Plants terrestrial, epilithic or low-level epiphytes. Rhizome scaly, short-decumbent, suberect or erect, often laterally branched, or with stolons (runners). Fronds up to 2 m long, mostly isomorphous, but rarely heteromorphous, caespitose (in tufts) to widely spaced; stipe and rachis sulcate adaxially, the sulcus open or closed to those on the lower order axes, the sulcus with a central ridge in Rumohra, vascular bundles arranged in a C-shape, with two large circular vascular bundles dorsally and two or more smaller ones ventrally; lamina anadromous becoming catadromous later, pinnately compound, the basal pinna pair often acroscopically or basiscopically developed; aerophores in 2 dorso-lateral lines along the axes; venation simple, forked or pinnately branched (pecopteridian), free or anastomosing (Cyrtomium), if anastomosing the areolas then without included veinlets, vein branches mostly ending in the teeth near the margin. Indumentum composed of broadly to narrowly attached, non-clathrate, unistratose or multistratose scales, with or without marginal indument occurring on the rhizome, axes and lamina, often also with multicellular uniseriate hairs and club-shaped or cylindrical unicellular glands occurring along the axes and lamina surfaces. Sori circular or elongate, on the veins, or at the vein endings, often on a shortened vein branch; sporangium short- or long-stalked, stalk simple, glandular, or haired, 3-seriate below capsule; capsule globose in lateral view, with (12-)13, 14, or 15(-24) indurated annulus cells and a well defined stomium; indusium elliptic, kidney or umbrella-shaped, or exindusiate; receptacle nude, rarely with hair-like paraphyses. Spores ellipsoidal, monolete, echinulate, tubercules, or with narrow wing-like folds. Chromosome number based on n = 41, apogamy reported.