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Vittaria species- Taplejung, Nepal

 
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SK524 14 MAY-2017:ID : 7 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (3)
Location: Taplejung, Nepal
Date: 18 April 2017
Altitude: 6000 ft. 

What can it be? 
Haplopteris elongata (Sw.) E. H. Crane (accepted name)
Vittaria elongata Sw. (synonym)
Nepali Name : दालुको Daaluko  

Haplopteris is a molecular-cladonomic genus, which, as always, remains your free scientific choice whether to use or not.  Again no such thing as "accepted name", despite how nice and "official" it sounds.  Some workers accept that genus, others do not - the latter including myself, though there have been attempts by some reviewers to force me to use Haplopteris. 
I reject it because 1. paraphyly is totally irrelevant to taxonomic classification (and even to molecular-cladonomic schemes).  2. Genetic divergence does not mean morpho-taxonomic divergence and in this case I do not accept that enough morphological divergence has occurred - nor are the vittarioid microgenera discrete in either characters or geography. 3. Vittaria and Haplopteris etc. did indeed have a common origin - it is not merely synapomorphy/convergence - the great guessed excuse when cladonomy doesn't work well - which is quite a lot of the time, including in PPG I.
About the identification (rather than "validation"), Vittaria elongata (syn.: Haplopteris elongata) is a low-altitude subtropical species of the outer edge of the Himalaya and as one can see from The Ferns and Allies of Nepal, vol. 1: 378-379, is not known to reach as far west as Nepal (and could not be up in Taplejung District if it did turn up in the lowalnds there one day).  Reports (like this one) are always the common error for other species, especially V. flexuosa - it is guessed at like this because it is elongated - like all Vittaria!  Same problem with the wide over-reporting of Aleuritopteris albomarginata, a higher-Himalayan species from low altitude areas in C. India and places like the West Bengal plains and southern low hills, in error for A. bicolor - yes they are all white beneath!
But one has to look at the actual characters of distinction after reading what they are.  In V. flexuosa the soral line is an an outward-facing groove at the very margin and the frond has almost no trace of a midrib; in V. flexuosa, the sori face down and have both an outer-lip (from the laminar margin) and a raised inner lip running along them, and the frond has a definite raised midrib.
Unfortunately in these photos the collector did not realise one absolutely has to show the sori in this genus, so they are unidentifiable as the photo shows only the top surface. I would guess it may be V. flexuosa or V. mediosora (syn.: V. linearifolia), but until we see the sori, nobody can say which.
Thank you for your concern about the identification ! I would like ti clarify the following :
1. I am not a botanist neither expert on plants but just a enthusiast persuing my hobby .
2. I refer books and web pages and try to identify plants as far as possible.
3. It is very diffucult to validate the correct ID of the plants as different web indicating different Accepted Name. However, I follow the Catalogue of Life.
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