Order Schizaeales > Family Schizaeaceae.
The genus Schizaea has 28 to 30 species with 5 found in Australia –
Schizaea bifida, S. dichotoma, S. fistulosa, S.malaccana and S. rupestris.
Short, creeping rhizomes have shiny brown hairs.
Clustered fronds are up to 55 cm long with the stalk merging imperceptibly with the midrib.
Frond stalks are up to 5 mm wide and round or slightly flattened in cross section.
Some species have a groove on one side.
Fronds can be unbranched or branched up to 5 or 6 times.
The first fork can be above or below the middle of the frond.
(Schizaea bifida, common in eastern Australia, branches multiple times forming dozens of terminal branches.)
The frond blade can be a tiny wing or not obvious.
Fertile fronds are sometimes longer than the sterile ones.
They can be simple or divided into a comb-like end.
The spore bearing areas, 10 to 30 mm or more long, are on the tip of the fertile frond or its branches.
The sporangia are on either side of the midrib/s.
Developing sporangia may be protected by the edges of the branches folding over them or by hairs.