Polystichum braunii (Spenner) Fee
Braun's holly fern
Family: Dryopteridaceae

basal pinnae and scales
pinnae with basal auricles

Polystichum braunii is easy to recognize in Wisconsin. The dark green, shiny blades are 2-pinnate, conspicuously narrowed to the base and often evergreen. It is similar to P. acrostichoides in the presence of basal auricles on some of the pinnae and in the spiny-toothed margins of the pinnae. It differs in that the sterile and fertile fronds are similar, and the sori are distinct and separate rather than essentially covering the undersurface of the pinnae as in P. acrostichoides.

P. braunii ranges from Newfoundland south to Connecticut and west to Ontario and Minnesota. It is also known farther west from Idaho and British Columbia to Alaska. It is a threatened species in Wisconsin and is known mostly from Iron and Ashland Counties and a few other sites, all in the north. Habitat is mostly cool, moist forest.



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