Thelypteris hexagonoptera (Michx.) Weath. - Broad Beech Fern


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Thelypteris hexagonoptera - (image 1 of 6)



Family: Thelypteridaceae




Dryopteris hexagonoptera (Michx.) C. Chr.

Phegopteris hexagonoptera (Michx.) Fée


Moist or dry woods and thickets.




Quebec and ME west to Ontario and MN, south to northern FL and TX.


Leaves deciduous, to 80 cm, scattered on long, slender, sparsely hairy and densely scaly rhizomes. Leaf blades to 40 cm, pale green, a bit wider than long, bipinnatifid, lowest pair of pinnae largest, wide-spreading, the rachis herbaceous-winged throughout; petiole hairy and sparsely scaly below, smooth above; indusium absent.


Spores mid summer into fall

Wetland indicator: Facultative -

Can form sizeable colonies in rich woods and may be mistaken at a glance for Sensitive Fern which it resembles in size and habit but not the details of the frond.

Thelypteris phegopteris (L.) Sloss. (Broad Beech Fern) is similar but lacks wings on the rachis between the lowest pinnae, and the lowest pair of pinnae are a bit shorter than the second pair.


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