The family shows a unique combination of vegetative and reproductive characters, and affinities to other families are remote and uncertain. Molecular data suggest that Matoniaceae, like other primitive families, diverged near the base of a phylogenetic tree of leptosporangiate ferns . The family consists of two genera, Matonia and Phanerosorus which are distinct in leaf organization and also differ in sori, sporangia, spores, and gametophytes. The leaves of Phanerosorus resemble those of young plants of Matonia .
Matoniaceae, Gefässb. Stipes Farrn: 32. 1847