Extremely large terrestrial long-lived rhizomatous or tuberous ferns. Fronds large, mostly compound and sometimes several metres long. Blade undivided to 4-times divided. Segments mostly thick, attached to the main axis by swollen joints (pulvini) and flanked by a pair of small leafy outgrowths. Sporangia along veins, free or fused into clusters (synangia) which open by a lengthwise slit.
A family that is believed to exhibit many primitive fern characters and to represent an ancient fern group. Angiopteris is sometimes placed in its own family Angiopteridaceae.
4 genera, c. 300 species of wet tropical and subtropical forests (2 genera with 3 species Australia).
Large ferns with special swollen articulations (pulvini) where branches and segments join; sporangia free, or in fused clusters that open by a lengthwise slit.
Source: (1995). Marattiaceae. 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.