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Family: Thelypteridaceae (Polypodiaceae)
Synonymous with Dryopteris phegopteris (L.) C. Chr.
Moist rocky woods and cliffs.
Circumboreal, south to NC, TN, IA, and OR in North America.
Leaves deciduous, to 50 cm, scattered on long, slender, densely hairy and scaly rhizomes. Leaf blades 10-25 cm, deltoid, nearly as broad as longer or broader, ciliate-margined, pinnate-pinnatifid; pinnae mostly 10-15 opposite or offset pairs below the pinnatifid apex; rachis herbaceous-winged only above the lower two pairs of pinnae; petiole pilose and with scattered brown scales, mostly longer than the blade; indusium absent.
Wetland indicator: Upland
Note the lowest pair of pinnae, which are often a little shorter than the second pair and directed a bit downward and forward of the others.
Thelypteris hexagonoptera (Michx.) Weath. (Broad Beech Fern) is similar but is herbaceous-winged between all the pinnae and has a petiole that is smooth or with remote, lightly colored scales; the lowest pair of pinnae are also larger than the others.
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 © 2005