Aleuritopteris bicolor (Roxb.) Fraser-Jenk., Fern Gaz. 18(5): 223 223 . (Syn: Pteris bicolor Roxb.);



Is it Silver fern ? – Flora of Madhya Pradesh: These dried ferns were photographed in Jungle at Betul, MP. They were growing on rocky hill slope and covering a large area.
Looked like silver fern or tattoo fern.
Will b thankful for a botanical name.

Yes … This does look like Silver fern, may be Cheilanthes argentea!

dont know about the fern id… but may i suggest you check your color balance and light source in
your digital camera’s settings???
… set for vibrant colors, … and cloudy white balance.. then pictures would not look so faded… or have this white caste overall, hope this helps… and your pictures can be prize winning…

Yes even to me look like Silver fern

Yes it is.

Yes, this is one of the dozen species of “Silver Fern” that occur in India. There are far fewer species present in Madhya Pradesh, of which Aleuritopteris bicolor and Aleuritopteris anceps are the wider spread ones. This is A. bicolor, which is the commonest and most widespread species in India, also having a surprisingly wide altitude range in the Himalaya. You can see the typically long, mostly scaleless stipe and, though curled up, the lowest pinna is long – so when in growing state during the monsoon the lamina is markedly deltate [“deltoid” is a three dimensional triangle, not 2-D] – and as the lowest basiscopic pinnule of the frond is also very long, the lamina is deltate-pentagonal.
It is a nice photo to see in its dry state, like many cheilanthoid ferns, and in such a fine dense stand of it – now what is the chance of revisiting that very same stand now, during monsoon time and photographing it again from the same exact spot? The two photos together would be spectacular and would show its “resurrecting” properties – from which, incidentally, it has occasionally been suggested that it could represent the fabulous Sanjeevani (though Selaginella bryopteris etc. are more commonly thought to be the same).
In India A. bicolor was often misnamed as A. farinosa – an Afro-Arabaian species not present in Asia. I think this is more likely to have been what … must have been thinking of, because A. argentea is a Chinese and N.E. Asian species, which was not known from India apart from a single collection of Hooker’s from the Khasi Hills, which was very probably mislabelled in error for a specimen from later in his journey, up in north Sikkim (as it occurs here and there over the northern border in Tibet). I was very surprised to discover it in the high dry area of N.W. Bhutan a couple of years ago – near Thimphu, where it had long been overlooked and was effectively unknown in the Indo-Himalaya before, at C. 2700 metres – in our region it is a Sino-Tibetan species, which could definitely not occur in C. India, but is common in N. China in cold dry areas, such as around Beijing. So no, definitely not A. argentea – one cannot simply translate the English name (for the whole group, plus Pityrogramma) into Latin and guess it to be A. argentea. One can see distributions of Silver Fern species (not quite complete – I forgot a couple areas for a couple of species) in my paper on them in the Fern Gaz. (2010), and other details in my book revising Indian Pteridophytes “Taxonomic Revision of Three Hundred Indian Subcontinental Pteridophytes with a Revised India Census List” (2008) Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh, Dehra Dun,which I hope may help disseminate generally accurate information.

Although … has explained the details about Cheilanthes (Aleuriopteris) bicolor, he has not given the reasons for the name change. In India this fern was known as Cheilanthes farinosa.
It was Manton, Roy & Jarrett (1966) who pointed out that the name for the indian plants which were diploids need to be changed, since the name C farinosa was for the triploid from Yemen. Incindently there is a
tetraploid also. Manton et al did not propose any new name for the diploid. After that a lot many people suggested various names for the Indian taxon. … desreves the credit for locating a specimen of Pteris bicolor (specimen in Brussels) collected by Roxburg (from Kumaun Himalaya) and this was the Hiolotype rather than C
of Wallich. (Details given in ‘AN Illustrated Fern Flora of the West Himalaya By S P Khullar, Vol 1. Published by MS International Book Distributors, Dehra Dun (1994). It was in this flora that the
name Cheilanthes bicolor (Roxberg) Fraser-Jenkins was used following Fraser-Jenkins (1992).
I feel when a name change is suggested reasons for the change of name should be given

Yes, … has adequately outlined the reasons, which I had explained to him when we worked together on his West Himalayan book. I should have mentioned his book, which remains probably the most useful account in existence of a large chunk of Indian ferns. But I did not detail the history again as it has been explained many times since – as with many other revised names from a decade and more ago – and it is no longer what I would think of as a “name change” now, because it appears to be rather well established. Were there a further change recently that was not so well known it would be important to explain it again, but this one doesn’t seem to have any problens attached to it as far as I know.
I think just to help people recognise the species I should just point out that in the “Illustrated fern Flora of the West Himalaya” account, plates 69 and 72, while the important stipe-base scales are correct, the lamina labelled C. dalhousiae (plate 72) is a very typical A. bicolor, with its characteristic deltate-pentagonal frond and abruptly longest lowest basiscopic pinnule of the lowest pinna. But the lamina on plate 69 labelled as C. bicolor is not A. bicolor, but matches A. leptolepis, with shorter lowest pinnules and a more elongated-triangular lamina. So collections of what is thought to be probably A. bicolor need to be matched with the lamina of Plate 72 (“dalhousiae”), not plate 69.
The choice of Aleuritopteris or Cheilanthes remains an arbitrary decision, depending on several different factors, and will doubtless differ from one account to another. Such decisions are naturally always going to be hard or impossible to standardise!

Here is a picture of Silver fern photographed yesterday in Bandhavgarh National Park;



Rajgad, Sep 2014 :: Requesting ID of this fern :: ARKSEP-17 : 11 posts by 5 authors. Attachments (3).  
Requesting to please ID this fern captured at Rajgad near Pune in Sep 2014. It reminded me of the ornamental ferns sold in Matheran and Mahabaleshwar.

Pityrogramma calomelanos

I think this is Pityrogramma calomelanos (L.) Link, an adventive species from South America.

I’m sorry not to be able to agree the Widodo guess again, but Pityrogramma is the wrong genus. This is Aleuritopteris (or if you must prefer, “Cheilanthes“) bicolor (Roxb.) Fraser-Jenk., native to India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand and (just) S. China. There are many white-farinose species of cheilanthoids in India, of which this is the commonest and most widespread one.
In the past all Aleuritopteris species tended to be called “Cheilanthes farinosa“, but A. farinosa does not occur in India and is an Afro-Arabian species related more to the Indian and S.E. Asian A. anceps than to A. bicolor.
Aleuritopteris has a marginal turned-down pseudo-indusium enclosing the sorus, while the adventive (in India) genus Pityrogramma has the sorus extending down over the lower surface and without a pseudo-indusium.
We must get these simple cases right and know them confidently before guessing!

Thanks … for the follow up on this post. Thanks … for the feedback.

I think I will go with the ID suggested by … and take it as Aleuritopteris bicolor


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *