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Blechnum spicant2.jpg
Blechnum spicant
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Polypodiopsida /
 Pteridopsida (disputed)
Order: Polypodiales
(unranked): Eupolypods II
Family: Blechnaceae
Newman 1844

See text

Blechnaceae is a family of from two to nine genera[1] and between 240-260 species of ferns, with a cosmopolitan distribution, in the eupolypods II clade of the order Polypodiales,[2] in the class Polypodiopsida.[3]

Most are ground dwelling, some are climbers, such as Stenochlaena. A characteristic feature of many species is that the young opening fronds are usually tinged with red.


The Blechnaceae includes the following genera. However Blechnum is probably paraphyletic, with Doodia and possibly others embedded within it.[2] So it's likely that the Blechnaceae genera will be combined into as few as two genera.[1]

  • Blechnum L. 1753 – hard ferns
  • Brainea J.Sm. 1856
  • Doodia R.Br. 1810 – rasp ferns (transferred to Blechnum[1])
  • Pteridoblechnum Hennipman 1966
  • Sadleria Kaulf. 1824
  • Salpichlaena J.Sm. 1841
  • Steenisioblechnum Hennipman 1985
  • Stenochlaena J.Sm. 1841
  • Woodwardia Sm. 1793 – hard ferns
(=) Lorinseria C.Presl 1851

Phylogenic relationships[edit]

The following phylogram shows a likely relationship among Blechnaceae and the other families within eupolypods II, based on Lehtonen, 2011,[4] and Rothfels & al., 2012.[2]

eupolypods II












  1. ^ a b c Maarten J. M. Christenhusz; Xian-Chun Zhang & Harald Schneider (2011). "A linear sequence of extant families and genera of lycophytes and ferns" (PDF). Phytotaxa. 19: 7–54. 
  2. ^ a b c Carl J. Rothfels; Anders Larsson; Li-Yaung Kuo; Petra Korall; Wen- Liang Chiou; Kathleen M. Pryer (2012). "Overcoming Deep Roots, Fast Rates, and Short Internodes to Resolve the Ancient Rapid Radiation of Eupolypod II Ferns". Systematic Biology. 61 (1): 490–509. doi:10.1093/sysbio/sys001. PMID 22223449. 
  3. ^ Alan R. Smith; Kathleen M. Pryer; Eric Schuettpelz; Petra Korall; Harald Schneider & Paul G. Wolf (2006). "A classification for extant ferns" (PDF). Taxon. 55 (3): 705–731. doi:10.2307/25065646. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-02-26. 
  4. ^ Samuli Lehtonen (2011). Steinke, Dirk, ed. "Towards Resolving the Complete Fern Tree of Life" (PDF). PLoS ONE. 6 (10): e24851. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0024851. PMC 3192703Freely accessible. PMID 22022365.