Ebony Spleenwort, Asplenium platyneuron
Aspleniaceae or Spleenwort Family
Medium-sized evergreen fern. Leaves to 18 inches long, narrow, tapering at both ends, divided into oblong leaflets. Leaflets are not opposite each other, have definite ears near the stem, and have serrated or toothed edges. Some leaves have leaflets with sporecases underneath, in pairs along the center of the leaflets. These fertile leaves tend to be larger and to stand up more than the sterile leaves.that are shaped like very long, narrow triangles. Leaves root at the tips, producing new plantlets; in this way, the plants "walk" to new locations.
Native fern of moist rocky woods.
Occasional in Wildwood, mostly on the western side.
The eared leaflets resemble Christmas fern, which is very common in the Park, but that species has longer, narrower leaflets, and sporecases covering most of the underside of the fertile leaflets.