Greek polys - many; stickhos - row; referring to the regular arrangement of the sori.
Terrestrial ferns. Rhizome thick, woody, more or less erect with few branches, covered with scales. Sterile and fertile fronds similar. Fronds in tufts, secondary axes with grooves above but these hardly continuous with that of the main axis and hairless or scaly. Blades mostly divided 1-2 times, ovate to lanceolate in outline, leathery, sometimes bearing plantlets. Ultimate segments toothed and spiny; veins free. Sori round, mostly towards the tip of the frond, terminal on veins, between midvein and margin. Indusia rounded, stalked or absent.
Several species produce bulbils on the upper surface of the frond midrib.
Propagation: Spores, division or bulbils.
Recognition: Tufted ferns; slit-like groove of main axis hairless or scaly, not or hardly continuous with that of side branches; indusia centrally attached and round; veins free; segments often with stiff, bristly teeth.
Literature: Goy (1938), Tagawa (1940), Elliot (1956), Daigobo (1972).
c. 150 species worldwide but mostly Northern Temperate (4 species in Australia).
Created by: Val Stajsic
Updated by: Val Stajsic, May 2018