Description of the family

Epiphytic or lithophytic ferns. Rhizome short and radially symmetric or short- or long-creeping, laterally branched or not. Stipes not articulated, short or long, terete, often narrowly winged. Fronds monomorphic, simple, pinnate or 2-pinnatifid, with entire lobes. Veins free, simple or forked or rarely anastomosing, often ending in a hydathode near the margin. Sori circular to elliptic, without an indusium.

Comment: The genera Cochlidium, Grammitis, Lellingeria and Melpomene included in the family of the Grammitidaceae have recently been included in the family of the Polypodiaceae.





  • Burrows, J.E.1990Southern African Ferns and Fern Allies. Frandsen, Sandton.
  • Roux, J.P.2001Conspectus of Southern African Pteridophyta. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report, 13: 1-222.
  • Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E.1970Pteridophyta. Flora Zambesiaca, 0: 1-254.