Small to medium-sized, mostly erected, +/- xerophytic, terrestrial or rupestrial ferns. Rhizome short-creeping to ascending with clustered fronds, dictyostelic, bearing narrow, entire, basally attached scales. Fronds stipitate, the strip and rachis slender, dark and polished, hairy, scaly or naked, adaxially grooved, flattened, or terete, with a single "U"-shaped vascular strand, the lamina narrow to broadly deltiod, often with the basal pinnae basiscopically enlarged, pinnate to tripinnate-pinnatifid, with multicellular hairs, or scales, or naked, sometimes abaxially farinose, the veins free and several-times forked, fronds uniform or dimorphic with the fertile fronds more contracted and elongate than the sterile. Sori submarginal, terminal on the enlarged ends of the veins, discrete, or spreading laterally and +/- confluent, rarely occupying the whole margin of the leaflet, of several, few or solitary sporanging, exindusiate but protected by the reflexed and +/- modified margin of the leaflet. Sporangia with a longitudinal, interrupted annulus of 14-24 thickened cells and a distinct, many-celled stomium. Spores globose, trilete, smooth to granulose, spiny or corrugated.
Sect. Cheilanthes: fronds +/- lanceolate to rarely deltoid, the abaxial surface sparsely hairy or naked. Sporangia usually smaller, more numerous, +/- protected by the reflexed margin of the lamina.
Sect. Aleuritopteris: fronds usually broadly deltoid, abaxial surface white or yellowish farinose. Sporangia few and large, often solitary, +/- protected by the reflexed margin of the lamina.
Sect. Notholaena: fronds +/- lanceolate, +/- densely hairy or scaly. Sporangia usually smaller, more numerous, not noticably protected by the reflexed margin of the lamina.
Species in Papuasia
|1a.||Fronds with a distinct, copious, white waxy powder beneath; stipe scaly...||
|Fronds green beneath, lacking such powder, sometimes hairy and/or scaly; stipe not scaly...||
|2a.||Lamina chartaceous, bipinnate with +/- entire, free pinnules; marging slightly recurved...||
|Lamina coriaceous, for the most part subbipinnate with adnate deeply pinnatifid pinnules...||
|3a.||Lamina narrowly elliptic, 2.5-4 cm wide...||
|Lamina deltoid, 5-10 cm wide...||
|4a.||Frond pinnate, strongly brown-hairy beneath...||
|Frond more amply divided, naked...||