Athyrium filix-femina (L.) Roth - Lady Fern


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Athyrium filix-femina - (image 1 of 5)



Family: Aspleniaceae


Moist or mesic woods, meadows, and streambanks.




Quebec to Ontario and SD, south to FL, eastern TX, southern IN, MO, OK, and eastern KS.


Deciduous from a short-creeping to erect rhizome. Leaves light green, to 1 m; blade 10-35 cm wide, acuminate, slightly reduced below, sparsely scaly, bipinnate to bipinnate-pinnatifid; pinnae 20-30 pairs, lance-linear, subsessile; veins forking, directed into the teeth; indusia dark brown, thin, ciliate when young, horseshoe-shaped.


Fruiting July

Wetland Indicator: Facultative

The horseshoe-shaped indusia are one of the best diagnostic features. Northern plants are mostly var. michauxii (Spreng.) Farw.


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.




Michael Hough 2010