Woodwardia radicans (L.) Sm.

European Chain Fern

Rhizome erect. Fronds to 2 m long, more or less oblong in outline, arching, a bud developing to produce mostly a single plantlet taking root when it weighs the frond down to the ground; new growth pinkish. Segments sickle-shaped, pointed, minutely toothed.

Will tolerate cool conditions.

Islands of Atlantic, SW Europe.

Long fronds with a single plantlet at the tip.


Woodwardia unigemmata (Makino) Nakai from Japan, Taiwan, China and the Philippines and occasionally available, is very similar but the frond branches are widely separated.

Source: Spencer, R. (1995). Blechnaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 1, Ferns, conifers & their allies. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

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Distribution map
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Polypodiopsida
order     Polypodiales
family      Blechnaceae
genus       Woodwardia Sm.