Native from the Old World Tropics to Madagascar and Polynesia, and has become widely naturalized in the Americas including the southern United States. In the Hawaiian Islands,
Kaua`i, O`ahu, Maui, Hawai`i.
Disturbed and open areas in mesic forests
Terrestrial, medium-sized to somewhat large; rhizomes decumbent, short-creeping.
Fronds 55-150(-180) cm long, erect; stipe straw-colored, scales at base narrow, dark brown, soon deciduous, distally stipes glabrous, smooth; blade 3-pinnate-pinnatifid to 3-pinnate-pinnatisect, deltate to linear-deltate, about as long as stipes; rachises glabrous, 2-grooved adaxially, grooves separated by a rounded ridge covered with fine, white, sharp-tipped hairs; pinnae lanceolate, alternate, to 32 cm long; pinnules arising obliquely from midrib, to 8 cm long, mostly cut to narrow wings along pinna rachises, abaxial surfaces with many scattered, white, needlelike hairs; costae with similar hairs on both surfaces; ultimate segments crenulate to deeply lobed, lobes pointing obliquely toward tips.
Sori medial, round, bearing hairs; indusia small, inconspicuous, soon deciduous, or hidden by mature sporangia.
Name honors John Torrey (1796-1873), prominent early American botanist and professor at Columbia and Princeton Universities.