Terrestrial ferns of moderate to large size. Rhizome an erect, ascending or decumbent caudex, rarely long-creeping, radially symmetric, dictyostelic, bearing broad thin scales with few marginal unicellular, acicular hairs, rarely superficial hairs, in some species also septate hairs bearing mucilage cells. Fronds long-stipitate, the stipe with 2 vascular bundles at the base uniting upward into a single U-shaped vascular strand, lamina pinnate with pinnately deeply lobed pinnae, margins of lobes often toothed at the ends of the veins, basal pinnae mostly abruptly or gradually reduced, the lowest often minute, rarely not or little-reduced, the apex of frond rarely pinna-like, swollen aerophores present at bases of lower pinnae, midribs of pinnae grooved above, but the grooves not confluent with rachis groove, abaxial surface never densely hairy, short acicular or capitate hairs may be present, minute colourless glands in a few species, surface almost always pustular when dry, conspicuous, sessile, spherical glands, never present, the veins in a pinnate group in each pinna-lobe, mostly at least the basal pairs anastomosing to form an excurrent vein terminating in the sinus membrane, the remainder free, simple, terminating in the margin, or in a few deeply lobed species all veins free. Sori round, mostly indusiate, less often exindusiate, the indusium rather thin, glabrous or short-hairy, +/- medial on the veins (not excurrent veins); sporangia on a 2-seriate stalk bearing a septate, swollen-tipped hair, body of sporangia often with short capitate hairs or rarely aciular hairs borne either side of the annulus, the annulus longitudinal, interrupted. Spores monolete, mostly pale brown, with many small wings, appearing sinulose, in a few species a +/- continuous longitudinal wing with cross-wings.
Key modified ex Holttum 1981, F1. Males. ser. 2, 1:414 and 1977, Allertonia 1:227.