Australasia:, Tasmania (Tasmania present) Chile: present N. America: present New Zealand: present Pantropic: present S. Africa: present temperate regions of the southern hemisphere: present
Pantropic, comprising c. 30 spp., widely distributed also in temperate regions of the southern hemisphere (S. Africa, Chile, New Zealand, Tasmania) but only in N. America in the northern hemisphere.
Prantl referred to the whole fertile apex of a frond of Schizaea (or of a branch of S. dichotoma) as a sorophore; he called the lateral appendages laciniae. But it seems probable that each lacinia is homologous with a sorophore of Lygodium, and the term sorophore is therefore here used for what Prantl called a lacinia. Photosynthetic tissue in Schizaea is reduced to the wings on each side of the axis of a simple frond, or of the branches of S. dichotoma. The regular row of stomata associated with this photosynthetic tissue (a double row in S. inopinata) corresponds to a similar less regular row along each side of the stipe and rachis of many ferns. In Lygodium, there are irregularly scattered stomata on both sides of the narrow rachis-wings.