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Dryopteris carthusiana

Dryopteris carthusiana (Vill.) H.P. Fuchs

Dryopteris austriaca (Jacq.) Woynar ex Schinz & Thell. var. spinulosa (O.F. Müll.) Fisch.

Dryopteris spinulosa (O.F. Müll.) Watt

Spinulose Wood Fern, Spinulose Woodfern, Spreading Wood Fern, Toothed Wood Fern, Narrow Buckler 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
FamilyDryopteridaceaeWood ferns (about 70% of the ferns)
GenusDryopterisWood ferns, male ferns, and buckler ferns
SpeciescarthusianaFor Johann Friedrich Cartheuser, physician, naturalist, anatomist, botanist, pathologist, chemist, pharmacist, and prolific author

About plant names...

Spinulose wood fern is named because its leaves have tiny spinules (spines) on their tips. The genus Dryopteris translates to ”fern of the oak wood,” and the species carthusiana honors Johann Friedrich Cartheuser, a polymath who died in 1777. Cartheuser was a physician, naturalist, anatomist, botanist, pathologist, chemist, pharmacist, and prolific author.

Identification: These ferns grow in uneven clumps or solitary fronds, and are 12-36" (30-91 cm) high. They prefer moist habitats. Fronds are 6-30" (15-76 cm) long and 4-12" (10-30 cm) wide. Each frond consists of primary leaflets (pinnae), composed of secondary leaflets (pinnules), which in turn are sometimes composed of tertiary leaflets, for which I couldn’t find a fancy name. This triple hierarchy makes these ferns (along with many others) tripinnate. And just to make sure you’re still paying attention, the tertiary leaflets are replete with little serrations called spinules, making spinulose wood ferns practically quadropinnate, a word that I’m pretty sure doesn’t exist. Leaflet bottoms contain the ferns’ reproductive structures, or sori, which are small, brown rounded mounds. At close range, the sori look like microminiature shrubs, about ¹/₁₆" (2 mm) in diameter.

Online References:

Dryopteris carthusiana on Earl J.S. Rook's Flora, Fauna, Earth, and Sky ... The Natural History of the Northwoods

Dryopteris carthusiana on the Hardy Fern Library

Dryopteris carthusiana on the Connecticut Botanical Society's Connecticut wildflowers site

Dryopteris carthusiana at Ontario Ferns

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. 132

Dryopteris carthusiana (Spinulose Wood Fern, Spinulose Woodfern, Spreading Wood Fern, Toothed Wood Fern, Narrow Buckler Fern)

8/23/2009 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 9 × 6" (23 × 15 cm)

Dryopteris carthusiana (Spinulose Wood Fern, Spinulose Woodfern, Spreading Wood Fern, Toothed Wood Fern, Narrow Buckler Fern)

8/23/2009 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 4½ × 3" (11 × 7.9 cm)

Dryopteris carthusiana (Spinulose Wood Fern, Spinulose Woodfern, Spreading Wood Fern, Toothed Wood Fern, Narrow Buckler Fern)

8/23/2009 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 3 × 4½" (7.9 × 11 cm)

Dryopteris carthusiana description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 15 Oct 2013.

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Dryopteris carthusiana (Spinulose Wood Fern, Spinulose Woodfern, Spreading Wood Fern, Toothed Wood Fern, Narrow Buckler Fern)

8/23/2009 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 5 × 3½" (13 × 9.2 cm)

Dryopteris carthusiana (Spinulose Wood Fern, Spinulose Woodfern, Spreading Wood Fern, Toothed Wood Fern, Narrow Buckler Fern)

8/24/2009 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 6 × 4" (15 × 10 cm)

Dryopteris carthusiana (Spinulose Wood Fern, Spinulose Woodfern, Spreading Wood Fern, Toothed Wood Fern, Narrow Buckler Fern)

8/23/2009 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 9 × 6" (22 × 14 cm)

Dryopteris carthusiana (Spinulose Wood Fern, Spinulose Woodfern, Spreading Wood Fern, Toothed Wood Fern, Narrow Buckler Fern)

8/24/2009 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 5 × 3½" (13 × 9.2 cm)

Dryopteris carthusiana (Spinulose Wood Fern, Spinulose Woodfern, Spreading Wood Fern, Toothed Wood Fern, Narrow Buckler Fern)

8/24/2009 · Tom and Susan’s, Pepperell, MA
≈ 7 × 11" (18 × 27 cm)

Range:

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