skin conditioning properties (Standing Committee on Cosmetic Products 2019, CosIng 2021).



Struthiopteris spicant Weiss
(syns Blechnum spicant Sm., Lomaria spicant Desv., Osmunda spicant L.)
Deer Fern, Hard Fern, Rippenfarn

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Woodwardia unigemmata Nakai
(syns Blechnum japonicum Houtt., Woodwardia himalaica Nakai, Woodwardia radicans Sm. var unigemmata Makino)
Chain Fern, Jewelled Chain Fern, Walking Fern

Whilst some authorities would place the genus in the Aspleniaceae (see Christenhusz & Chase 2014), and others have placed it in the Polypodiaceae (see Stolze 1981), the Pteridophyte Phylogeny Group (PPG I 2016) concluded that the genus should be placed in the Blechnaceae.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



FERNS – CIBOTIACEAE

(Cibotium or Tree Fern family)

 



Cibotium Kaulf.
Tree Ferns

Comprising about 9 species, the genus Cibotium, which was formerly placed in the Dicksoniaceae, has been placed by the Pteridophyte Phylogeny Group (PPG I 2016) in its own family, namely the Cibotiaceae. Other authorities (see Christenhusz & Chase 2014, Plants of the World Online) would place the genus in the Cyatheaceae.



Cibotium barometz J.Sm.
(syns Cibotium assamicum Hook., Cibotium glaucescens Kunze, Dicksonia barometz Link, Polypodium barometz L., etc.)
Barometz, Chain Fern, Golden Chicken Fern, Scythian Lamb, Woolly Fern, Agneau de Scythie

Referring the crude drug Golden Moss, known in Malaysia as Pengawar Djambi, the 20th edition of the United States Dispensatory (Remington et al. 1918) recorded that it is composed of silky, long, soft, yellow or brownish hairs, which have the power of causing rapid coagulation of blood, and, when properly used, of mechanically arresting hemorrhages from capillaries. Kirtikar & Basu (1935), Caius (1935/6), Puri (1970), and Ong & Nordiana (1999) also recorded this use, identifying Cibotium barometz as the botanical source. The 25th edition of the United States Dispensatory (Osol et al. 1955) noted that Pengawar Djambi is derived from Cibotium barometz but also from other ferns including Cibotium glaucum Hook. & Arn. [which is native to Hawaii] and Alsophila lurida Hook. (syn. Chnoophora lurida Blume).

Estrin et al. (1977) included Pengawar Djambi Oil in a Cosmetic Ingredient Directory, citing "USD25th Edit." as their information source. No reference is made to an oil obtained from Pengawar Djambi in the 25th edition of the United States Dispensatory (see Osol et al. 1955).

Cibotium Barometz Oil [INCI; CAS RN 89997-67-1; of uncertain composition (see Schmidt 2017)]a, which may or may not be the same preparation as Pengawar Djambi Oil [see paragraph above], is a recognised cosmetic product ingredient purported to have skin conditioning properties (Standing Committee on Cosmetic Products 2019, CosIng 2021).

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



FERNS – CYATHEACEAE

(Scaly Tree Fern family)

 



Cyathea cumingii Baker
Black Fern, Ponga Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Cyathea dealbata Sw.
(syns Alsophila tricolor R.M.Tryon, Cyathea tricolor Colenso, Polypodium dealbatum G.Forst.)
Silver Fern, Silver Tree Fern, Silberner Baumfarn

The pith from a tree fern known to the Maori as ponga, which has been identified as Cyathea dealbata, has reportedly been used as a poultice for [unspecified] cutaneous eruptions (Brooker & Cooper 1961a, 1961b).

This fern was the inspiration behind the silver fern emblem that has been accepted since the 1880s as a symbol of New Zealand's national identity.



Cyathea medullaris Sw.
(syns Polypodium medullare G.Forst., Sphaeropteris medullaris Bernh.)
Black Tree Fern, Sago Fern, Schwarzer Baumfarn

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Sphaeropteris moluccana R.M.Tryon
(syns Cyathea brunonis Wall., Cyathea moluccana R.Br. ex Desv., Cyathea pinnata Roxb., Schizocaena moluccana Copel.)

[Information available but not yet included in database]



FERNS – DENNSTAEDTIACEAE

(Bracken family)

 



Hypolepis pallida Hook.
(syns Hypolepis punctata Bedd., Cheilanthes pallida Blume)

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Hypolepis punctata Mett.
(syns Dryopteris punctata C.Chr., Polypodium punctatum Thunb.)
Downy Ground Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Hypolepis resistens Hook.
(syns Hypolepis glandulifera Brownsey & Chinnock, Cheilanthes resistens Kunze)
Downy Ground Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Pteridium aquilinum Kuhn
(syns Asplenium aquilinum Bernh., Filix-foemina aquilina Farw., Pteris aquilina L., etc.)
Bracken, Brake, Common Bracken, Eagle Fern, Female Fern

Describing the "Vertues" of the "Brak or common Ferne", Parkinson (1640) wrote: "the rootes being bruised and boyled in oyle or Hogs grease, maketh an oyntment very profitable to heale wounds punctures or prickes in any part; and the powder of them used in fowle Vlcers, drieth up their malignant moisture, and causeth their speedier healing". Benjamin & Manickam (2007) and Tripathi et al. (2017) similarly noted that the rhizome boiled in oil and made into an ointment is used for healing wounds. Referring to Pteris aquilina in a treatise on the medicinal ferns of India, Caius (1935/6) repeated the words of Parkinson without citing their source, and also incorrectly (according to Plants of the World Online) described this taxon as being very common in the Himalayas, the Khasia Hills, Ceylon, the Malay Peninsula, and eastwards to Australia and New Zealand. Caius (1935/6) was probably referring to the hairy bracken: Pteridium revolutum Nakai (syns Pteridium aquilinum ssp wightianum W.C.Shieh, Pteris excelsa Blume).

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



FERNS – DICKSONIACEAE

(Tree Fern family)

 



Lophosoria quadripinnata C.Chr.
(syns Alsophila pruinata Kaulf., Alsophila quadripinnata C.Chr., Polypodium glaucum Sw., Polypodium quadripinnatum J.F.Gmel., etc.)
Diamondleaf Fern

Whilst some authorities would place the genus Lophosoria C.Presl. in the family Cyatheaceae (see Christenhusz & Chase 2014, Plants of the World Online), the Pteridophyte Phylogeny Group (PPG I 2016) concluded that it should be placed in the Dicksoniaceae.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



FERNS – DRYOPTERIDACEAE

(Wood Fern family)

 



Cyrtomium falcatum C.Presl
(syns Aspidium falcatum Sw., Dryopteris falcata Kuntze, Polypodium falcatum L.f.)
House Holly Fern, Japanese Holly Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Dryopteris Adans.
Wood Fern

Whilst some authorities would place the genus in the Polypodiaceae (see Christenhusz & Chase 2014, Stolze 1981), the Pteridophyte Phylogeny Group (PPG I 2016) concluded that the genus should be placed in the Dryopteridaceae.



Dryopteris cochleata C.Chr.
(syns Arthrobotrys macrocarpus Wall., Aspidium cochleatum Spreng., Dryopteris heleopteroides Christ, Nephrodium cochleatum D.Don)

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Dryopteris crassirhizoma Nakai
(syn. Dryopteris buschiana Formin)
Crown Wood Fern, Thick-Stemmed Wood Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Dryopteris erythrosora Kuntze
(syn. Aspidium erythrosorum D.C.Eaton)
Autumn Fern, Buckler Fern, Japanese Shield Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Dryopteris filix-mas Schott
(syns Aspidium filix-mas Sw., Polypodium filix-mas L., etc.)
Male Fern

Remington et al. (1918), citing earlier literature, noted that the crude drug known as Aspidium or Male Fern (formerly a commonly used vermifuge, but which can produce serious and even fatal poisoning) has been recommended as a local treatment in eczema and acne. Caius (1935/6) also recorded this use.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Elaphoglossum herminieri T.Moore
(syn. Acrostichum herminieri Bory & Fée)
Drooping Tonguefern, Herminier's Elephant's-Ear Fern

Whilst some authorities would place the genus Elaphoglossum Schott ex J.Sm. in the family Polypodiaceae (see Christenhusz & Chase 2014, Plants of the World Online), and others have placed this genus in the Lomariopsidaceae (Brummitt 1992), the Pteridophyte Phylogeny Group (PPG I 2016) concluded that it should be placed in the Dryopteridaceae.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Polystichum munitum C.Presl
(syns Aspidium munitum Kaulf., Dryopteris munita Kuntze, etc.)
Sword Fern, Western Sword Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Rumohra adiantiformis Ching
(syns Arachniodes adiantiformis — of no botanical standing, Aspidium adiantiforme Cheeseman, Aspidium cunninghamianum Colenso, Dryopteris adiantiformis Kuntze, Polypodium adiantiforme G.Forst., Polystichum adiantiforme J.Sm., Rumohra aspidioides Raddi, etc.)
Iron Fern, Leather Fern, Leatherleaf Fern, Seven-Weeks Fern, Lederfarn

Whilst some authorities would place the genus in the Polypodiaceae (see Christenhusz & Chase 2014, Stolze 1981), and others have placed it variously in the Aspidiaceae, Davalliaceae, and Pteridaceae, the Pteridophyte Phylogeny Group (PPG I 2016) concluded that the genus should be placed in the Dryopteridaceae.

This fern has in recent years become popular in floristry because of its long vase life. Regular contact with the leatherleaf fern induced an allergic contact dermatitis of the palms and fingers in a 21-year old female florist, which was confirmed by patch testing. Because of the recurrence and severity of the dermatitis, the patient had to change her job. Five fractions of a chromatographically separated extract of the fern were tested on sensitised guinea-pigs and on the patient. Only the first fraction gave a positive patch test response. Control tests on 10 unaffected persons were negative. Further fractionation produced completely purified colourless crystals of the contact allergen (Hausen & Schulz 1978). Schmalle et al. (1980) later reported the structural characterisation of a crystalline substance "found among the allergenic fraction", identifying it as the pentacyclic triterpene 9(11)-fernene, this seemingly being the allergen to which the patient reacted. Hausen & Schulz (1978) noted that the sensitiser could only be detected during sporogenesis of the fern, being found in the leaves, in the sporangia, and in the spores themselves.

[Fern-9(11)-ene]

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



HORSETAILS – EQUISETACEAE

(Horsetail family)

 

This family consists of a single genus, Equisetum L., comprising 15 species, which are of cosmopolitan distribution except in Australasia (PPG I 2016, Mabberley 2017).



Equisetum L.
(syn. Hippochaete Milde)
Horsetails

Parkinson (1640), who described several kinds of horsetail, segregating them into rough and smooth, and leaved and bare sorts, recorded that "Country housewives doe use any of these rough sorts that are next to hand to scoure both their woodden, peuter and brasse vessels […] " (see also Equisetum hyemale L. below). He also noted that "[Horsetaile] is very powerfull to stanch bleedings wheresoever, eyther inward or outward, the juice or decoction thereof being drunke, or the juice, decoction or distilled water applyed outwardly [...] and healeth also [...] all other sorts of foule moist and running ulcers, and soone sodereth together [= to reunite (tissues or bones)] the toppes of greene wounds [...] the juice or distilled water being warmed, and hot inflammations pustules or red wheals and other such eruptions in the skin, being bathed therewith doth helpe them [...] "

Several investigators have reported the presence of nicotine and other alkaloids in Equisetum species (see, for example, Phillipson & Melville 1960, Eugster 1975). A study of 68 samples derived from all of the 15 Equisetum species occurring worldwide demonstrated the presence of nicotine in at least one sample from every species. However, the level present in any particular species was found to vary considerably between samples (Tipke et al. 2019).

[L-Nicotine]

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Equisetum arvense L.
(syn. Equisetum calderi B.Boivin)
Bottlebrush, Common Horsetail, Field Horsetail, Mare's Tail, Shavegrass

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Equisetum bogotense Kunth
(syn. Equisetum rinihuense G.Kunkel)
Andean Horsetail

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Equisetum fluviatile L.
(syn. Equisetum limosum L.)
Swamp Horsetail, Water Horsetail

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Equisetum giganteum L.
(syns Equisetum martii Milde, Hippochaete gigantea Holub)
Southern Giant Horsetail

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Equisetum hyemale L.
(syn. Hippochaete hyemalis Milde ex Bruhin)
Common Scouring Rush, Dutch Rush, Horsetail, Pewterwort, Rough Horsetail, Scouring-Rush Horsetail, Snake Grass, Winter Scouring Rush, Prêle d'Hiver, Winter-Schachtelhalm

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Equisetum palustre L.
Marsh Horsetail, Prêle des Marais, Duwock, Sumpf-Schachtelhalm

The principal alkaloids found in this species are palustrine and palustridiene (Eugster 1975, Tipke et al. 2019, Müller et al. 2020).

[Palustrine; Palustridiene]

A rash with systemic symptoms in a patient who had cleaned pewter dishes with a washing liquid prepared from the common scouring rush (Equisetum hyemale L.) was attributed to skin contact with, and percutaneous absorption of equisetin [= palustrine] (see above).



Equisetum ramosissimum Desf.
(syns Equisetum debile Roxb. ex Vaucher, Hippochaete debilis Holub)
Branched Horsetail, Frail Horsetail

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Equisetum telmateia Ehrh.
(syn. Equisetum majus Garsault)
Great Horsetail, Northern Giant Horsetail, Variegated Horsetail, Riesen-Schachtelhalm, Grande Prêle, Grande Queue-de-Cheval

[Information available but not yet included in database]



FERNS – HYPODEMATIACEAE

(Hypodematium family)

 



Hypodematium crenatum Kuhn & Decken
(syns Aspidium crenatum Kuhn, Dryopteris crenata Kuntze, Polypodium crenatum Forssk.)

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Leucostegia truncata Fraser-Jenk.
(syns Davallia immersa Wall., Davallia truncata D.Don, Humata immersa Mett., Leucostegia immersa C.Presl)

[Information available but not yet included in database]



FERNS – LINDSAEACEAE

(Lace Fern or Screw Fern family)

 



Odontosoria chinensis J.Sm. ssp chinensis
(syns Adiantum chusanum L., Odontosoria chusana Masam., Stenoloma chusanum Ching, etc.)
Lace Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



FERNS – LOMARIOPSIDACEAE

(Lemon Button Fern family)

 



Cyclopeltis semicordata J.Sm.
(syns Aspidium semicordatum Sw., Polypodium semicordatum Sw., Polystichum semicordatum T.Moore)
Lime Fern

Whilst some authorities would place the genus Cyclopeltis J.Sm. in the family Polypodiaceae (see Christenhusz & Chase 2014, Plants of the World Online), and others have placed this genus in the Aspidiaceae (Willis 1973), Aspleniaceae (Mabberley 1987), Dryopteridaceae (Brummitt 1992), or Tectariaceae (Lu & Li 2006), the Pteridophyte Phylogeny Group (PPG I 2016) concluded that it should be placed in the Lomariopsidaceae.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



LYCOPHYTES – LYCOPODIACEAE

(Clubmoss family)

 



Diphasiastrum complanatum Holub
(syn. Lycopodium complanatum L.)
Complanate Clubmoss, Flat Clubmoss, Ground Cedar, Ground Pine

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Huperzia selago Bernh. ex Schrank & Mart.
(syns Lycopodium selago L., Lycopodium densum Lam., Urostachys selago Herter)
Fir Clubmoss, Northern Firmoss, Fir Selago

Nwosu (2002), who carried out an ethnobotanical survey of pteridophytes in Southern Nigeria, noted that the spores and root powder of a clubmoss identified as Lycopodium selago, mixed with palm kernel oil (from Elaeis guineensis Jacq., fam. Palmae), is applied externally to treat eczema and cuts. However, according to Plants of the World Online, this taxon has a circumpolar distribution in temperate and boreal regions in both hemispheres and has not been reported from Nigeria / West Africa. Therefore, it is possible that Nwosu misidentified the plant material.



Huperzia serrata Trevis.
(syns Lycopodium serratum Thunb., Urostachys serratus Herter)
Chinese Clubmoss, Chinese Firmoss, Serrate Clubmoss, Toothed Clubmoss

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Lycopodiastrum casuarinoides Holub ex R.D.Dixit
(syns Diphasium casuarinoides J.P.Mandal & U.Sen, Lycopodium casuarinoides Spring)

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Lycopodium clavatum L.
(syns Lepidotis clavata P.Beauv., Lycopodium ciliatum Sw., Lycopodium inflexum Sw., etc.)
Common Clubmoss, Ground Pine, Running Clubmoss, Snake Moss, Stag's-Horn Clubmoss

The spores provide the crude drug known as Semen Lycopodii, Pulvis Lycopodii, or Lycopodium. It is a light yellow, very mobile powder that has also been known as "vegetable sulphur". It was formerly used as an absorbent application to excoriated surfaces, especially those which occur in the folds of the skin in infants (Remington et al. 1918). Felter (1922) added intertrigo, herpes, erysipelas, dermatitis, eczema, and ulcers to the list of indications for use, noting also that because lycopodium possesses moisture repellant qualities it has been used in preparing pills of hygroscopic chemicals, to facilitate the manipulation of pill masses, and to keep pills from adhering to each other.

In traditional Chinese medicine, the crude drug known as shen jin cao (伸筋草) or Herba Lycopodii is the dried whole plant with roots of Lycopodium clavatum (Huang 1993), but also possibly of (see, for example, TCMID at http://119.3.41.228:8000/tcmid/herb/3998/):

Dendrolycopodium obscurum A.Haines — Flat-Branch Tree Clubmoss, Ground Pine, Princess Pine
(syn. Lycopodium obscurum L.)
Lycopodium japonicum Thunb. ex Murray — Japanese Clubmoss
(syns Lycopodium centrochinense Ching, Lycopodium pseudoclavatum Ching, Lycopodium simulans Ching & H.S.Kung, Stachygynandrum japonicum P.Beauv.)
Palhinhaea cernua Vasc. & Franco — Arching Clubmoss, Nodding Clubmoss, Staghorn Clubmoss
(syns Lycopodiella cernua Pic.Serm., Lycopodium cernuum L.)

In a patch test study of 27 crude drugs commonly used in Chinese topical medicaments in patients with contact dermatitis related to the use of these medicaments, a 10% ethanol extract of Herba Lycopodii produced a positive patch test reaction in one of 27 patients tested (Chen et al. 2003).

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Palhinhaea cernua Vasc. & Franco
(syns Lycopodiella cernua Pic.Serm., Lycopodium cernuum L.)
Arching Clubmoss, Nodding Clubmoss, Staghorn Clubmoss

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Phlegmariurus carinatus Ching
(syns Huperzia carinata Trevis., Lycopodium carinatum Desv., Lycopodium struthioloides C.Presl, Selaginella struthioloides Underw.)
Keeled Clubmoss, Keeled Tassel-Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



FERNS – LYGODIACEAE

(Climbing Fern family)

 



Lygodium Sw.
Climbing Ferns

Comprising about 40 species, the genus Lygodium has been placed by the Pteridophyte Phylogeny Group (PPG I 2016) in its own family, namely the Lygodiaceae. Some authorities place the genus in the Schizaeaceae.

Lygodium japonicum Sw. and Lygodium palmatum Sw. are grown as cool greenhouse pot plants for their decorative foliage (Hunt 1968/70).



Lygodium circinnatum Sw.
(syns Lygodium conforme C.Chr., Ophioglossum pedatum Burm.f., Hydroglossum pedatum Willd., etc.)
Red Finger Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Lygodium flexuosum Sw.
(syns Ophioglossum flexuosum L., Hydroglossum flexuosum Willd., etc.)
Flexuose Climbing Fern, Maidenhair Creeper

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Lygodium japonicum Sw.
(syns Lygodium microstachyum Desv., Ophioglossum japonicum Thunb.)
Japanese Climbing Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Lygodium microphyllum R.Br.
(syns Ophioglossum filiforme Roxb., Ugena microphylla Cav.)
Climbing Maidenhair Fern, Old World Climbing Fern, Small-Leaf Climbing Fern, Snake Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Lygodium palmatum Sw.
(syns Gisopteris palmata Bernh., Hydroglossum palmatum Willd.)
American Palm Fern, Angels' Fingers, Climbing Fern, Hartford Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Lygodium salicifolium C.Presl
(syn. Lygodium kingii Copel.)
Willow-Leaved Climbing Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



FERNS – MARATTIACEAE

(Giant Fern family)

 



Angiopteris crassipes Wall. ex C.Presl
(syns Angiopteris arnottiana Miq., Angiopteris hookeriana de Vriese, Angiopteris manniana Rosenst.)

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Angiopteris evecta Hoffm.
(syns Angiopteris longifolia Grev. & Hook., Angiopteris miqueliana de Vriese, Polypodium evectum G.Forst., etc.)
King Fern, Giant Fern, Elephant Fern, Madagascar Tree Fern, Mule's Foot Fern, Oriental Vessel Fern, Fougère Royale

[Information available but not yet included in database]



FERNS – MARSILEACEAE

(Water Clover family)

 



Marsilea minuta L.
(syns Marsilea diffusa Lepr. ex A.Braun, Lemma minuta Desr., etc.)
Dwarf Water Clover, Pepperwort

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Marsilea quadrifolia L.
(syns Lemma quadrifolia Desr., Marsilea europaea Desv., Pteris quadrifoliata L.)
European Water-Clover, European Pepperwort

[Information available but not yet included in database]



FERNS – NEPHROLEPIDACEAE

(Sword Fern family)

 



Nephrolepis Schott
Ladder Ferns, Sword Ferns

The genus comprises about 30 species of ferns that occur naturally in the tropics and sub-tropics. Whilst some authorities would place the genus in the Polypodiaceae (see Christenhusz & Chase 2014) and others have placed it variously in the Davalliaceae, Dryopteridaceae, Lomariopsidaceae, or Oleandraceae, the Pteridophyte Phylogeny Group (PPG I 2016) concluded that the genus comprises a monophyletic group that should be placed in its own family, namely the Nephrolepidaceae.

Several species are grown as house plants for their decorative foliage (Hunt 1968/70).



Nephrolepis biserrata Schott
(syns Aspidium biserratum Sw., Nephrodium biserratum C.Presl, Polypodium nephrolepioides Christ, etc.)
Broad Sword Fern, Giant Sword Fern, Macho Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Nephrolepis cordifolia C.Presl
(syns Aspidium cordifolium Sw., Nephrolepis tuberosa C.Presl, Polypodium cordifolium L., etc.)
Erect Sword Fern, Fishbone Fern, Ladder Fern, Narrow Sword Fern, Tuberous Sword Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Nephrolepis exaltata Schott
(syns Aspidium exaltatum Sw., Polypodium exaltatum L.)
Boston Fern, Fishbone Fern, Sword Fern, Tuber Ladder Fern

Two non-atopic fern nursery workers handling apical meristem cuttings from various Nephrolepis exaltata cultivars developed pruritic skin lesions on the fingertips, showing erythema, vesicles, scaling and fissures, combined with periungual swelling, usually with rapid relief of symptoms during weekends and holidays. Patch test results with crushed leaves from these ferns were positive at 24h and 48h. One of the patients also reacted to the fern spores from the cultivar ‘Teddy Junior’. No reactions were observed with extracts from young leaves prepared with water, ethanol, diethyl ether, or acetone. No reactions were observed in 6 other workers doing exactly the same work, nor in 20 healthy volunteers (Stoof & Bruynzeel 1989). A similar case of occupational contact allergy to the cultivar ‘Bostoniensis’ in a nursery worker was reported by Andersen & Paulsen (2016). This patient reacted on patch testing to an ethanol/water extract of the leaves and stems, but not to extracts prepared from other plant species to which he may have been occupationally exposed.



Nephrolepis hirsutula C.Presl
(syns Aspidium hirsutulum Sw., Polypodium ferrugineum Roxb., Polystichum hirsutulum Bernh., etc.)
Sword Fern, Rough Sword Fern, Scaly Sword Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



FERNS – ONOCLEACEAE

(Sensitive Fern family)

 



Onoclea struthiopteris Roth
(syns Matteuccia struthiopteris Tod., Osmunda struthiopteris L.)
Ostrich Fern, Straußfarn

[Information available but not yet included in database]



FERNS – OPHIOGLOSSACEAE

(Adder's-Tongue family)

 



Botrychium lunaria Sw.
(syn. Osmunda lunaria L.)
Common Moonwort

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Botrychium schaffneri Underw.
(syns Botrychium pusillum Underw., Sceptridium schaffneri Lyon)
Schaffner's Grape Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Botrychium ternatum Sw.
(syns Osmunda ternata Thunb., Sceptridium ternatum Lyon)
Ternate Grape Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Botrychium virginianum Sw.
(syns Botrypus virginianus Michx., Osmunda virginiana L.)
Common Grape Fern, Rattlesnake Fern, Virginia Grape Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ophioglossum gramineum Willd.
(syns Ophioglossum gregarium Christ, Ophioglossum prantlii C.Chr., Ophioglossum vulgatum L. var gramineum Hook.f.)

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ophioglossum reticulatum L.
(syns Ophioglossum ovatum Bory, Ophioglossum pedunculatum Desv. & Nakai, Ophioglossum vulgatum L. var reticulatum D.C.Eaton)
Netted Adder's Tongue

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ophioglossum vulgatum L.
Serpent's Tongue, Adder's Tongue, Southern Adder's Tongue, English Adder's Tongue, Common Tongue Fern

Gerarde (1636) wrote: "The leaues of Adders tongue stamped in a stone morter, and boyled in Oile Oliue vnto the consumption of the juyce, and vntill the herbes be dry and parched, and then strained, will yeeld a most excellent greene oyle, or rather a balsame for greene wounds, comparable to oile of S Iohns wort, if it do not farre surpasse it by many degrees". Parkinson (1640) and Culpeper (1652) described the same preparation, but specified the use of "oyle Omphacine, or of unripe Ollives". This preparation became known as "green oil of Charity" (Pratt 1855), with essentially the same reference to its popularity in England as a vulnerary and remedy for wounds being made by numerous subsequent authors including Grieve (1931), Kirtikar & Basu (1935), Caius (1935/6), and Cao et al. (2017).

According to Phillips (1917), and repeated by Caius (1935/6) and by Watt & Breyer-Brandwijk (1962), a warm decoction of the rhizome of Ophioglossum vulgatum has been used by the Sotho [= Basotho of Lesotho / Southern Africa] as a lotion to bathe boils. However, according to Plants of the World Online, although widely distributed in northern temperate regions and elsewhere, this taxon has not been reported from Lesotho / South Africa. Therefore, it is possible that Phillips misidentified the plant material. He may have mistaken the fern for the not dissimilar Ophioglossum polyphyllum A.Braun ex Seub. (syns Ophioglossum capense Schltdl., Ophioglossum vulgatum var polyphyllum Milde), the large adder's tongue.

According to Wren (1975), the fresh leaves are used as a poultice in scrofulous ulcers [= scrofuloderma?] and tumours, together with an infusion taken internally in wineglassful doses. Interestingly, Wren (1975) uses exactly the same form of words to describe the use of the botanically unrelated Erythronium americanum Ker Gawl. (fam. Liliaceae) — the American adder's tongue. Wren (1975) additionally records that the plant boiled in oil or fat is said to be a panacea for wounds and to reduce inflammation, a use also acknowledged by Stuart (1979).

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



FERNS – OSMUNDACEAE

(Royal Fern family)

 



Osmunda regalis L.
(syns. Aphyllocalpa regalis Cav., Struthiopteris regalis Bernh.)
Flowering Fern, Osmond Royal, Royal Fern, Water Fern, Fougère Royale, Königsfarn

[Information available but not yet included in database]



FERNS – POLYPODIACEAE

(Polypody family)

 



Davallodes pulchra M.Kato & Tsutsumi
(syns Araiostegia delavayi Ching, Araiostegia pseudocystopteris Copel., Araiostegia pulchra Copel., Davallia pulchra D.Don, etc.)

The Pteridophyte Phylogeny Group (PPG I 2016) prefer to refer to this taxon as Davallia pulchra and place the genus in the family Davalliaceae.

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Drynaria (Bory) J.Sm.
(syns Aglaomorpha Schott, Psygmium K.B.Presl, etc.)

Some authorities place this genus in the family Drynariaceae. The Pteridophyte Phylogeny Group (PPG I 2016) provided a new circumscription for the genus Aglaomorpha Schott, encompassing 50 species, that included taxa previously recognised as Drynaria species. However, the General Committee for Botanical Nomenclature voted to conserve the name Drynaria (Wilson 2016).

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Drynaria quercifolia J.Sm.
(syns Aglaomorpha quercifolia Hovenkamp & S.Linds., Phymatodes quercifolia C.Presl, Polypodium quercifolium L., etc.)
Oakleaf Fern, Oakleaf Basket Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Goniophlebium fieldingianum T.Moore
(syns Goniophlebium microrhizoma Bedd., Metapolypodium microrhizoma S.G.Lu & L.H.Yang, Polypodiodes microrhizoma Ching, Polypodium fieldingianum Kunze ex Mett., Polypodium microrhizoma C.B. Clarke ex Baker)

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Lecanopteris Reinw.
(syns Myrmecophila Christ ex Nakai, Myrmecopteris Pic.Serm.)

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Lecanopteris lomarioides Copel.
(syns Myrmecopteris lomarioides Pic.Serm., Pleopeltis lomarioides T.Moore, Polypodium lomarioides Kunze ex Mett.)

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Lecanopteris sinuosa Copel.
(syns Myrmecopteris sinuosa Pic.Serm., Phymatodes sinuosa J.Sm., Pleopeltis sinuosa Bedd., Polypodium sinuosum Wall.)

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Lemmaphyllum microphyllum C.Presl
(syns Drymoglossum microphyllum C.Chr., Lemmaphyllum squamosum C.Chr.)
Green Penny Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Lepisorus thunbergianus Ching
(syns Lepisorus angustus Ching, Pleopeltis thunbergiana Kaulf., Polypodium thunbergianum C.Chr., etc.)
Weeping Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Microgramma C.Presl
(syn. Solanopteris Copel.)
Potato Ferns, Snake Ferns, Vine Ferns

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Microgramma bifrons Lellinger
(syns Polypodium bifrons Hook., Solanopteris bifrons Copel.)
Potato Fern

The original collection of the fern that W.J. Hooker described and named Polypodium bifrons was made by a plant collector named William (Guilielmo) Jameson in 1831 in Ecuador (Ule 1906). Gómez (1977) noted Jameson's observation that the fern was "inhabited by very obnoxious ants".



Microgramma brunei Lellinger
(syns Polypodium brunei Wercklé ex Christ, Solanopteris brunei W.H.Wagner)
Potato Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Microgramma megalophylla de la Sota
(syns Polypodium megalophyllum Desv., Polypodium schomburgkii Hook.)

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Microsorum cuspidatum Tagawa
(syns Phymatodes cuspidata J.Sm., Phymatosorus cuspidatus Pic.Serm., Phymatosorus lucidus Pic.Serm., Polypodium cuspidatum D.Don., Polypodium leiorhizum Wall.)

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Microsorum grossum S.B.Andrews
(syns Phymatosorus grossus Brownlie, Polypodium grossum Langsd. & Fisch.)
Maile-Scented Fern, Musk Fern, Wart Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Microsorum punctatum Copel.
(syns Acrostichum punctatum L., Polypodium polycarpon Sw., Polypodium punctatum Sw., etc.)
Climbing Bird's Nest Fern, Elkhorn Fern, Fishtail Fern, Strapleaf Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Neocheiropteris ensata Ching
(syns Microsorum ensatum H.Itô, Neolepisorus ensatus Ching, Polypodium ensatum Thunb., etc.)

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Neocheiropteris fortunei Bosman ex Fraser-Jenk., Pariyar & Kandel
(syns Drynaria fortunei T.Moore, Microsorum fortunei Ching, Neolepisorus fortunei Li Wang, etc.)
Fortune's Ribbon Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Phlebodium J.Sm.
Golden Polypodies

Some authorities (see Mabberley 2017 and Stolze 1981) consider Phlebodium J.Sm. to be a subgenus within Polypodium L. Others (see PPG I 2016, Germplasm Resources Information Network, and Plants of the World Online) accept the genus Phlebodium and recognise three or four species.

Evans (1963) found typical polypodioid diploid and tetraploid chromosome counts of n=37 and n=74 for Phlebodium aureum but noted also that earlier studies had shown considerable variation in chromosome number through 16, c. 32, 34-36, 60-70 and 76. According to Mickel & Smith (2004), later repeated by Gattuso et al. (2008), Tejero-Díez et al. (2009), and the Flora of North America, Phlebodium aureum is a fertile tetraploid that arose through allopolyploidy following hybridisation between Phlebodium pseudoaureum, the false golden polypody, which is widespread in Central America and South America, and Phlebodium decumanum, the creeping golden polypody, a widespread species in tropical America. All three species are referred to locally as "calaguala" or "calahuala". Possible botanical mis-identification should be suspected where reliance is placed on the common name calaguala because this Spanish name, which translates as "medicinal fern", has been applied to fern species that are both closely- and distantly-related to Phlebodium ranging geographically from the Peruvian Andes to California and Florida. Indeed, it is likely that the three Phlebodium species are considered interchangable by those who collect or grow these ferns for medicinal or cosmetic use (Cáceres & Cruz 2018). Stolze (1981) annotates several species of Polypodium with the common name calaguala:

Polypodium angustifolium Sw. var angustifolium [= Campyloneurum angustifolium Fée]
Polypodium angustum Liebm. [= Pleopeltis angusta Humb. & Bonpl. ex Willd.]
Polypodium aureum L. [= Phlebodium aureum J.Sm.]
Polypodium dissimile L. [= Serpocaulon dissimile A.R.Sm.]
Polypodium hispidulum Bartlett
Polypodium plectolepis Hook. [= Polypodium echinolepis Fée] 

and a number of other ferns have the species name calaguala:

Elaphoglossum huacsaro Christ (syns Acrostichum calaguala Klotzsch, Elaphoglossum calaguala T.Moore)
Serpocaulon falcaria A.R.Sm. (syn. Goniophlebium calaguala Fée)
Campyloneurum densifolium Lellinger (syn. Polypodium calaguala Ruiz) 


Phlebodium areolatum J.Sm.
(syns Phlebodium pseudoaureum Lellinger, Polypodium pseudoaureum Cav., etc.)
Calaguala

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Phlebodium aureum J.Sm.
(syns Chrysopteris aurea Link, Phlebodium aureum L. var pulvinatum Farw., Phlebodium pulvinatum J.Sm., Pleopeltis aurea C.Presl, Polypodium aureum L., Polypodium aureum L. var leucatomos Krug, Polypodium leucatomos Poir., Polypodium leucotomos Hieron., etc.)
Calaguala Fern, Golden Polypody, Golden Serpent Fern, Gold-Foot Fern, Hare-Foot Fern, Rabbit-Foot Fern, Polypode Doré

In addition to the uncertainty that arises from the use of the common name "calaguala" (see Phlebodium above), nomenclatural confusion pervades the medico-scientific literature relating to this taxon. Most of the studies and reports relating to this taxon refer to Polypodium leucotomos, an orthographical variant of the correct name Polypodium leucatomos Poir. Further, there is uncertainty in the literature as to whether Polypodium leucatomos Poir. should be regarded as a synonym of Phlebodium aureum J.Sm (see Plants of the World Online, Stolze 1981, Meza Torres et al. 2006, Gattuso et al. 2008, Martín-Pozo et al. 2019) or vice versa (see Murbach et al. 2015, Murbach et al. 2017), or whether it is properly considered to be a synonym of Phlebodium decumanum J.Sm. (see Horvath et al. 1975, Catalogue of Life, GBIF, World Ferns). The misspelling of "leucatomos" as "leucotomos" is an error that can be traced back to Hieronymus (1909); to add to the confusion, a further orthographical variant, "leucotomas", has also come into common use. Indeed, the common references in the medico-scientific and cosmetic product ingredient literature to extracts prepared from "Polypodium leucotomos" or "Polypodium leucotomas" rather than Polypodium leucatomos (or, indeed, Phlebodium aureum or Phlebodium decumanum) may be symptomatic of laxity in botanical identification / authentication and/or peer review in the case of medico-scientific articles, this making research findings difficult to interpret. In mitigation, botanical identification of plant material is complicated by the hybrid nature of Phlebodium aureum (see Phlebodium above), which probably has resulted in a "hybrid swarm" of individual ferns with characteristics ranging between those of the two parent species, this being referred to by some authors (see Cáceres & Cruz 2018) as a Phlebodium complex. It may be more appropriate to refer to Phlebodium × aureum J.Sm. (pro sp.) where it can be confirmed with a chromosome count (see Evans 1963), that the "Polypodium leucotomos" fern in question is neither one (Phlebodium pseudoaureum / Phlebodium areolatum) nor the other (Phlebodium decumanum) presumptive parent species.

Products containing "Polypodium leucotomos extract" ["PLE"] for oral and for topical use have been commercialised under various trade names including Anapsos®, Difur®, Fernage®, Fernblock®, Fernmed™, Fernplus®, Heliocare®, Kalawalla®, and Sunsafe Rx® to treat a variety of dermatologic conditions (Baumann 2007, Choudhry et al. 2014, Nestor et al. 2015, Berman et al. 2016). Medical conditions for which PLE has been investigated as a treatment include psoriasis (Corrales Padilla et al. 1974, Piñeiro Alvarez 1983, Vargas et al. 1983), atopic dermatitis (Beltrán et al. 1982, Jiménez et al. 1986, Jiménez et al. 1987, Ramírez-Bosca et al. 2012), and vitiligo (Mohammad 1989, Middelkamp-Hup et al. 2007).

In healthy volunteers, orally administered Polypodium leucotomos leaf extract (Fernblock®; PLE) decreased psoralen-ultraviolet A [PUVA]–induced phototoxicity and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (Middelkamp-Hup et al. 2004a). However, orally administered PLE with concomitant narrow band ultraviolet B [NB-UVB] phototherapy enhanced repigmentation of vitiligo (Middelkamp-Hup et al. 2007, Zurita et al. 2013, Pacifico et al. 2021).

PLE has also been found to minimize certain photoaging changes in a hairless albino mouse model (Alcaraz et al. 1999), to decrease ultraviolet-induced damage of human skin (Middelkamp-Hup et al. 2004b), and to reduce UVB-induced erythema / sunburn after topical or oral administration (González & Pathak 1996, González et al. 1997, Kohli et al. 2017), this leading to its being promoted as a photoprotective agent against solar UV radiation (El-Haj & Goldstein 2015) and as an adjunct in the management of polymorphic light eruption (Tanew et al. 2012, Caccialanza et al. 2007), solar urticaria (Caccialanza et al. 2007), and melasma (Ahmed et al. 2013, Goh et al. 2018).

However, in view of the possible mis-identification of source plant material and because of differences in the methods of preparation and standardisation (or not) of the various extracts by different manufacturers and researchers, the various extracts are not all equivalent in their composition and therefore in their bio-activity, as has been demonstrated by González et al. (2018). Indeed, an Editor's comment (see Jimenez et al. 1986) has previously drawn attention to the indeterminate composition of Anapsos. Perhaps the most significant source of difference in composition is whether the extract has been prepared using the fronds (leaves) of the fern, its rhizome, or the whole plant.

[Further information available but not yet included in database]



Phlebodium decumanum J.Sm.
(syns Chrysopteris decumana Fée, Pleopeltis decumana C.Presl, Polypodium decumanum Willd., etc.)
Calaguala Fern, Creeping Golden Polypody

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Platycerium coronarium Desv.
(syns Acrostichum biforme Sw., Acrostichum fuciforme Wall., Neuroplatyceros biformis Fée, Osmunda coronaria Konig, Platycerium biforme Blume, Platycerium platylobum Bidin & R.Jaman)
Elkhorn Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Platycerium stemaria Desv.
(syns Acrostichum stemaria P.Beauv., Alcicornium stemaria Underw., Platycerium aethiopicum Hook.)
Green Elk Antlers, Guinea Elk's Horn Fern, Triangle Antler Fern, Triangular Staghorn Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Pleopeltis macrocarpa Kaulf.
(syns Pleopeltis lanceolata Kaulf., Polypodium lanceolatum L., Polypodium macrocarpum Willd.)
Lance Fern, Scaly Lance Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Pleopeltis polypodioides E.G.Andrews & Windham
(syns Acrostichum polypodioides L., Pleopeltis incana Wall., Polypodium incanum Sw., Polypodium polypodioides Watt)
Resurrection Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Polypodium subpetiolatum Hook.
(syns Polypodium adelphum Maxon, Polypodium guilleminianum Fourn.)
Calaguala

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Polypodium vulgare L.
(syn. Ctenopteris vulgaris Newman)
Common Polypody

Referring incorrectly to Polypodium vulgaris, Rodríguez et al. (2001) described a case of occupational rhinoconjunctivitis and contact urticaria in an 18-year old male working in a fishmongers where fronds of this fern were being used to decorate boxes of fish.

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Pyrrosia lingua Farw.
(syns Acrostichum lingua Thunb., Pyrrosia caudifrons Ching, Boufford & K.H.Shing, Pyrrosia martini Ching)
Felt Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Pyrrosia piloselloides M.G.Price
(syns Drymoglossum heterophyllum Trimen, Drymoglossum piloselloides C.Presl, Notholaena piloselloides Kaulf., Pteris piloselloides L.)
Dragon's Scale Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



FERNS – PTERIDACEAE

(Maidenhair Fern family)

 



Acrostichum aureum L.
(syns Chrysodium aureum Mett., Hemionitis arifolia T.Moore, Polystichum dissimulans Maxon, etc.)
Coast Leather Fern, Golden Leatherfern, Mangrove Fern, Swamp Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Acrostichum danaeifolium Langsd. & Fisch.
(syns Acrostichum excelsum Maxon, Acrostichum lomarioides Jenman)
Giant Fern, Giant Leather-Fern, Inland Leather Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Actiniopteris radiata Link
(syns Acrostichum dichotomum Forssk., Actiniopteris dichotoma Bedd., Actiniopteris dichotoma Kuhn, Actiniopteris dichotoma Mett., Asplenium radiatum J.Konig ex Sw., Pteris radiata Bojer)
Fan-Leaved Fern, Peacock's Tail

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Adiantum aethiopicum L.
(syns Adiantum assimile Sw., Adiantum trigonum Labill.)
Common Maidenhair Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Adiantum capillus-veneris L.
(syns Adiantum africanum R.Br., Adiantum coriandrifolium Lam., Adiantum pseudocapillus Fée, etc.)
Black Maidenhair Fern, Net Hair Fern, Southern Maidenhair Fern, Venus Maidenhair Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Adiantum caudatum L.
(syns Adiantum borneense Gand., Adiantum lyratum Blanco)
Tailed Maidenhair Fern, Trailing Maidenhair Fern, Walking Maidenhair Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Adiantum pedatum L.
(syn. Adiantum americanum Nieuwl.)
Five-Finger Fern, Northern Maidenhair Fern, Adiante du Canada

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Adiantum philippense L. ssp philippense
(syns Adiantum arcuatum Sw., Adiantum lunulatum Burm.f., Pteris lunulata Retz.)
Black Maidenhair, Walking Maidenhair Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Adiantum raddianum C.Presl
(syns Adiantum cuneatum Langsd. & Fisch., Adiantum decorum T.Moore)
Delta Maidenhair Fern, Maidenhair Fern, Venus Hair Fern, Walking Fern

Lynne-Davies & Mitchell (1974) applied portions of the fresh leaf of Adiantum decorum to the backs of 2 males for 48 hours under occlusion. Neither irritant reactions nor delayed flares occurred.



Adiantum venustum D.Don
(syn. Adiantum bonatianum Brause)
Evergreen Maidenhair, Himalayan Maidenhair Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Ceratopteris thalictroides Brongn.
(syns Acrostichum thalictroides L., Pteris thalictroides Sw.)
Water Fern, Water Horn Fern, Water Sprite, Wasserhornfarn

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Coniogramme japonica Diels
(syns Coniogramme centrochinensis Ching, Hemionitis japonica Thunb., Notogramme japonica C.Presl)
Japanese Bamboo Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Hemionitis albomarginata Christenh.
(syns Aleuritopteris albomarginata Ching, Cheilanthes albomarginata C.B.Clarke, Leptolepidium dalhousieae K.H.Shing & S.K.Wu)
Bristly Cloak Fern, Glade Fern, Slender Lip Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Hemionitis calomelanos Christenh.
(syns Pellaea calomelanos Link, Pellaea hastata Prantl, Pteris calomelanos Sw.)
Hard Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Hemionitis farinosa Christenh.
(syns Aleuritopteris farinosa Fée, Aleuritopteris mexicana Fée, Cheilanthes farinosa Kaulf., Pteris farinosa Forssk.)
Floury Cloak Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Pityrogramma calomelanos Link
(syns Acrostichum calomelanos L., Ceropteris calomelanos Link, Gymnogramma calomelanos Kaulf., Neurogramma calomelanos Diels, etc.)
Dixie Silverback Fern, Silver Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Polytaenium cajenense Benedict
(syns Antrophyum brasilianum C.Chr., Antrophyum cayennense Spreng., Hemionitis cajenensis Desv., Polytaenium brasilianum Benedict)

The dorsiventral rhizome and the dense mat of roots of this epiphytic fern found growing on the "super-nettle" Cordia nodosa Lam. (fam. Boraginaceae) in Peru provide pseudo-domatia [i.e. external domatia] for the Azteca ants that colonise the myrmecodomatia provided by the host Cordia tree (León & Young 2010). Accordingly, if either the host tree or the fern epiphyte in their natural habitat is handled, the bites and/or stings of the ants associated these myrmecophytes may elicit a pseudophytodermatitis (Schmidt 1985).



Pteris cretica L.
(syn. Pycnodoria cretica Small)
Cretan Brake Fern, Ribbon Fern, Table Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Pteris dispar Kunze
(syn. Pteris taiwaniana Masam. & Suzuki)
Disparate Brake

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Pteris multifida Poir.
(syns Pteris serrulata L.f., Pycnodoria multifida Small)
Huguenot Fern, Spider Brake, Spider Fern, Wall Brake

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Pteris quadriaurita Retz
(syn. Pteris quadrialata Willd.)
Silver Lace Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Pteris semipinnata L.
(syns Pteris alata Poir., Pteris dimidiata Willd.)
Half Leaf Fern, Semi-Pinnated Brake Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Pteris vittata L. ssp vittata
(syns Pteris costata Bory ex Willd., Pteris diversifolia Sw., Pteris ensifolia Poir., etc.)
Brake Fern, Chinese Brake Fern, Chinese Ladder Fern, Fougère à Feuilles Longues

[Information available but not yet included in database]



FERNS – SALVINIACEAE

(Floating Fern, Kariba Weed, Water Fern, or Watermoss family)

 



Azolla pinnata R.Br.
Feathered Mosquito Fern, Ferny Azolla

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Azolla pinnata R.Br. ssp asiatica R.M.K.Saunders & K.Fowler
(syns Azolla imbricata Nakai, Salvinia imbricata Roxb.)
Feathered Waterfern, Ferny Azolla, Imbricate Mosquito Fern, Mosquito Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Azolla rubra R.Br.
(syn. Azolla filiculoides Lam. var rubra Strasb.)
Pacific Azolla, Red Azolla, Water Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Salvinia auriculata Aubl.
(syns Salvinia radula Baker, Salvinia rotundifolia Willd.)
African Payal, Butterfly Fern, Eared Watermoss, Giant Salvinia

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Salvinia × molesta D.S.Mitch. (pro sp.)
(syns Salvinia adnata Desv., Salvinia auriculata auct. non Aubl., misapplied name)
African Payal, Giant Salvinia, Kariba Weed

[Information available but not yet included in database]



LYCOPHYTES – SELAGINELLACEAE

(Spike-Moss family)

 



Selaginella biformis A.Braun ex Kuhn
(syn. Selaginella flagellifera W.Bull)
Dimorphic Spikemoss

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Selaginella involvens Spring
(syns Lycopodium involvens Sw., Selaginella caulescens Spring)
Involute Spikemoss, Medicinal Spikemoss, Tree Spikemoss

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Selaginella lepidophylla Spring
(syns Lycopodium lepidophyllum Hook. & Grev., Lycopodioides lepidophylla Kuntze)
Dinosaur Plant, False Rose of Jericho, Flower of Stone, Resurrection Moss, Resurrection Plant, Rose of Jericho

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Selaginella pallescens Spring
(syns Lycopodium cuspidatum Link, Lycopodium pallescens C.Presl, Selaginella cuspidata Link, Selaginella emmeliana Van Geert)
Moss Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Selaginella pulvinata Maxim.
(syns Lycopodium pulvinatum Hook. & Grev., Lycopodioides pulvinata H.S.Kung)
Moss Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Selaginella serpens Spring
(syns Lycopodium serpens Desv., Lycopodioides serpens Kuntze)
Serpent Moss

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Selaginella tamariscina Spring
(syns Lycopodium tamariscinum Desr. ex Poir., Lycopodioides tamariscina H.S.Kung, Stachygynandrum tamariscinum P.Beauv.)
Little Club Moss, Resurrection Fern, White Tip Spikemoss

[Information available but not yet included in database]



FERNS – TECTARIACEAE

(Halberd Fern family)

 



Tectaria coadunata C.Chr.
(syns Sagenia coadunata J.Sm., Sagenia macrodonta Fée, Tectaria apiifolia Copel., Tectaria christii Copel., Tectaria macrodonta C.Chr., etc.)
Halberd Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



FERNS – THELYPTERIDACEAE

(Marsh Fern family)

 



Pneumatopteris pennigera Holttum
(syns Cyclosorus pennigerus Ching, Dryopteris pennigera C.Chr., Polypodium pennigerum G.Forst., Polystichum pennigerum Gaudich., Thelypteris pennigera Allan, etc.)
Feather Fern, Gully Fern, Lime Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Thelypteris Schmidel

Whilst some authorities would place the genus Thelypteris Schmidel in the Aspleniaceae (see Christenhusz & Chase 2014), the Pteridophyte Phylogeny Group (PPG I 2016) concluded that it should be placed in the Thelypteridaceae.



Thelypteris erubescens Ching
(syns Cyclosorus erubescens C.M.Kuo, Glaphyropteridopsis erubescens Ching, Polypodium erubescens Wall. ex Hook., etc.)

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Thelypteris interrupta K.Iwats.
(syns Cyclosorus interruptus H.Itô, Dryopteris interrupta Ching, Pteris interrupta Willd., etc.)
Bog Fern, Hottentot Fern, March Fern, Neke Fern, Swamp Shield-Fern, Willdenow's Maiden Fern

[Information available but not yet included in database]



Thelypteris prolifera C.F.Reed
(syns Ampelopteris prolifera Copel., Cyclosorus prolifer Tardieu, Dryopteris prolifera C.Chr., Hemionitis prolifera Retz.)

[Information available but not yet included in database]


References

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Richard J. Schmidt

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