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Adiantum pedatum

Adiantum pedatum L.

 

Northern Maidenhair Fern

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionPteridophytaFerns
ClassFilicopsida“Leptosporangiate” (has to do with how their spores form) ferns—includes most ferns
OrderPolypodialesPolypod ferns
FamilyPteridaceaeFerns that grow on rocks (mostly)
GenusAdiantumMaidenhair ferns
SpeciespedatumLike a bird’s foot, with divisions radiating from a single point

About plant names...

Northern maidenhair fern is native to North America. It prefers rich, moist, well-drained wooded slopes, ravine bottoms, and rock faces with a lot of moisture. Note: The photos from Ice Glen in Stockbridge MA look more like southern maidenhair fern than northern. But southern maidenhair fern is well outside of its natural range here, and a list of Ice Glen species includes the northern variety, so I have tentatively assumed that these photos are the northern. Personally I think they are central maidenhair fern. Okay ... kidding ... but it is very likely that this fern is one of the other 250, barely documented species of Adiantum.

Plants: Plants are deciduous, 12-30" (30-75 cm) tall. Stems are reddish-brown to black and wiry; roots are also wiry, and black.

Leaves: Fronds are 8-20" (20-50 cm) long.

Fruits: Spores are found on the outer edges of spore-bearing pinnae, and may cause the edges to fold.

Online References:

Adiantum pedatum on the New England Wildflower Society’s GoBotany site

Adiantum pedatum on the Connecticut Botanical Society's Connecticut wildflowers site

Adiantum pedatum at the Missouri Botanical Garden

Adiantum pedatum at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

References:

Cobb, Boughton, Farnsworth, Elizabeth & Lowe, Cheryl, Peterson Field Guides: A Field Guide to Ferns and Their Related Families of Northwestern and Central North America, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005, p. 54

Adiantum pedatum (Northern Maidenhair Fern)

5/15/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 15 × 10" (39 × 26 cm)

Adiantum pedatum (Northern Maidenhair Fern)

Semi-crested form. · 6/29/2017 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA

Adiantum pedatum (Northern Maidenhair Fern)

5/15/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 21 × 14" (52 × 34 cm)

Adiantum pedatum (Northern Maidenhair Fern)

This more closely resembles Adiantum capillus-veneris, but is outside of its range. · 10/17/2016 · Ice Glen, Stockbridge, MA
≈ 5 × 5" (13 × 12 cm) ID is uncertain

Adiantum pedatum (Northern Maidenhair Fern)

Semi-crested form. · 6/29/2017 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA

Adiantum pedatum (Northern Maidenhair Fern)

6/22/2017 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 15 × 10" (39 × 26 cm)

Adiantum pedatum description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 3 Jul 2017.

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Adiantum pedatum (Northern Maidenhair Fern)

This more closely resembles Adiantum capillus-veneris, but is outside of its range. · 10/17/2016 · Ice Glen, Stockbridge, MA
≈ 7 × 5" (16 × 12 cm) ID is uncertain

Adiantum pedatum (Northern Maidenhair Fern)

5/15/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 8 × 5" (19 × 13 cm)

Adiantum pedatum (Northern Maidenhair Fern)

5/15/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 17 × 12" (44 × 29 cm)

Adiantum pedatum (Northern Maidenhair Fern)

6/12/2016 · Beaver Brook Conservation Area, Worcester Road Trail

Adiantum pedatum (Northern Maidenhair Fern)

5/15/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 14 × 9" (35 × 23 cm)

Adiantum pedatum (Northern Maidenhair Fern)

This more closely resembles Adiantum capillus-veneris, but is outside of its range. · 10/17/2016 · Ice Glen, Stockbridge, MA
≈ 7 × 5" (18 × 13 cm) ID is uncertain

Adiantum pedatum (Northern Maidenhair Fern)

6/22/2014 · Beaver Brook Conservation Area, Hollis, NH
≈ 19 × 12" (47 × 31 cm)

Adiantum pedatum (Northern Maidenhair Fern)

6/22/2014 · Beaver Brook Conservation Area, Hollis, NH
≈ 15 × 10" (37 × 25 cm)

Adiantum pedatum (Northern Maidenhair Fern)

6/12/2016 · Beaver Brook Conservation Area, Worcester Road Trail

Range: Zones 3-8:

About this map...