Pneumatopteris truncata

Primary tabs

Pneumatopteris truncata


Asia-Tropical: Lesser Sunda Is. present; Philippines (Philippines present), Ceylon present, N.E. India present, S. China present, S. India present, western Malesia present
Ceylon&S. India; N.E. India to S. China; Western Malesia, Lesser Sunda Islands and Philippines.


The epithet truncatum, as used by 19th Century authors, was based on Polystichum truncatum Gaud. Christensen cited Polypodium truncatum Poir. as basionym in Ind. Fil. (1905), wrongly placing Gaudichaud's name as a synonym. Ching was the first to see and des- cribe Poiret's type, and accepted its origin as Brazil, but there is no species at all like it in S. America, and the specimen closely matches those from Ceylon and Malaya. A plant examined by Manton in Ceylon was tetraploid. Smaller plants in N. India are diploid and differ in pinna-lobes and larger glands on sporangia (see Holttum 1973); plants from G. Mulu, Sarawak, lacking glands on sporangia, are diploid (T. G. Walker).
The type of Aspidium abortivum Bl. was a lowland plant and agrees well with specimens from Malaya. The type of A. abruptum Bl. was a mountain plant, differing in entire pinna-lobes, but among other specimens from Java there is much variation in the shape of pinna-lobes and it does not seem possible to divide the specimens on this character. Existing specimens do not show any possible distinctions in characters of the reduced basal pinnae, or of lower normal pinnae. As with several other species of this family from Java, good new specimens are needed.
The type of P. christelloides at Kew lacks the basal pinnae, but these are present on the BM isotype and show that my description of 1973 was inaccurate. The type differs chiefly from typical P. truncata in the unusual abundance of short hairs between the veins of both surfaces (but not on all pinnae), also on indusia. Another plant from Mt Kinabalu, cultivated at Kew, is identical. The pubescence is very like that of Christella.
Allied species have been described from China, and need to be critically compared with Malesian specimens.


Copel., Fern Fl. Philip. 1960: 367
Ching - in Bull. Fan Mem. Inst. Biol. Bot. 1938: 216
C. Chr. & Tard. - in Fl. Gen. I.-C. 1941: f. 45
Backer & Posth., Varenfl. Java. 1939: 54
v.A.v.R., Handb. 1908: 227
Holttum - in Rev. Fl. Mal. 1955: f. 152
v.A.v.R., Handb. 1908: 217