Adiantum pedatum L.
Northern Maiden Hair Fern
Family - Pteridaceae
Habit - Rhizomatous, homosporous, herbaceous, perennial fern.
Stems - No info yet.
Leaves - Erect, to 75 cm long, the petioles branching into 2 arching to recurved rachises at the apex, dark brown. Pinnae attached along the upper (inner) side of each rachis. Leaf blades (each rachis) 2 times pinnately compound, circular to kidney-shaped in outline. Pinnules 9-25 mm long, short-stalked, obliquely wedge-shaped to oval or nearly rectangular, variously lobed at the apex or along one side, the sterile pinnule margins entire or minutely toothed, the fertile pinnule margins mostly entire.
Sori - Linear to oblong or kidney-shaped, born on the margins of the pinnule undersides. Spores 64 per sporangium, 20-50 um in diameter, yellow to light brown.
Sori along the pinnule margins.
Sporulating - Spores produced June - August.
Habitat - Rich slopes of ravines, mesic upland forests, bluff ledges (less commonly).
Origin - Native to U.S.
Other info. - This species can be found throughout Missouri and is common in the habitats mentioned above. It is also one of the most common ferns in the state. The plant is easy to identify in the field because of the horseshoe-shaped arrangement of its leaves. This is an attractive species which deserves to be cultivated.
Photographs taken in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, Shannon County, MO., 7-22-04.