Approximately 180 species of ferns of cosmopolitan distribution, but mainly tropical. Clump or colony- forming, they have simply pinnate to tripinnate leaves, the pinnules bearing several sori each one with an indusium and borne at the end of a small branch vein.
Most species are either too large or too tender for the rock garden. Those described look effective in shaded sites between or at the base of large rocks. Humus-rich soil that does not dry out is required. Propagation by division in autumn or late winter. Spores may also be sown in spring, but cultivars will not come fully true to type.