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.