The fertile fronds of Cryptogramma stelleri are different
in appearance than the sterile fronds. The blade segments of sterile
fronds are ovate and flat. Segments of fertile blades are narrower
and the margins are inrolled over the sori. Fertile fronds also
tend to be longer than sterile fronds, up to about 20 cm long.
Cryptpgramma stelleri is distributed from eastern Minnesota
and Iowa, northern Illinois, Wisconsin and upper Michigan through
Ontario to New York and eastern Canada. It is also known from
Alaska and western Canada with a few scattered locations in the
Rocky Mountain states of the U.S. In Wisconsin most known sites
are from the southwestern counties, north along the Mississippi
River, Douglas and Bayfield Counties and Door County, plus a few
other scattered locations. It usually grows in shady spots on
rocks, especially limestone.