Pellaea glabella Mettenius ex Kuhn subsp. glabella
smooth cliff brake
Family: Pteridaceae

fertile pinna with in-rolled margins

Pellaea glabella fronds are relatively small with blades often less than 20 cm long. The blade is pinnate toward the tip and 1- or 2-pinnate at the base. Sporangia are borne under the inrolled margins of the blade segments. The red/purple rachis is glabrous on the adaxial (upper) surface, unlike the densely pubescent adaxial surface of the similar P. atropurpurea. Four subspecies have been recognized in the recent Flora of North America, only one of which, subspecies glabella occurs in Wisconsin.

P. glabella var glabella ranges from southern Quebec to Virginia and Kentucky, west to Ontario, Minnesota and northeastern Oklahoma. In Wisconsin it is known across the southern counties, north along the Missisippi River to Polk County in the west and in the east into Door County. It grows primarily on limestone.

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