Wood Fern

Greek drys - oak, pteris - fern, possibly in referring to the preference of European species for oak forests.

Terrestrial ferns. Rhizome short-creeping, tending upward to erect, woody, mostly thick and covered with scales. Sterile and fertile fronds mostly similar. Fronds divided 2-3 times, generally broad at the base, the fertile ones sometimes slightly smaller, evergreen or deciduous, in clusters; stalks scaly. Sori in a single row on either side of midrib, away from margin, often large, round to kidney-shaped. Indusium kidney-shaped.

Dryopteris tokyoensis (Makino) C. Chr. is ocasionally available; it has fronds divided once with segments that become shorter towards the base of the frond, the individual segments broadening towards their attachment to the midrib.

Propagation: Spores, some species by division.

Recognition: Sori away from the segment margins and with kidney-shaped indusia. Polystichum has indusia mostly round or sometimes absent and Lastreopsis has mostly hairy, not scaly, stalks. The groove in the axis may be discontinuous.

Literature: Christensen (1919), Ching (1938), Fraser-Jenkins (1989).

c. 150 species, mostly Northern Hemisphere.

Created by: Val Stajsic

Updated by: Val Stajsic, May 2018

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kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Polypodiopsida
order     Polypodiales
family      Dryopteridaceae
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