Plants rupestral or rarely terrestrial, medium-sized. Rhizomes shortly creeping, ascending, or long creeping, stout, densely covered with scales and hairs or only scales; scales ovate-lanceolate or rarely linear-lanceolate. Fronds approximate, subclustered, or remote; stipe stramineous, base swollen into shuttle form and concealed in scales (Hypodematium), or articulate to rhizome, glabrous (Leucostegia); lamina deltoid or ovate-oblong to pentagonal-ovate, 3-pinnate to finely 4-pinnate-pinnatifid, anadromous, herbaceous or papery, both surfaces, rachises, and costules frequently covered with acicular and/or glandular hairs, rarely glabrous. Veins free, pinnate, branches simple or forked. Sori orbicular; indusia large, reniform, ± covered with acicular or glandular hairs, rarely glabrous. Spores ellipsoid, monolete. x = 41.
Three genera and ca. 20 species: Old World, mainly in tropical, subtropical, and warm-temperate regions of Asia and Africa; two genera and 13 species (eight endemic) in China.
Leucostegia has long been assigned to Davalliaceae because of its creeping, dorsiventral rhizome densely covered by scales, its dissected leaves, and its indusia. Molecular phylogenetic analysis has shown that Leucostegia is closely related to Hypodematium.
Ching Ren-chang, Fu Shu-hsia, Wang Chu-hao & Shing Gung-hsia. 1959. Leucostegia. In: Ching Ren-chang, ed., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 2: 296-297; Shing Kunghsia, Chiu Peishi & Yao Guanhu. 1999. Hypodematiaceae. In: Shing Kunghsia, ed., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 4(1): 1-14; Wu Shiewhung. 1999. Leucostegia. In: Wu Shiewhung, ed., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 6(1): 177-179.