1-4 Dryopteridaceae, wood fern family

Marian C. Munro, Ruth E. Newell, Nicholas M. Hill


A large family of perennial ferns from creeping stems. Sixty genera worldwide include 3000 species. The plants are terrestrial, occasionally growing on rock. Stems are creeping or erect, and sometimes branched. Scales may or may not be present. Blades are circinnate in bud and may be dimorphic in some genera. Petioles often have persistent scales. Leaves sometimes have simple blades or may be from 1–5 times pinnate. Blades may be covered with indument of scales, glands or pubescence especially on the rachises. Sori are borne on the lower surface of the blades, on the veins or terminating a vein. Indusia are sometimes present. Use of their photographs donated by Sean Blaney, David Mazerolle, Roger Lloyd, Ross Hall and Martin Thomas.


Pteridophyte, native ferns, wood fern family, edible fiddleheads, Onoclea, Woodsia, Matteauccia, Deparia, Athyrium, Dryopteris, Cystopteris, Gymnocarpium, sensitive fern, lady fern, bladder fern, brittle fern, spleenwort, shield fern, male fern, oak fern,

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