Cheilanthes covillei Maxon

Coville's lip fern

Etymology Frederick Coville, a botanist with the US National Herbarium and the US Department of Agriculture.
Description Rhizome: short-creeping, scales linear, brown with dark central stripe.
Frond: 30 cm high by 5 cm wide, evergreen, monomorphic, blade/stipe ratio: 1:1 to 2:1.
Stipe: rounded above, brown to purplish, continuing into rachis and pinna base, lanceolate scales, vascular bundles: 1.
Blade: 3-pinnate, said also to be more divided, lanceolate, , noncircinate vernation, leathery or rarely somewhat herbaceous, glabrous above and below, but see costae.
Pinnae: 10 to 14 pair, opposite or subopposite; costae scales below ovate-lanceolate, deeply cordate at base, with overlapping basal lobes, conspicuous, the largest 0.4--1.5 mm wide, usually concealing ultimate segments; segments ultimate segments round to oblong, beadlike, the largest 1--3 mm; margins entire; veins free, obscure.
Sori: linear ± continuous around segment margins, submarginal, indusium: false, sporangia: brown to black or gray, maturity: late spring to fall.
Culture Habitat: rocky slopes, cliffs, and ledges, usually on igneous substrates. Distribution: North America: Baja California to the northern Sierras to Utah. Hardy to -15°C, USDA Zone 7.
Distinctive Characteristics The bead-like ultimate segments are diagnostic among the Cheilanthes on this site. However, examination of costal scales is necessary to differentiate this from some other southwestern North American members of the genus.
Myriopteris covillei (Maxon) A. Löve & D. Löve
Cheilanthes covillei
Cheilanthes covillei. The signature bead-like segments of this species.  Photo © 1998 Larry Blakely, via CalPhotos.
Cheilanthes covillei
Cheilanthes covillei. From top, left to right: fertile segment, scales removed; frond; pinnule upper surface; lower surface; laminar scale, rhizome scale.  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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