Woodwardia spp.
Family: Blechnaceae
Woodwardia image
Patrick Alexander  
Plants terrestrial or rarely on rock. Stems long-creeping to erect, slender to stout, not climbing; scales brown. Leaves monomorphic (dimorphic in 1 species), clustered or well separated. Blades pinnate or pinnatifid. Rachises and costae scaly. Veins anastomosing in both sterile and fertile leaves, forming a regular series of areoles along costae and costules, further anastomosing in 1 species. Sori discrete, in chainlike rows along costae or costules, extending only the length of individual areolar veins. Spores with perine irregularly folded. x = 34, 35. Woodwardia radicans (Linnaeus) Smith has been reported as an escape from cultivation in Florida and in the Sierra Nevada in California; it has not persisted. It and the commonly cultivated Woodwardia unigemmata Makino resemble Woodwardia fimbriata Smith, but both W . radicans and W . unigemmata are distinguished by having a scaly bulblet near the apex of the leaf.

RHIZOMES: moderately stout, compact to short-creeping in ours, densely scaly toward the tip, the scales concolorous. LEAVES: closely spaced and evergreen in ours. PETIOLES: usually shorter than the blade, usually grooved adaxially. BLADES: somewhat papery or leathery, ovate to elliptic-ovate, mostly pinnatepinnatifid. PINNAE: acuminate at the tip, with numerous lobes, the margins otherwise serrulate, glabrous at maturity. SORI forming a chain-like row on either side of the costa. INDUSIA: papery, more or less persistent. X = 34. NOTES: Ca. 14 spp., Can. s to C. Amer., Eur., Asia. (for Thomas J. Woodward, British botanist). REFERENCES: Yatskievych, G. and M.D. Windham. 2008. Vascular Plants of Arizona: Blechnaceae. CANOTIA 4 (2): 35-37.
Petiole about equaling the blade, with 2-several bundles; lvs monomorphic or dimorphic, pinnatifid to pinnate-pinnatifid, the fertile ones, when differentiated, with linear segments; blade sparsely scaly and glandular on the rachis and costae, otherwise glabrous; veins partly anastomosing, forming one or more series of areoles along the midvein of the pinnae or segment; sori superficial (our spp.) or often set in pits, oblong to linear, spanning 2 or more areoles, arranged in a chain-like row on each side of the costa; large bog-ferns with coarse, long-creeping rhizomes and scattered, erect, deciduous lvs. 10, mainly N. Hemisphere.

Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.

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