[Wildflowers West of the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and Washington]

Ferns West of the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and Washington

The Spleenwort Family: Aspleniaceae -

Northern Spleenwort: Asplenium septentrionale -

Maidenhair Spleenwort: Asplenium trichomanes sp. trichomanes -

Green Spleenwort: Asplenium trichomanes-ramosum (Synonym: Asplenium viride) -

The Chain Fern Family: Blechnaceae -

Deer Fern: Blechnum spicant (Synonym: Struthiopteris spicant) -

Chain Fern, Giant Chain Fern, Giant Chain-fern: Woodwardia fimbriata (Synonym: Woodwardia chamissoi) -

The Bracken Family: Dennstaedtiaceae -

Bracken, Brake Fern, Hairy Bracken, Western Brackenfern, Northern Bracken: Pteridium aquilinum var. pubescens (Synonym: Pteridium aquilinum var. lanuginosum) -

The Wood Fern Family: Dryopteridaceae -

American Alpine Lady Fern: Athyrium alpestre var. americanum -

Common Ladyfern, Northwestern Lady Fern: Athyrium filix-femina -

Brittle Bladderfern, Fragile Fern, Brittle Fern, Bladder Fern: Cystopteris fragilis -

California Wood Fern, Coastal Woodfern, Coastal Wood Fern, Marginal Wood Fern: Dryopteris arguta -

Spinulose Woodfern, Toothed Wood Fern: Dryopteris carthusiana -

Spreading Woodfern, Spreading Wood Fern, Northern Woodfern: Dryopteris expansa (Synonyms: Dryopteris austriaca, Dryopteris carthusiana, Dryopteris dilatata) -

Male Fern: Dryopteris filix-mas -

Pacific Oakfern, Western Oakfern: Gymnocarpium disjunctum -

Western Oakfern, Common Oakfern, Northern Oak Fern: Gymnocarpium dryopteris -

Anderson's Holly-fern, Anderson's Sword Fern, Vancouver Holly Fern: Polystichum andersonii -

California Sword Fern, California Sword-fern: Polystichum californicum -

Narrowleaf Swordfern, Narrow-leaved Sword-fern, Imbricate Sword Fern: Polystichum imbricans ssp. imbricans (Synonyms: Polystichum munitum var. imbricans, Polystichum munitum ssp. imbricans) -

Kruckeberg's Holly-fern, Kruckeberg's Sword Fern: Polystichum kruckebergii -

Lemmon's Holly-fern, Shasta Fern: Polystichum lemmonii (Synonym: Polystichum mohrioides var. lemmonii) -

Northern Holly-fern, Mountain Holly Fern: Polystichum lonchitis -

Common Sword Fern, Western Sword-fern: Polystichum munitum (Synonyms: Aspidium munitum, Polystichum munitum var. munitum) -

Rock Sword Fern, Mountain Holly-fern: Polystichum scopulinum (Synonym: Polystichum mohrioides var. scopulinum) -

Rocky Mountain Woodsia, Laurentian Cliff Fern: Woodsia scopulina -

Grapeferns and Moonworts: Ophioglossaceae -

Trianglelobe Moonwort, Upswept Moonwort: Botrychium ascendens -

Dainty Moonwort, Scalloped Moonwort: Botrychium crenulatum -

Lanceleaf Moonwort, Lanceleaf Grapefern: Botrychium lanceolatum -

Common Moonwort: Botrychium lunaria -

Mingan Moonwort: Botrychium minganense -

Leather Grapefern, Leathery Grapefern: Botrychium multifidum (Synonym: Botrychium silaifolium) -

Northern Moonwort, Northwestern Moonwort, St. John's Moonwort: Botrychium pinnatum -

Least Moonwort, Little Grapefern: Botrichium simplex -

Rattlesnake Fern, Rattlesnake Grapefern, Common Grapefern, Virginia Grapefern: Botrychium virginianum -

Adder's Tongue, Northern Adder's-tongue: Ophioglossum pusillum (Synonym: Ophioglossum vulgatum) -

The Polypody Family: Polypodiaceae -

Pacific Polypody, Irregular Polypody: Polypodium amorphum (Synonym: Polypodium montense) -

Nested Polypody: Polypodium calirhiza (Synonyms: Polypodium californicum, Polypodium californicum var. kaulfussii) -

Licorice Fern: Polypodium glycyrrhiza (Synonym: Polypodium vulgare var. occidentale) -

Western Polypody: Polypodium hesperium (Synonym: Polypodium vulgare var. columbianum) -

Leathery Polypody, Leather-leaved Polypody, Coast Polypody, Scouler's Polypody: Polypodium scouleri -

The Maidenhair Family: Pteridaceae -

Aleutian Maidenhair, Northern Maidenhair Fern, Western Maidenhair, Western Maidenhair Fern: Adiantum aleuticum (Synonym: Adiantum pedatum) -

California Maidenhair Fern: Adiantum jordanii -

Podfern, Indian's Dream, Oregon Cliff Brake: Aspidotis densa (Synonyms: Cheilanthes siliquosa, Cryptogramma densa, Onychium densum) -

Lace Lipfern, Lace Fern: Cheilanthes gracillima -

Coastal Lipfern: Cheilanthes intertexta - ?

American Rockbrake, American Parsley Fern: Cryptogramma acrostichoides (Synonyms: Cryptogramma crispa, Cryptogramma crispa var. acrostichoides) -

Cascade Rockbrake, Cascade Parsley Fern: Cryptogramma cascadensis - ?

Coffee Fern: Pellaea andromedifolia -

Sierra Cliffbrake, Sierra Cliff Brake: Pellaea brachyptera -

Brewer's Cliffbrake, Brewer's Cliff Brake: Pellaea breweri - ?

Gold-back Fern, Gold Fern: Pentagramma triangularis ssp. triangularis (Synonym: Pityrogramma triangularis) -

Western Oregon Fern Key:

The following key is only a partial key of northwest ferns that are typically found at low elevations near urban areas:.


1A. Ferns with compound leaf fronds (The leaflets are made of many even smaller leaflets.). Go to 2.

1B. Ferns with simple leaf fronds (The leaflets do not have smaller leaflets on them.). Go to 6.

2A. Compound ferns that are widest at the bottom. Go to 3.

2B. Compound ferns that are widest in the middle or fan-shaped. Go to 5.

3A. Compound ferns that are broadly triangular in shape. Go to 4.

3B. Compound ferns that are narrower, perhaps as wide in the middle as at the base. A fern found in rock fall areas and cliffs. Height to 1 foot. See Parsley Fern Cryptogramma crispa .

4A. Compound ferns of moist forests and openings, and sometimes rocky slopes. Height 1-2 feet tall. See Oak Fern Gymnocarpium dryopteris.

4B. Compound ferns that are found in meadows or open woods. Height to 2-3 feet tall. See Bracken Fern Pteridium aquilinum.

5A. Compound ferns that are widest in the middle, tapering to points at both the base and also the tip. See Lady Fern Athyrium filix-femina. (Note: some Wood Ferns also fit this lead!)

5B. Compound ferns that have leaflets that arise from a central stem in a palmate manner like many fingers from the hand. A fern of moist places. See Maidenhair Fern Adiantum pedatum .

6A. Individual leaflets have a bare peg-like stem where they attach to midrib (main stem arising from ground). Go to 7.

6B. Individual leaflets have a leaf edge which extends to and touches the midrib. The leaflet has no bare peg attaching it to the midrib. Go to 8.

7A. Large fern to several feet tall with long leaflets having serrate margins, an upward pointing tooth near the base of the leaflet, and a pointed tip. See Sword Fern Polystichum munitum .

7B. Short fern of cliffs and talus slopes, especially were moist and often near waterfalls. Leaflets are rounded. See Maidenhair Spleenwort Asplenium trichomanes .

8A. Simple fern with the widest leaflets at the middle of the frond. Leaflets long, thin, and with rounded tips. Fronds 1-2 feet long. See Deer Fern Blechnum spicant .

8B. Simple fern with the widest leaflets at the bottom, or near the bottom of the frond. Leaflets long, thin, and usually with pointed tips. Fronds usually less than 1 foot long. Often found growing on trees. Rhizome tastes like black licorice. See Licorice Fern Polypodium glycyrrhiza

Paul Slichter E-mail