Asplenium rhizophyllum L. - Walking Fern


 

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Asplenium rhizophyllum - (image 1 of 4)

 

Taxonomy

Family: Aspleniaceae

 

Swink and Wilhelm list this species as Camptosorus rhizophyllus (L.) Link, as does Cobb.

Habitat

Shaded places on moss-covered limestone cliffs, rocks and boulders. Usually north facing slopes or edges/crevices. Occasionally on the ground.

Associates

Aquilegia canadensis, Arabis laevigata, Aralia nudiculais, Aralia racemosa, Aster shortii, Mitella diphylla, Pilea pumila, Prenanthes alba, Sedum ternatum, Solidago flexicaulis.

Distribution

Quebec and Ontario west to MN, south to GA and OK. Rare in northeast IL but fairly common in central NY.

Morphology

Rhizome about 2 mm thick; scales lance-subulate, entire, dark brown, iridescent. Leaves evergreen, somewhat leathery, smooth, heart-shaped at base, very long triangular, tapering to long, fine tip. Viviparous, rooting at leaf tips. Sori scattered.

Notes

Wetland indicator: Upland

Called walking fern because it forms new plants at the end of fronds, enabling it to "walk" across the substrate.

References

Cobb, B. 1984. A Field Guide to Ferns and Their Related Families.

Houghton Mifflin Co., New York, NY

 

Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.

The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY

 

Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.

 


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Michael Hough 2004