5: 413. 1793.

Common names: Shoestring fern
Etymology: Latin vitt(a), fillet, ribbon, stripe
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 2.

Stems densely scaly. Leaves pendent, linear. Veins anastamosing in single row of areolae on each side of midrib. Sori in single submarginal groove on each side of midrib. Gametophytes 0.5–2 × 0.5–1 cm; gemmae uniseriate, 2–5 mm, borne at apices of aerial branches; body cells 2–16; rhizoid primordia cells 0–4.


Worldwide in tropics and subtropics.


Species ca. 50 (3 in the flora).

Selected References



1 Stem scales tapering to long filiform tips; soral paraphyses without dilated terminal cells; spores monolete. Vittaria lineata
1 Gemmae variable in length; body cells 2-16, rhizoid primordia present or absent. > 2
2 Gemmae with 4-16 body cells, end cells equal to or smaller than medial cells; rhizoid primordia on some medial cells and regularly on end cells; sporophytes frequently produced. Vittaria lineata
2 Gemmae with 2-12 body cells but at least some 2-3-celled gemmae present, end cells often swollen and larger than medial cells; rhizoid primordia often absent on 1 or both end cells, seldom present on medial cells; sporophytes not produced. Vittaria appalachiana