Epiphytic, or less commonly, rock-dwelling ferns. Rhizome usually coarse, branched, creeping, covered with scales; scales attached near centre of broad base, fawn to chestnut-brown. Fronds distant along rhizome; stipe articulated to rhizome. Lamina leathery, triangular, 2 or more times pinnate, ultimate segments asymmetric; veins free, raised on upper surface. Sori submarginal; indusium forming a pouch opening towards margin; spores bilateral.
About 10 genera world-wide; 5 represented in Australia with only 1 native to Victoria. Rumohra and Nephrolepis have been included previously in this family, but are now referred to the Dryopteridaceae and Lomariopsidaceae respecitvely.