Rhizome widely creeping, freely branched, covered in brown hairs. Lamina almost triangular, 2–4-pinnate, variously hairy, with some species having glandular hairs. Rachises grooved with raised lateral ridges; veins in pinnules free, reaching margin at tooth apices (in Victorian species). Sori globular, marginal or submarginal, at or near end of veins, protected by reflexed laminal flap or if further from margin, unprotected; spores bilaterally symmetrical.
About 50 species world-wide, mostly tropical and southern-temperate; 6 in Australia, all but 1 in Victoria. Species of Hypolepis can be difficult to separate due to the variability in vegetative morphology and the relatively common occurrence of inter-specific hybrids.