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Connecticut Plants
Marginal Woodfern
Dryopteris marginalis (L.) Gray
  • Family: woodfern (Dryopteridaceae)
  • Habitat: rich woodlands, especially on rocky slopes or outcroppings
  • Height: fronds 1-2 feet long
  • Location of spores: spores on undersides of leaflets along edges
  • Petiole (leaf stalk): stout, ungrooved, brown-green above, darker near base, covered with dense, light-brown scales near base, more sparse above
  • Growth pattern: asymmetric clump
  • Persistence: evergreen
  • Origin: native
Dryopteris marginalis (L.) Gray

Marginal woodfern in spring. The newly-emerged leaves are light green, but they turn dark green by summer.

Dryopteris marginalis (L.) Gray

Fiddleheads emerging in the spring.

Dryopteris marginalis (L.) Gray

Sori (spore-bearing dots) on the underside of a frond. The name "marginal woodfern" comes from the fact the sori are at the margin of the leaf.

Dryopteris marginalis (L.) Gray

Top part of a marginal woodfern frond.