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Aspleniaceae Newman 1840
the spleenwort family
Asplenium, the name of the only genus in this family, is from the Greek ασπληνος (asplenos), literally, ‘without spleen’, the spleenwort, allegedly a curative of spleen problems. This is a huge, extremely diverse genus of ferns which has so far defied attempts to subdivide it. These plants are popular with plant evolutionists, field naturalists and fern gardeners, not only because of the interesting morphology of the plants, but also because of their remarkable ability to form spectacular hybrids, often combining dramatically different leaf shapes.
Asplenium australasicum - Bird's Nest Fern
Illustration via Wikimedia commons
Page lat updated 20th September 2014