Cheilanthes tomentosa Link

Wooly lip fern

Etymology Tomentosa means densely wooly.
Description Rhizome: short-creeping, scales brown, sometimes with a black center, linear.
Frond: 45 cm high by 8 cm wide, deciduous, monomorphic, blade/stipe ratio: 1:2 to 1:1.
Stipe: dark brown, rounded above, the color extending into the rachis and costae, tan hairs and linear scales, vascular bundles: 1.
Blade: 2-pinnate-pinnatifid at the base; most books describe it as more divided, but no available illustrations support it, oblong-lanceolate, noncircinate vernation, wooly, densely hairy below, a mat of white, gray or brown hairs, and white, curly hairs above.
Pinnae: 15 to 20 pair, usually equilateral; costae brown at base, becoming green, scales below inconspicuous; segments oblong, convex; margins inrolled; veins free, obscure.
Sori: linear continuous around segment margins, submarginal, indusium: false, sporangia: black, maturity: summer to fall.
Culture Habitat: rocky slopes and ledges. Distribution: northern Mexico across southern United States to West Virginia. Hardy to -20C, USDA Zone 6.
Distinctive Characteristics Closest to C. gracillima, but more divided and hairier on the upper blade surface.
Synonyms
Myriopteris tomentosa (Link) J. Smith
Cheilanthes tomentosa
Cheilanthes tomentosa.  Illustration by Edgar Paulton, from How to Know the Ferns and Fern Allies, John T. Mickel, 1979 Wm. C. Brown Co.
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