Dryopteris cristata (L.) A.Gray
crested wood fern
Family: Dryopteridaceae

fertile pinna

The leaves of Dryopteris cristata are pinnate-pinnatifid, 35-70 cm long, 1/4 or less as wide as long and nearly uniform in width except where narrowed to the tip. Sterile leaves tend to remain green over winter, but fertile leaves die at the end of the growing season. The pinnae of fertile fronds are often twisted conspicuously, sometimes nearly perpendicular to what would be considered the normal plane of the blade. Basal pinnae are broadly triangular.

Dryopteris cristata ranges throughout the northeastern U.S., south to North Carolina, west to northern Illinois and Minnesota, and then across southern Canada to eastern British Colombia. It is found throughout Wisconsin, where it occupies decidedly wet sites in both sunny and somewhat shaded habitats.

Key to Ferns

Introduction to Ferns

Glossary of terms

List of all Pteridophytes

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