Schizaea pusilla Pursh - Curlygrass Fern


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Schizaea pusilla - (image 1 of 4)



Family: Schizaeaceae


On hummocks in bogs or wet meadows, in acid soil. Usually on bare or nearly bare muck or peat




Rare and local from Newfoundland and Nova Scotia to Long Island, NJ, and DE. Possibly introduced in NC.


Rhizome erect, short and slender, forming many roots, mostly simple; leaves numerous, glabrous; sterile leaves 2-6 cm, simple, entire, linear, curled, lacking a petiole; fertile fronds erect, 8-12 cm, the segments pinnate, with 4-7 pairs of pinnae each 2-3.5 mm long; sporangia 8-14 per segment.


Sporangia produced late summer to fall

Wetland indicator: OBL

First discovered near Quaker Bridge in southern NJ by Frederick Pursh in 1805.


Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States
and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.
The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY


USDA, NRCS. 2002.
The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 (
National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.




 Michael Hough 2018