Bogs and Acidic Peatlands of Southern New England by Marsha C. Salett
Woodwardia areolata (L.) Moore
BLECHNACEAE (Chain-Fern Family)
EtymologyWoodwardia is named for the English botanist, Thomas Jenkinson Woodward (1745-1820); areolata means marked or pitted, from the Latin for small open places.
Synonyms (Common Name)Net-veined Chain-fern
DescriptionNetted chain-fern is a once-cut -- or pinnate -- medium-small (1- 2.5') fern with glossy, light green, wavy-edged fronds that exhibit a conspicuous netted venation. It grows erect from long, creeping rhizomes. The slender fertile fronds are taller than the broader, sterile fronds.
Wetland indicator statusFACW+
Plant Height1-2.5 feet
LeavesTwo types of fronds, both once-cut. Sterile frond: blade triangular/egg-shaped, broad (4 -- 6 3/5" wide); 10 pairs of nearly-opposite, narrow (2/5 -- 4/5") leaflets (pinnae) with finely-toothed, wavy margins and prominent, netted veins. Fertile frond: more widely spaced, taller, and narrower than sterile frond; long, slender leaflets are contracted when mature.
Fruiting PeriodJuly-October.
HabitatSwamps and wet woods with acidic soil.
RangeNova Scotia to Michigan; south to Missouri, Florida and Texas, mostly along coastal plain.
(c) 1998-2006 Marsha C. Salett