This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol1", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Small rock-loving ferns, mainly of arid or semi-arid regions, the blades of various shape, 1-4-pinnate, the under surfaces hairy, densely tomentose or scaly, or in some species covered with a white or yellow waxy powder. Sori roundish or oblong, borne near the margin upon the free veins, at or near their extremities, soon more or less confluent laterally in a broad or narrow marginal band. Indusia wanting, the revolute margins at first covering the sporanges in some species, the sporanges often partially concealed otherwise by the hairy, scaly or waxy covering of the under surface. [Greek, meaning spurious cloak, no proper indusium being formed.]
About 50 species of wide distribution. Besides the following numerous other species occur in the southwestern United States and Mexico. Type species: Acrostichum Marantae L.
Cheilanthes dealbata Pursh, Fl. Am. Sept. 671.
1814. Notholaena dealbata Kunze, Amer. Journ. Sci.
(II.) 6: 82. 1848. Notholaena nivea var. dealbata Davenp. Cat.
Rootstock short, chaffy with slender brown scales. Stipes closely tufted, wiry, very slender, shining, dark brown, 1'-4' long; leaves triangular-ovate, acute, broadest at the base, l'-4' long, 3-4-pinnate, the rachis dark brown or blackish and wiry; pinnae ovate or deltoid-ovate, mostly with long slender stalks, the pinnules also mostly stalked; segments ovate-oblong, or somewhat elliptical by contraction, small, white and powdery on the lower surface.
On dry calcareous rocks, Missouri and Nebraska to Texas and Arizona. June-Sept.