Plants perennial, terrestrial or epiphytic, with corallike, rhizoid-bearing, branched, subterranean axes. Roots absent. Aerial shoots simple or dichotomously branched; appendages leaflike or bractlike, alternate to subopposite, veinless or 1-veined, less than 1 cm. Synangia globose, of 2--3 fused, homosporous eusporangia, solitary in axils of shoot appendages, dehiscing loculicidally. Spores many, reniform, not green. Gametophytes subterranean, mycotrophic, fleshy, elongate, and branched.
Plants small to medium-sized, epiphytic or on rocks. Rhizomes creeping, brown, with protostele or siphonostele, bearing rhizoids; roots absent. Stems erect or pendulous, green, unbranched or dichotomously or pinnately branched; branches ridged to sulcate or complanate. Leaves small or rudimentary, with a single vein (microphylls) or lacking veins (enations), spirally or distichously alternate, sessile or subsessile, dimorphic; trophophylls scalelike and subulate-triangular, or lanceolate to narrowly ovate; sporophylls deeply bifid. Sporangia appearing solitary at or above bases of sporophylls, large, 2- or 3-lobed (sometimes interpreted as synangia of 2 or 3 unlobed sporangia), thick-walled, lacking an annulus, each lobe dehiscing longitudinally by a slit. Spores reniform, monolete, many (> 1000) per sporangium, exospore translucent, rugulate to foveolate. Gametophytes subterranean (Psilotum), non-photosynthetic, cylindrical, mycorrhizal. x = 52.
Epiphytic perennial herbs; rootless with dichotomous mycorrhizal rhizomes
Leaves represented by minute subulate, scale–like, spirally arranged appendages
Stems erect (in W.African species), photosynthetic, green, angular, dichotomous
Leaves small, simple, scale-like, ovate, spaced, spirally disposed, rigid, somewhat spiniform with distinct or very poorly developed bundles
|Whisk fern Family|