Rootstock: short, densely clothed with rusty hair-like scales. Stems: tufted, dark purple, veins obscure, commonly twice-forked. Leaves: coreacious, lanceolate in outline, simply pinnate, or two-pinnate below; rachis brown or purple.

A medium-sized fern, whose distinguishing features are a purple stem, and an undivided leaf bordered by bright brown sporangia. It is usually found growing on limestone rocks, and, unfortunately for the fern-hunter, in very inaccessible places, where the bushy tufts of its greyish-green foliage flourish in the crannies among the cliffs.