H. Christ, Bull. Herb. Boissier, sér. 2, 6:168.1906
Hemiepiphytic, closely appressed climber growing2-4 m high on tree trunks; rhizome of terrestrial juvenile plantsslender, long-creeping, densely scaly, the scales thick,linear-lanceolate, narrowly acute at apex, dark reddishbrown,4-8 mm long, not closely imbricated, the surface of the rhizomefrequently exposed; rhizome of adult plant stout, 1-3 cm diam,always hemiepiphytic and closely appressed, very densely scaly, thescales ± linear, longtapered, mostly 1-2 cm long, lightreddish-brown, closely imbricated (the rhizome surface notvisible). Juvenile leaves much like the adults but usually only 1-pinnate-pinnatifidto 2-pinnate; adult leaves much larger, to ca 1.5 m long, 2-pinnateto 2-pinnate-pinnatifid,± triangular; petioles about as long as rachis, scaly atbase, usually moderately to densely short-pubescent anddeeply channeled on upper surface, both channeling andpubescence continuing onto rachis and pinnular rachis, thepubescence of canaliculate part of pinnular rachis and midrib orthe leaflets often reddish-brown; pinnae narrowly triangular,the longest pair usually second from base, to 56 cm long, graduallytapered to a slender crenulate apex; leaflets glabrate onupper surface, glabrate below except on midrib or denselyshort-pilose throughout, ± oblong, rounded to acuminateand crenulate at apex, inequilateral at base, to 12 cm long,becoming confluent toward apex of pinnae, the upper margin ofleaflets more prominently toothed or lobed. Fertile leaves smaller,entirely fertile; blades triangular, to 1.2 m long, borne abovesterile leaves, 2-pinnate; pinnae triangular at base of leaf, muchreduced, linear and simple near apex; leaflets linear, to ca10 cm long near base of pinnae, ca 2-3 mm wide,glabrous above except for canaliculate midrib. Sori in a broad bandalong margins of leaflets at maturity appearing to cover entiresurface of leaflet. Croat 10804.
Common in the forest along Shannon Trail and elsewhere,usually in deep ravines. Plants are usually fertile only during theearly rainy season (June and July).
This species has been separated from P.caudata Kunze on the grounds of its more dense pubescence.Pubescence is extremely variable, however, even within populations,and further characters are needed to separate the two species.
Belize to Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, and the Guianas;Trinidad. In Panama, known from tropical moist forest in theCanal Zone and Veraguas, from premontane wet forest in Colónand Panama, and from tropical wet forest in Chiriqui andPanama.
See Figs. 28 and 29.