Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Alabama Lipfern - Myriopteris alabamensis   (Buckley) Grusz & Windham
Members of Pteridaceae:
Members of Myriopteris with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 2 » Family Pteridaceae
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Author(Buckley) Grusz & Windham
DistributionKnown only from two Madison County sites, first recorded in 1878, with the second discovered in 1993 and last noted in 2008 (last known survey) -- based on the NCNHP database.

This is a Southern species, ranging east only to southwestern VA and AL, and west to AZ. Also southward through Mex.
AbundanceExtremely rare in NC, currently known from a single general area south of Hot Springs. This is a Significantly Rare species. The NCNHP moved the State Rank in Fall 2022 to SH, but as the species was present at last survey (though over 10 years ago), the State Rank should remain at S1.
HabitatThis species is restricted to limestone rock crevices, where found only in dry and exposed places (as opposed to damp and/or sheltered places like some other ferns).
PhenologyFruits from June to September.
IdentificationThis rare species has a very narrowly triangular blade, which is about 6-8 inches long but only about 1.5 inches wide. The stipe is about as long as the blade, being about 6 inches long, black and rather smooth. The blade is bipinnate, with the pinnules typically unlobed. The pinnae, about 18-25 pairs, are opposite on most of the blade but upper ones can be alternate. The three species of Myriopteris, formerly Cheilanthes, have a distinctive sori arrangement, in a linear fashion on the underside of the leaves, tucked under the downward curled margins of the pinnules. Thus, in these species the pinnae and pinnules are not flat but have decurved edges. The other two extant NC species -- M. lanosa and M. tomentosa -- have quite hairy stipes and blades (especially below), and the latter is quite glaucous (pale color) as well.
Taxonomic CommentsThe species has usually been named as Cheilanthes alabamensis, until recently.

Other Common Name(s)Smooth Lipfern
State RankSH [S1]
Global RankG5
State StatusSR-P
US Status
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
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B.A. SorriePhoto taken 2019 in Jackson County, AL. MadisonPhoto_natural
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