Cryptogramma stelleri (S. G. Gmelin) Prantl

Slender rock-brake,Slender cliff-brake,Steller's rock-brake,Fragile rock-brake

Etymology Stelleri is named after the 18th Century naturalist George Wilhelm Steller, who accompanied the Bering expedition of 1741 and lent his name to several northwestern species.
Description Rhizome: long-creeping, seldom branching, succulent, brittle, scales colorless, sparse, transparent, netted, ovate.
Frond: 18 cm high by 5 cm wide, deciduous, dying by late summer, dimorphic, the sterile fronds shorter than the fertile ones, blade/stipe ratio: 1:3 to 1:1.
Stipe: brown at base, then green, glabrous, vascular bundles: 2.
Blade: 2-pinnate fertile fronds, the sterile less, lanceolate, herbaceous, bright green, thin-textured, glabrous.
Pinnae: 4 pair, lanceolate, 1-2 cm, the fertile ones contracted; margins entire, inrolled on fertile segments; veins free, forked.
Sori: elongate, submarginal, indusium: false, strongly enrolled, sporangia: yellow, maturity: midsummer.
Culture Habitat: moist, shaded, calcareous rocks and cliffs at higher altitudes or latitudes. Distribution: Siberia to China, Japan, Himalaya, Taiwan, Europe, northeastern and northwestern North America, disjunct at several locations in the Rocky Mountains. Hardy to -40C, USDA Zone 2, requires a cool summer.
Distinctive Characteristics Ephemeral, dying back in summer, fragility, and the long-creeping stem contrasts with other Cryptogramma.
Pteris stelleri S. G. Gmelin
Cryptogramma stelleri
Cryptogramma stelleri.  Illustration by Edgar Paulton, from How to Know the Ferns and Fern Allies, John T. Mickel, 1979 Wm. C. Brown Co.
Cryptogramma stelleri
Cryptogramma stelleri. a) sterile, left and fertile, right fronds; b) fertile pinnule.  Illustration by V. Fulford from Ferns and Fern Allies of Canada, William J. Cody and Donald M. Britton, 1989, © Agriculture Canada.
Cryptogramma stelleri
Cryptogramma stelleri. Two oblong vascular bundles at a 90 angle throughout the length of the stipe.  Drawing from Ferns of Northeastern United States, Farida A. Wiley, 1936.
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