Woodsia ilvensis (L.) R. Br. - Rusty Cliff Fern


|  back  | forward |

Woodsia ilvensis - (image 1 of 5)



Family: Woodsiaceae


Cliffs, rock crevices, ridges, mostly on circumneutral to acid substrate.




Circumboreal, south in North America to British Columbia, Saskatchewan, northwest IA, northern IL, OH, PA, and in mountain to NC.


Deciduous from a short rhizome; rhizome scales brown, concolorous, lanceolate, 4-6 mm; petioles scaly, jointed below the middle, the bases of which persistent and all of similar length; leaves hairy, not glandular; blade oblong-lanceolate, 2-3.5 cm wide, slightly narrow proximally, pinnate-pinnatifid, rachis hairy and scaley; pinnae 10-16 pairs, narrowly oblong, sessile, dark green, deeply pinnatifid, segments in (2-)4-7 pairs, oblong, rounded, sparingly long-ciliate; indusium a minute disk with a marginal fringe of long hairs.


Spores produced midsummer to fall

Wetland indicator: UPL

This is a rather small fern found primarily on top of and in crevices in rocks. The underside of the leaves have a mixture of scales and long hairs that, along with the sporangia, turn a distinctive rusty-brown color late in the season.


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




 Michael Hough 2018