(Maidenhair fern Family)

Astrolepis cochisensis D. M. Benham & Windham


(Fertile diploid or apogamous triploid)
Two subspecies of this fern appear in southern New Mexico. Microscopic observation is required to distinguish them. Subspecies chihuahuensis (fertile diploid) has 64 spores per sporangium and small spores, while subspecies cochisensis has 32 spores per sporangium and larger spores. A. cochisensis has noticeably smaller pinnae than the other three species of Astrolepis in New Mexico. In A. cochisensis the scales on the adaxial surface are peltate, whereas the adaxial scales are basifixed in the other three species .

Frond upper surface

Victorio Canyon, Florida Mountains, Luna County     15 September 2006