Etymology: Greek kheilos - lip, anthos - flower; referring to the lip-like flap covering the sori.
Rhizomes mostly short-creeping, dark brown and scaly. Sterile and fertile fronds similar or occasionally slightly different. Fronds in tufts, scaly or hairy, 2-several times divided. Stalk shiny, brown. Sori along the margin; indusium formed from the reflexed segment margin
Some species are considered poisonous to stock. A number of species formerly placed in the genus Notholaena (e.g. C. sinuata) are now included in Cheilanthes, the genus Notholaena being reduced to 39 species that occur naturally from North America to Chile.
c. 160 species mostly from dry or rocky areas of the tropics and subtropics (15 species in Australia).
Spores or occasionally by division.
Reflexed marginal indusial flaps and the scaly and/or hairy delicate fronds generally have a characteristic appearance.
Fuchs (1961), Quirk, Chambers & Regan (1983), Anthony (1984), Chambers & Farrant (1991).
Source: (1995). Adiantaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 1, Ferns, conifers & their allies. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.