Marginal or Evergreen Wood Fern, Dryopteris marginalis
Dryopteridaceae or Wood Fern Family


Medium-sized fern growing in clumps. Tends to be upright in summer and to lie down in winter bottom pictures). Leaves triangular, divided into paired leaflets. Each leaflet divided into 20 or more pairs of subleaflets, blunt-tipped with finely toothed or lobed edges. leafstalks covered with rd-brown scales. Fruitdots on undersurface of leaves, along the margins of the subleaflets, some persisting into the winter (bottom picture).

Native. Especially charming in the winter when, along with Christmas fern, it provides bright patches of greenery. Rare in Wildwood; one small population known along the trail on the west slope, above the outdoor classroom, but others might exist, especially away from the trails.

At first glance it could be confused with Christmas fern, but it lacks the little bootheels characteristic of that species.

Leaflets   Fruitdots, summer
Plants in winter   Fruitdots in winter

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