Dryopteris filix-mas (L.) Schott
male fern


Dryopteris filix-mas fronds range from 30-120 cm long and 10-30 cm wide. The blades are pinnate-pinnatifid to bi-pinnate and conspicuously narrowed at the base, the lower pinnae less than 1/2 the length of the the longest pinnae. The stipe is less than 1/4 the length of the frond. The stipe bears 2 distinct types of scales, one broad and the other extremely narrow and hair-like.

D. filix-mas is known from Texas to Arizona and north to Montana, Washington and British Columbia, and from scattered localities across the northeastern U.S. and eastern Canada. It has been identified as a "special concern" species in Wisconsin where it has been documented from Ashland, Iron and Brown Counties. The Brown County specimen is correctly identified, but the location is probably in error, perhaps due mixing of vouchers and subsequent mislabeling.

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