Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Netted Chain Fern
Woodwardia areolata (L.) T. Moore
- Family: Fern (Polypodiaceae)
- Spores: July-October
- Field Marks: This fern has once-pinnate leaves and elongated sori in parallel rows on the
of leaves much narrower than the fertile leaves.
- Habitat: Swamps, wet woods, damp thickets, stream banks, bottomlands.
- Habit: Perennial fern with slender rhizomes.
- Stems: Underground, slender, branched, covered with brown scales.
- Leaves: Of two types: sterile leaves deeply pinnatifid or once-pinnate, up to 2 feet long, on purplish brown stalks, with each segment coarsely toothed or pinnatifid, smooth, pointed at the tip; fertile leaves erect, much narrower, on purplish brown stalks.
- Sori: Elongated, narrow, in parallel rows, one row on each side of the midvein.
- Notes: The sterile leaves resemble those of the senistive fern (Onoclea sensibilis), although the fertile leaves have green tissue, while those of the sensitive ferns do not.
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