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Notholaena aureolina Yatsk. & ArbelŠez 2008

Common Yellow Cloakfern

Carl Rothfels
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Containing group: Notholaena aureolina clade


Notholaena aureolina is found in generally disturbed sites, such as earthen roadsides or riverbanks, in southern Mexico and northern Central America. Long known as Cheilanthes aurea, it has only recently been shown to be embedded within Notholaena (Rothfels et al., 2008) and given a name there (Yatskievych and Arbeláez, 2008). It differs from members of core Notholaena mostly in the presence of a well-developed lip-like false indusium (very similar to that seen on many Cheilanthes species). However, like most members of the notholaenids (and unlike members of Cheilanthes), it has farina on its gametophytes as well as its sporophytes (Rothfels et al., 2008). Limited cytogenetic work to date indicates that this species is a sexual diploid (Windham and Yatskievych, 2003).


With its bright yellow farina, dissected leaves, and well-developed false indusia, N. aureolina is unlikely to be confused with any species other than its close relative, N. jaliscana. From N. jaliscana, N. aureolina differs by: shorter and less dense leaf hairs; narrower false indusia; thinner leaf stalks; dense (vs. sparse) farina beneath; triangular-to-pentagonal (vs. lanceolate) leaves; fewer pinnae pairs; and smooth margins on the false indusia (vs. frayed or fibrous margins in N. jaliscana). The geographic ranges of the two species differ, also; N. aureolina is recorded in Mexico from Guerrero, México, Morelos, and Oaxaca, whereas the global distribution of N. jaliscana is limited to the Mexican states of Jalisco and Nayarit (Mickel and Smith, 2004).

Other Names for Notholaena aureolina Yatsk. & ArbelŠez 2008


Gastony, G. J., and D. R. Rollo. 1995. Phylogeny and generic circumscriptions of cheilanthoid ferns (Pteridaceae: Cheilanthoideae) inferred from rbcL nucleotide sequences. American Fern Journal 85:341-360.

Gastony, G. J., and D. R. Rollo. 1998. Cheilanthoid ferns (Pteridaceae: Cheilanthoideae) in the southwestern United States and adjacent Mexico--A molecular phylogenetic reassessment of generic lines. Aliso 17:131-144.

Mickel, J. T., and A. R. Smith. 2004. The Pteridophytes of Mexico. The New York Botanical Garden Press, New York.

Rothfels, C. J., M. D. Windham, A. L. Grusz, G. J. Gastony, and K. M. Pryer. 2008. Toward a monophyletic Notholaena (Pteridaceae): Resolving patterns of evolutionary convergence in xeric-adapted ferns Taxon 57:712-724.

Schuettpelz, E., H. Schneider, L. Huiet, M. D. Windham, and K. M. Pryer. 2007. A molecular phylogeny of the fern family Pteridaceae: assessing overall relationships and the affinities of previously unsampled genera. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 44:1172-1185.

Windham, M. D., L. Huiet, E. Schuettpelz, C. J. Rothfels, J. Beck, A. L. Grusz, G. Yatskievych, and K. M. Pryer. 2008. Using plastid and nuclear DNA sequences to redraw generic boundaries and demystify species complexes in cheilanthoid ferns. American Fern Journal (in review).

Windham, M. D., and G. Yatskievych. 2003. Chromosome studies of cheilanthoid ferns (Pteridaceae: Cheilanthoideae) from the western United States and Mexico. American Journal of Botany 90:1788-1800.

Yatskievych, G., and A. L. A. ArbelŠez. 2008. A new species and three generic transfers in the fern genus Notholaena (Pteridaceae). Novon 18:120-124.

Title Illustrations
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Scientific Name Notholaena aureolina
Location Mexico, Guerrero: ~28 miles s. of Alpuyeca.
Acknowledgements Specimen scanned and reproduced with permission of the University of Michigan Herbarium.
Specimen Condition Dead Specimen
Identified By C.J.Rothfels
Life Cycle Stage sporophyte
Collection Herbarium specimen
Collector Mickel 726
Image Use creative commons This media file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License - Version 3.0.
Copyright © 2008 University of Michigan Herbarium
About This Page

Carl Rothfels
Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Carl Rothfels at

Page: Tree of Life Notholaena aureolina Yatsk. & ArbelŠez 2008. Common Yellow Cloakfern. Authored by Carl Rothfels. The TEXT of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License - Version 3.0. Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own license, and they may or may not be available for reuse. Click on an image or a media link to access the media data window, which provides the relevant licensing information. For the general terms and conditions of ToL material reuse and redistribution, please see the Tree of Life Copyright Policies.

Citing this page:

Rothfels, Carl. 2008. Notholaena aureolina Yatsk. & ArbelŠez 2008. Common Yellow Cloakfern. Version 23 December 2008 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Notholaena_aureolina/133618/2008.12.23 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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