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PTERIDOPHYTES OF NORTHEAST ALABAMA AND ADJACENT HIGHLANDS III: OPHIOGLOSSALES AND POLYPODIALES (Aspleniaceae to Dennstaedtiaceae).

INTRODUCTION

Members of Ophioglossales and Polypodiales belong to the division Polypodiophyta and are often called "true ferns." The order Ophioglossales in Alabama include the adder's-tongue ferns (Ophioglossum) and grapeferns (Botrychium). This group has strong leaf dimorphism with large sporangia producing great quantities of spores (eusporangiate) in "fertile spikes" or "segments." The sporangia lack a dehiscence mechanism (annulus) and the spores develop into underground gametophytes. The order Polypodiales has a diversity of growth habits and has small, specialized sporangia that produce smaller quantities of spores (leptosporangiate). Most species have sporangia with a definite dehiscence mechanism (annulus) with spores that usually produce green, above-ground gametophytes. The following families of this order, treated in this paper, are Aspleniaceae (spleenworts), Azollaceae (mosquito ferns), Blechnaceae (chain ferns), and Dennstaedtiaceae (bracken and hay-scented ferns).

Information on specific and infraspecific taxa is set up in the following format: Number. Name author(s) [derivation of specific and infraspecific epithets]. VERNACULAR NAME. Habit; nativity (if exotic). Sporulating dates. Habitat data; highland provinces; relative abundance; [occurrence on Coastal Plain]. Conservation status. Wetland indicator status. Comments. Synonyms.

Introduced taxa are followed by a dagger (+). Species of conservation concern are followed by a star (*). The coded state ranks (ANHP 1994, 1996, 1997, 1999) are defined in Table 1. Wetland indicator status codes (Reed 1988) are defined in Table 2. Relative abundance is for occurrence in the study area and not for the whole state. Frequency of occurrence is defined as follows, ranging in descending order: common (occurring in abundance throughout), frequent (occurring throughout but not abundant), occasional (known in more than 50% of the region but in scattered localities), infrequent (known in less than 50% of the region in scattered localities or occurring in restricted habitats), rare (known from only a few counties and restricted to specific localities), and very rare (known from only a single or few populations; mostly narrow endemics, disjuncts, and peripheral taxa). Synonyms are from Mohr (1901)-- M; Small (1938)-- S; Radford et al. (1968)-- R; and Lellinger (1985)-- L. Suggested pronunciation, author (s), date of citation, common name, and derivations are provided after each genus.

Distribution maps are typically for 18 counties in the northeast region of Alabama. The maps are expanded to adjacent highland counties for taxa that are rare or peripheral. Key to symbols are as follows: Filled circle (o) = documented at Jacksonville State University herbarium; filled square ([]) = documented at another herbarium; open circle (O) = reported in literature.

DIVISION III. POLYPODIOPHYTA

Class 1. POLYPODIOPSIDA (=Filices)

Order 1. OPHIOGLOSSALES

1. OPHIOGLOSSACEAE (Adder's-tongue Family) [*]

[*] Contributed in part by Terri L. Ballard

Selected reference: Wagner, W. H., Jr. and F. S. Wagner. 1993. Ophioglossaceae. In: Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 3+ vols. New York and Oxford. Vol. 2, pp. 85-106.

1. Sterile leaf blades pinnately dissected; veins free; fertile stalk with pinnately branched (grape-like) sporangial clusters Botrychium

1. Sterile leaf blades simple, unlobed; veins rejoining after branching (netted); fertile stalk with unbranched sporangial clusters Ophioglossum

1. BOTRYCHIUM {bo-TRIK-ee-um} Swartz 1800 * Grape-ferns * [Latin botry, bunch (of grapes), and -oides, like; in reference to the sporangial clusters.]

Selected reference: Wagner, Jr. W. H. and F. S. Wagner. 1983. Genus communities as a systematic tool in the study of New World Botrychium (Ophioglossaceae). Taxon 32: 51-63.

1. Sterile leaf blades thin, herbaceous, and absent during winter; fertile stalk arising from base of sterile blade; common stalk raised well above ground; leaf sheaths open................................................................. .......................................................B. virginianum

1. Sterile leaf blades leathery, evergreen or herbaceous, but present through winter; fertile stalk not arising at base of sterile leaf blade; common stalk at or near ground; leaf sheaths closed.

2. Leaves sessile or short-stalked, often prostrate on ground; plants ususally with 2 or more leaves; leaflets as long as wide (fan-shaped) and lacking a central vein; fertile stalk (sporophore) producing spores in late winter or early spring; new leaves appear in late fall and die in spring; roots yellowish and smooth ...............................................................B. lunarioides

2. Leaves long-stalked (more than 15 mm long) and erect or ascending; plants with 1 or more leaves; leaflets usually longer than wide, with a weak to strong central vein; fertile stalk producing spores in summer or fall; new leaves appear in spring or summer and last until the following spring; roots brownish and ribbed.

3. Leaflets (divisions of sterile blade) not much longer than broad, tips obtuse; sterile leaf blades often 2 per season, usually sprawling; leaflets with weak central vein................................................................. ...........................................B. jenmanii

3. Leaflets much longer than broad, tips acute; sterile leaf blades normally 1 per year, mostly upright; leaflets with strong central vein.

4. Sterile leaf blades 2-pinnate; small lateral leaflets (pinnae or pinnules) oblong and somewhat rounded; leaves usually green in winter..............................B. biternatum

4. Sterile leaf blades 3-pinnate; small lateral leaflets (pinnae or pinnules) rhomboidal and angular; leaves usually bronze in winter..............................B. dissectum

1. Botrychium biternatum (Savigny) Underwood [twice ternate]. SOUTHERN GRAPEFERN; SPARSE-LOBED GRAPEFERN. Figure 1. Evergreen perennial. Sporulates August - October. Woods, stream banks, and fields; all highland provinces; frequent; [Coastal Plain]. Wetland Indicator Status, FAG. The specific epithet is referring to the sterile blades that aredivided into three major parts, each of which is again divided into three parts (Theiret 1980).

2. Botrychium dissectum Sprengel [dissected]. DISSECTED GRAPEFERN; COMMON GRAPEFERN. Figure 2. Evergreen perennial. Sporulates August - October. Alluvial woods and stream banks; ALL highland provinces; frequent; [Coastal Plain]. Wetland Indicator Status, FAG. Leaves persist throughout the winter, darkening to bronze or copper. The highly dissected form of this variable species (f. dissectum) is much less frequent in northeast Alabama than the less dissected form (f. obliquum). Synonym: Botrychium obliquum (Muhlenberg) Small-- M,S.

3. Botrychium jenmanii * Underwood [George Jenman (1845-1902), British botanist]. ALABAMA GRAPEFERN; JENMAN'S GRAPEFERN. Figure 3. Evergreen perennial. Sporulates August - October. Open grassy sites and low pine woodlands; Cumberland Plateau and Piedmont; very rare; [Coastal Plain]. State Rank, SH. Wetland Indicator Status, NI. This fern was once listed as imperiled (S2) in the state, but now listed as of historical occurrence because it had not been seen in awhile. In spring of 2001, Brian Keener and Dan Spaulding collected it in a graveyard in Wadley, Alabama. William Maxon discovered this fern near Mobile, Alabama in 1906, but it was actually first collected from the Piedmont of Georgia in 1900 (Dean 1969). It is similar to B. lunarioides and often associated with it in lawns of cemeteries. Botrychium jenmanii is thought to be a fertile hybrid between B. lunarioides and B. biternatum. Synonym: Botrychium alabamense Maxon-- S.R.

3. Botrychium lunarioides * Michaux (like B. lunaria, moonwort]. WINTER GRAPEFERN; PROSTRATE GRAPEFERN. Figure 4. Deciduous perennial (leaves dying by April). Sporulates January - April. Dry soil in grassy areas such as cemeteries, pastures, and mown fields; Cumberland Plateau and Piedmont; rare; (chiefly Coastal Plain]. State Rank, SH. Wetland indicator Status, NI. This fern should probably be listed as 51 or S2 because it was recently collected in Morgan County by Alvin Diamond and in Randoph County by Brain Keener and Dan Spaulding. It is easily overlooked, and you have to often crawl on the ground to find it. Botrychium lunarioides is often associated with another inconspicuous family member, Ophioglossum crotalophoroides (bulbous adder's-tongue).

4. Botrychium virginianum (Linnaeus) Swartz (Virginian]. RATTLESNAKE FERN; VIRGINIA GRAPEFERN. Figure 5. Deciduous perennial. Sporulates April - June. Woods, thickets, and meadows; all highland provinces; common; (Coastal Plain]. Wetland Indicator Status, FAC+. This species is the most widespread Botrychium of North America (Wagner and Wagner 1993). The name "rattlesnake fern" is in reference to the fertile stalk which supposedly resembles the tail of this snake (Clute 1938). Indians used the rootstock and made a poultice for snakebites, bruises, cuts, and sores (Foster and Duke 1990). Synonym: Osmundopteris virginiana (Linnaeus) Small-- S.

2. OPHIOGLOSSUM {oh-fee-oh-GLOSS-um} Linnaeus 1753 * Adder's-tongue Ferns * (Greek ophis, snake, and glossa, tongue, referring to the sporulating portion of the fertile rachis.]

1. Rhizome (underground stem) globose-bulbous; leaf blades deltate to cordate.......................O. crotaloporoides

1. Rhizome cylindrical; leaves ovate to elliptical.

2. Apex of sterile leaf blades ending abruptly in a small slender point; veins of sterile leaf blades forming smaller secondary areoles ("circles") within larger primary areoles; fresh plants malodorous; plants of limestone outcroppings................O. engelmannii

2. Apex of sterile leaf blades rounded; veins of sterile blades forming areoles without secondary areoles, but with included free vienlets; fresh plants not malodorous; plants not usually associated with limestone outcroppings.....................O. vulgatum

Note: Dr. Herb Wagner (1999) states that Ophioglossum nudicaule Linnaeus f., Slender Adder's-tongue, and Ophioglossum petiolatum Hooker, Stalked Adder's-tongue, are likely to be found in habitats similar to those of O. crotalophoroides, but have not been documented from our study area. These plants are easily over-looked because of their smaller size. Both adder's-tongues are more common on the coastal plain. Like O. crotalophoroides, they usually have two to three leaves per stem, but lack a corm-like rhizome and cordate-deltate leaves. Ophioglossum nudicaule is less than 6 cm tall with leaf blades arising near base of plant and 0. petiolatum is more than 6 cm tall with leaf blades arising near the middle of plant. The latter species is probably not native and was introduced through plant nurseries (Nelson 2000).

1. Ophioglossum crotalophoroides * Walter [like a rattle-bearer]. BULBOUS ADDER'S-TONGUE. Figure 6. Deciduous perennial. Sporulates February - September. Open grassy areas such as lawns, fields, and cemeteries; Cumberland Plateau; rare; [chiefly Coastal Plain]. State Rank, previously S3 (ANHP 1994). Wetland Indicator Status, FAC-. First discovered in the late 18th century by Thomas Walter who included it in Flora Caroliniana in 1788 (Dean 1969). The specific epithet is referring to the sporangia resembling the rattles of a rattlesnake (Crotalus). This species is easily overlooked, it is best to get down on your knees with your head close to the ground in order to find it.

2. Ophioglossum engelmannii * Prantl [G. Engelmann, 1809-1884]. LIMESTONE ADDER'S-TONGUE. Figure 7. Deciduous perennial. Sporulates March - June. Mostly in soil over limestone in open fields, pastures, and cedar glades; Interior Low Plateau, Cumberland Plateau; infrequent; [Coastal Plain]. State Rank, S2S3. Wetland Indicator Status, FACU. This species forms extensive colonies by vegetative reproduction. Karl Prantl (1849-1893), a German botanist, named this species in 1883 in honor of George Engelmann (1809-1884), an American plant taxonomist, (Nelson 2000).

3. Ophioglossum vulgatum Linnaeus [common]. SOUTHERN or COMMON ADDER'S-TONGUE. Figure 8. Deciduous perennial. Sporulates April - July. Low woods, floodplains, and meadows; all highland provinces; occasional; [Coastal Plain]. Wetland Indicator Status, FACW. Synonyms: Ophioglossum vulgatum var. pycnostichum Fernald- R; Ophioglossum pycnostichum (Fernald) Love & Love- L.

Order 2. POLYPODIALES (=Filicales)

1. ASPLENIACEAE (Spleenwort Family)

1. ASPLENIUM {ess-PLEEN-ee-um} Linnaeus 1753 * Spleenworts * [Greek splen, for spleen; once thought useful for diseases of the spleen.]

Selected reference: Wagner, W. H. Jr., R. C. Moran, and C. R. Werth. 1993. Aspleniaceae. In: Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 3+ vols, New York and Oxford. Vol. 2, pp. 228-245.

1. Leaves simple or deeply lobed, not divided to midvein; leaf apices (tips) usually long tapering (acute to acuminate in A. scolopendrium).

2. Leaf blades deeply lobed...A. pinnatifidum

2. Leaf blades simple, not lobed.

3. Leaf apex long tapering (attenuate) and often rooting at tip; veins forming areoles (anastomosing); sari single along veins....................................A. rhizophyllum

3. Leaf apex acute to acuminate and not rooting at tips; veins free; sari in pairs along veins................................................................ .....A. scolopendrium

1. Leaves pinnately divided; leaf tips usually acute (rarely rounded or acuminate), not long tapering.

4. Leaf blades 1-pinnate and leaflets (pinnae) not lobed.

5. Leaflets mostly alternate; base of leaflets with auricles (lobes) that usually overlap rachis............................................................... ...A. platyneuron

5. Leaflets mostly opposite; base of leaflets not overlapping rachis.

6. Leaflets strongly asymmetrical, midvein running along basal edge of blade; sori few (usually 1) and located on only one side of main vein (costa).............................................................. ..........A. monanthes

6. Leaflets symmetrical, midvein running along the middle of blade; sori numerous (more than 4) and located on both sides of the main vein.

7. Leaflets oblong (longer than wide) and usually more than 9 mm long; auricles (lobes) present at base of leaflets..........................................A. resiliens

7. Leaflets mostly oval (almost as long as wide) and usually less than 9 mm long; auricles lacking at base of leaflets.............................................A. trichomanes

4. Leaf blades 2 to 4-pinnate or pinnae (leaflets) deeply lobed (at least lower ones).

8. Blades with 2-5 pairs of pinnae; leaf stalks (petioles) entirely green; plants on calcareous (limestone) rock................................................A. ruta-muraria

8. Blades with more than 5 pairs of pinnae; leaf stalks darkened, at least at base; plants on acidic (usually sandstone) rock.

9. Leaf stalks (petioles) dark colored only at base; most pinnae divided ................................................A. montanum

9. Leaf stalks and lower portion of rachis darkly colored; only the lower pinnae divided (bipinnate).......................................................... .....A. bradleyi

Note: The following hybrids are known to occur in our study area, but are rare (figure 9).

(1) Asplenium xgravesii Maxon, Grave's Spleenwort, is an infertile hybrid between A. pinnatifidum and A. bradleyi. The frond (leaf blade) of this hybrid is pinnate except for the apex which is usually deeply lobed (pinnatifid). Its leaf stalk (petiole) and portions of rachis are dark colored. Mason named this hybrid in honor of B. W. Graves, who according to Dean (1969) discovered it in Alabama in 1917. However, Short (1999) states that Dean was mistaken and that the type locality is actually in Dade County, Georgia.

(2) Asplenium x trudellii Wherry, Trudell's Spleenwort, is an infertile hybrid between A. mantanum and A. pinnatifidum. The frond of this hybrid is often deeply lobed (pinnatifid) near the apex and pinnate to pinnate-pinnatifid at the base. Its leaf stalk (petiole) is mostly green and it occurs on rock, like its parents.

(3) Asplenium x ebenoides R. R. Scott, Scott's Spleenwort, an infertile hybrid (in our range) between A. rhizophyllum and A. platyneuron. One population in Hale County (southern Alabama), has doubled its chromosomes and has become a fertile allotetraploid. This fertile population was discovered in 1874 by Julia L. Tutwiler, a teacher near Havana, Alabama (Walter et al. 1982). This hybrid was named by Robert R. Scott who discovered it near Philadelphia in 1862 (Dean 1969). The frond is usually deeply lobed (pinnatifid) with a long tapering tip, though it is sometimes pinnate at the very base. The lobes of the leaf blade are uneven in length, giving it an irregular outline and its leaf stalk (petiole) is dark throughout its length.

1. Asplenium bradleyi * D. C. Eaton [F. H. Bradley, 1838-1879]. CLIFF or BRADLEY'S SPLEENWORT. Figure 10. Evergreen perennial. Sporulates April - October. Acidic rock cliffs and ledges (usually composed of sandstone) in shady, dry-mesic environments; Cumberland Plateau, Ridge and Valley, upper Piedmont; infrequent. State Rank, S2. Wetland Indicator Status, UPL. This species is a fertile hybrid (allotetraploid) between A. montanum and A. platyneuron (Weakly 1997). This fern was discovered in Tennessee by Frank Bradley in 1870 (Dean 1969).

2. Asplenium monanthes * Linnaeus [one- "flowered"]. SINGLE-SORUS SPLEENWORT. Figure 11. Evergreen perennial. Sporulates April - October. Growing in crevices on rock in subacid to circumneutral soil; mossy granite-schist ledges in the upper Piedmont and vertical limestone sinks in the Cumberland Plateau; very rare. State Rank, S1. Wetland Indicator Status, NI. This fern was not discovered in the Southeastern U.S. until 1946 in South Carolina. Spores from Mexico are thought to have been brought in by a hurricane (Wherry 1972).

3. Asplenium montanum Willdenow [montane]. MOUNTAIN SPLEENWORT. Figure 12. Evergreen perennial. Sporulates May - October. Sandstone (acidic) rock outcrops and bluffs; Interior Low Plateau, Cumberland Plateau, Ridge and Valley, upper Piedmont; infrequent. Wetland Indicator Status, UPL.

4. Asplenium pinnatifidum Nuttall [pinnatifid]. LOBED SPLEENWORT. Figure 13. Evergreen perennial. Sporulates May - October. Rock outcrops in gorges, usually on sandstone; acidic soils in forests; Cumberland Plateau; infrequent. Wetland Indicator Status, UPL.

5. Asplenium platyneuron (Linnaeus) Britton, Sterns, & Poggenburg [broad-nerved]. EBONY SPLEENWORT. Figure 14. Evergreen perennial. Sporulates April - November. Forests, woodlands, borders of wood, thickets, rock outcroppings, disturbed sites, usually in shallow, drymesic soils, acidic to circumneutral substrates; all highland provinces; common; [Coastal Plain]. Wetland Indicator Status, FACU. The specific epithet is a misnomer based on an early drawing with a large, exaggerated rachis (Nelson 2000). Synonym: Asplenium platyneuron (Linnaeus) Oakes--M, S, R.

6. Asplenium resiliens Kunze [springing back]. BLACK-STEMMED SPLEENWORT. Figure 15. Evergreen perennial. Sporulates April - November. Rock outcrops, circumneutral soils, frequently on limestone; Interior Low Plateau, Cumberland Plateau, Ridge and Valley, upper Piedmont; frequent; [Coastal Plain]. Wetland Indicator Status, UPL. The specific epithet may refer to the flexible leaf stalks (petioles). Synonym:Asplenium parvulum Martens & Galeotti-- M.

7. Asplenium rhizophyllum Linnaeus [rooting leaf]. WALKING FERN. Figure 16. Evergreen perennial. Sporulates May B October. Shaded rock ledges and boulders, frequently on limestone though occasionally on acidic rocks; Interior Low Plateau, Cumberland Plateau, Ridge and Valley; occasional; [rarely Coastal Plain]. Wetland Indicator Status, UPL. Synonym: Camptosorus rhizophyllus (Linnaeus) Link-- M.

8. Asplenium ruta-muraria * Linnaeus [rue - growing on walls]. WALL-RUE SPLEENWORT. Figure 17. Evergreen perennial. Sporulates May - October. Crevices of limestone cliffs and ledges; Interior Low Plateau, Cumberland Plateau, Ridge and Valley; rare. State Rank, S2. Wetland Indicator Status, UPL. Some authors consider our species as var. cryptolepis (Fernald) Wherry, which only differs slightly from the European species. In Europe this fern is common on masonry walls. Synonym: Asplenium cryptolepis Fernald-- S.

9. Aspleniurn scolopendrium * Linnaeus [Greek name of a similar plant] var. americanum (Fernald) Kartesz & Gandhi [American]. HART'S-TONGUE FERN. Figure 18. Evergreen perennial. Sporulates September - December. Deeply shaded limestone sinks with cool, humid air; Cumberland Plateau; very rare. Federal Status, Threatened; State Rank, 51. Wetland Indicator Status, NI. Although difficult to locate the habitat, various spelunkers have actively sought such caves and explored them with the intent of locating new populations. It was discovered growing in Alabama in 1978 during a caving expedition in Jackson County (Short 1979). First described by Linnaeus in 1753 from European plants. It was first discovered in North America in 1807 by Frederick Pursh, near Syracuse, New York (Clute 1938). Other vernacular names for this fern include Hound's-tongue and Seaweed Fern, all which allude to the shape of the fronds. Synonyms: Phyllitis scolopendrium (Linnaeus) Newman var. americana Fernald-- L.

10. Asplenium trichonianes * Linnaeus [hair cup]. MAIDENHAIR SPLEENWORT. Figure 19. Evergreen perennial. Sporulates May - November. Rocky slopes and bluffs, frequently growing on rocks; Interior Low Plateau, Cumberland Plateau, Ridge and Valley, upper Piedmont; infrequent. State Rank, S2S3. Wetland Indicator Status, UPL. Two infraspecific taxa, subsp. trichomanes and subsp. quadrivalens D. E. Meyer, occur in North America. Only the type species is found in our state. Asplenium trichomanes subsp. trichomanes also occurs in Europe.

2. AZOLLACEAE (Mosquito Fern Family)

1. AzOLLA {ah-ZOH-la} Lamarck 1783 * Mosquito Ferns * [Greek azo, to dry, and ollyo, to kill; alluding to the possibility of drought killing this aquatic fern.]

Selected references: Lumpkin, T. A. 1993. Azollaceae. In: Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 3+ vols. New York and Oxford. Vol. 2, pp. 338-339. Svenson, H. K. 1944. The New World species of Azolla. Amer. Fern 1. 34: 69-84.

1. Azolla caroliniana Willdenow [Carolinian]. MOSQUITO FERN; WATER FERN. Figure 20. Evergreen, floating aquatic. Rarely collected with sporocarps (hard, pea-shaped bodies that contain spores). Stagnant or slow-moving water of lakes, ponds, marshes, and streams, though may be stranded on wet muck when pool level drops; along the Tennessee River Valley in the Interior Low Plateau and Cumberland Plateau; infrequent; [chiefly Coastal Plain]. Wetland Indicator Status, OBL. Economically important because of its symbiotic relationship with the nitrogen-fixing blue-green alga, Anabaena azollae. Used as a "green" fertilizer with crops such as rice or a nutritional supplement when mixed with livestock feed (Dunbar 1989). Plants turn red when under stress from factors such as high temperatures or poor nutrition. Growth of this fern can be so dense over the water surface that it can exclude mosquito larvae, hence the common name (Snyder and Bruce 1986). Short (1999) believes this is essentially a Coastal Plain plant. It was probably introduced into the Tennessee Valley and it grows there today because the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) lakes provide the still-water type of habitat it needs.

3. BLECHNACEAE (Chain Fern Family)

Selected Reference: Cranfill, R. B. 1993. Blechnaceae. In: Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 3+ vols. New York and Oxford. Vol. 2, pp. 223-224.

1. WOODWARDIA {wood-WAR-dee-uh} Smith 1793 * Chain Ferns * [in honor of English botanist, Thomas Jenkinson Woodward, 1745-1820.] The common name for this genus is in reference to the "chain-like" appearance of the sori. Recent research suggests that the two local elements represent two genera: Lorinseria and Anchistea (Wagner 1999).

Selected Reference: Cranfill, R. B. 1993. Woodwardia. In: Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 3+ vols. New York and Oxford. Vol. 2, pp. 226-227.

1. Leaves dimorphic; fertile leaves pinnate, sterile leaves mostly pinnatifid (deeply lobed); veins conspicuously netted...W. areolata

1. Leaves monomorphic (sterile and fertile leaves similar); leaves pinnate with pinnatifid leaflets; veins mostly free...W. virginica

1. Woodwardia areolata (Linnaeus) T. Moore [with areoles]. NETTED or NET-LEAVED CHAIN FERN. Figure 21. Deciduous perennial. Sporulates late April - November. Swamps, stream banks, bogs, seepage slopes, and wet mixed woods; all highland provinces; frequent; [Coastal Plain]. Wetland Indicator Status, OBL. The common name refers to the noticeably netted venation of the sterile leaves. This species is often confused with Sensitive Fern (Onoclea sensibilis). Sterile leaves of W. areolata usually have an alternate pinna arrangement and finely serrate leaf margins; whereas, O. sensibilis usually has an opposite pinna arrangement and entire leaf margins. Synonym: Lorinseria areolata (Linnaeus) Presley-- S.

2. Woodwardia virginica (Linnaeus) Smith [Virginian]. VIRGINIA or SOUTHERN CHAIN FERN. Figure 22. Deciduous perennial. Sporulates July - September. Creek banks, open wet areas, and forested wetlands; Cumberland Plateau, Ridge and Valley; infrequent; [chiefly Coastal Plain]. Wetland Indicator Status, OBL. This fern is used by the Chain Fern Borer Moth (Papaipema stenocelis) as a food source (Dunbar 1989). This species resembles Cinnamon Fern (Osmunda cinnamomea), but Woodwardia virginica can be distinguished having the following suite of characteristics: blackish leaf stalk , absence of woolly, brown hairs, and non-clustered (non-circular) growth pattern. Synonym: Anchistea virginica (Linnaeus) Presley-- S.

4. DENNSTAEDTIACEAE (Cuplet Fern Family) [*]

(*.) Contributed in part by Timothy L. Hofmann

Selected reference: Cranfill, R. B. 1993. Dennstaedtiaceae. In: Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 3+ vols. New York and Oxford. Vol. 2, pp. 198B205.

1. Leaf axis 3-branched; leaf blades triangular and lacking glands (eglandular); sori continuous and covered by rolled under (revolute) leaflet margin Pteridium

1. Leaf axis not branched; leaf blades broadly elliptic (not triangular) and glandular; sori distinct and not covered by leaflet margin Dennstaedtia

Note: Hypolepis repens (Linnaeus) C. Presl, Bramble Fern, sometimes escapes from cultivation and is native to tropical America. An old record for this species was collected in Jefferson County. It is similar to Hay-scented Fern (Dennstaedtia punctilobula), but leaves are 4-pinnate-pinnatifid (instead of 2-pinnate-pinnatifid in Dennstaedtia) and has "flaps" (false outer indusia) that cover the sori along margins of the leaflets.

1. DENNSTAEDTIA {den-STET-ee-uh} Bernhardi 1802 * Cuplet Ferns * [Named for August W. Dennstaedt, 1776-1826, a German botanist.]

Selected references: Nauman, C. E. and A. Murray Evans. 1993. Dennstaedtia. In: Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 3+ vols. New York and Oxford. Vol. 2, pp. 19-201. Tyron, R. M., Jr. 1960. A review of the genus Dennstaedtia in America. Contr. Gray Herb. 187: 23-52.

1. Dennstaedtia punctilobula * (Michaux) T. Moore [with dotted lobes]. HAY-SCENTED FERN; BOULDER FERN. Figure 23. Deciduous perennial. Sporulates June - September. Shaded sandstone bluffs and rocky slopes; Cumberland Plateau, Ridge and Valley, Upper Piedmont; infrequent. State Rank, previously S3 (ANHP 1994). Wetland Indicator Status, UPL. Fronds have the scent of newly mown hay, hence the common name. The name "boulder fern" comes from the common association of this fern with rocky habitats (Clute 1938). Cherokee Indians made a tea from the plant to help control chills (Dunbar 1989).

2. PTERIDIUM {ter-RID-ee-um} Gleditsch ex Scopoli 1760 * Bracken Ferns * [Greek, pteridion, diminutive of Pteris, a wing; an ancient name for a fern.] "Bracken" or "Brake" is from an old Saxon word meaning fallow or clearing, alluding to habitats of this fern.

Selected reference: Jacobs, C. A. and J. H. Peck. 1993. Pteridium. In: Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 3+ vols. New York and Oxford. Vol. 2, pp. 201-204.

1. Terminal pinnules (leaflets) 6 to 15 times longer than wide, undersurface of leaflets (abaxial axes) remotely pilose to glabrous P. aquilinum var. pseudocaudatum

1. Terminal pinnules 2 to 4 times longer than wide, undersurface of leaflets (abaxial axes) villous P. aquilinum var. latiusculum

1. Pteridium aquilinum (Linnaeus) Kuhn var. Latiusculum (Desvaux) Underwood [broad]. EASTERN BRACKEN FERN; PASTURE BRAKE. Figure 24. Deciduous perennial. Sporulates July - September. Open woods, roadsides, pastures, meadows, usually in acid to strongly acid soils; Cumberland Plateau; rare. Wetland Indicator Status, FACU. The species has a world-wide distribution. Ashes of bracken fern were used to make soap because of their high potash content (Clute 1938). Bracken Fern is the host plant for the Bracken Borer Moth, (Papaipema pterisii). Synonyms: Pteris latiuscula Desvaux--S.

2. Pteridium aquilinum (Linnaeus) Kuhn [of an eagle] var. pseudocaudatum (Clute) Heller [false tail]. TAILED BRACKEN FERN; SOUTHERN BRACKEN. Figure 25. Deciduous perennial. Sporulates July - September. Forms large colonies, in barrens, open woods, in sandy, acid soils; all highland provinces; common; [Coastal Plain]. Wetland Indicator Status, FACU. Deep rhizomes are protected from fires. Fiddleheads were eaten as a vegetable, but recent studies have shown them to be carcinogenic. Plants contain the enzyme thiaminase and if consumed in large quantities by livestock may cause poisonings (Dunbar 1989). The specific epithet alludes to the wing-shaped fronds or possibly to the fiddleheads resemblance to an eagle's foot. Synonym: Pteris aquilina Linnaeus var. pseudocaudata Clute-- M.

REFERENCES CITED

Alabama Natural Heritage Program [ANHP]. 1994. Vascular Plant Inventory Tracking List, April edition. Montgomery, Alabama.

Alabama Natural Heritage Program. 1996. Species Inventory List. Montgomery, Alabama.

Alabama Natural Heritage Program. 1997. Inventory List of Rare, Threatened, and Endangered Plants, Animals, and Natural Communities of Alabama. Montgomery, Alabama.

Alabama Natural Heritage Program. 1999. Inventory List of Rare, Threatened, and Endangered Plants, Animals, and Natural Communities of Alabama. Montgomery, Alabama.

Clute, W. N. 1938. Our Ferns: Their Haunts, Habits and Folklore, 2nd ed. Frederick A. Stokes Company, New York.

Dean, B. E. 1969. Ferns of Alabama. Southern University Press, Birmingham.

Dunbar, Lin. 1989. Ferns of the Coastal Plain, their Lore, Legends and Uses. University of South Carolina Press.

Foster, S. and J. A. Duke. 1990. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants, Peterson Field Guide Series. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.

Lellinger, D. B. 1985. A Field Manual of the Ferns and Fern-allies of the United States and Canada. Washington, D. C.

Mohr, C. 1901. Plant Life of Alabama. Cont. U. S. Nat. Herb. 6.

Nelson, G. 2000. Ferns of Florida. Pineapple Press, Sarasota.

Radford, A. E., H. E. Ahles, and C. R. Bell, 1968. Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas. The University of North Carolina Press.

Reed, P.B. 1988. National List of Plant Species that Occur in Wetlands: Southeast (Region 2). U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Biological Rep. 88 (24), 244 p.

Short, J. W. 1979. Phyllitis scolopendrium newly discovered in Alabama. Amer. Fern J. 69:47B48.

Short, J. W. 1999. Personal letter to Dan Spaulding at the Anniston Museum of Natural History, 21 June.

Small, J. K. 1938. Ferns of Southeastern States. Published by author. New York.

Snyder, L. H. and J. G. Bruce. 1986. Field Guide to the Ferns and Other Pteridophytes of Georgia. The University of Georgia Press.

Theiret, J. W. 1980. Louisiana Ferns and Fern Allies. Lafayette Natural History Museum in conjunction with the University of Southwest Louisiana. Lafayette, Louisiana.

Wagner, W. H, 1999. Personal letter and notes to Daniel D. Spaulding at the Anniston Museum of Natural History, 16 November.

Wagner, W. H., Jr. and F. S. Wagner. 1993. Ophioglossaceae. In: Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 3+ vols. New York and Oxford. Vol. 2, pp. 85B 106.

Walter, K. S., W. H. Wagner, Jr., and F. S. Wagner. 1982. Ecological, biosystematic, and nomenclatural notes on Scott's Spleenwort, X Asplenosorus ebenoides. Amer. Fern J. 72:65B75.

Weakly, A. S. 1997. Flora of the Carolinas and Virginia, working draft. The Nature Conservancy, Regional Office, Southern Conservation Science Department.
Table 1.

Definition of state ranks.


Code Definition

S1 Critically imperiled in Alabama because of
 extreme rarity or because of some factor(s)
 making it especially vulnerable to expiration
 from Alabama.

S2 Imperiled in Alabama because of rarity or
 because of some factor(s) making it very
 vulnerable to extirpation from the state.

S3 Rare or uncommon in Alabama.

S4 Apparently secure in Alabama, with many
 occurrences.

S5 Demonstrably secure in Alabama and
 essentially "ineradicable" under present
 conditions.

SH Of historical occurrence, perhaps not
 verified in the past 20 years, and
 suspected to be still extant.

SR Reported, but without persuasive
 documentation which would provide a basis for
 either accepting or rejecting the report.

SU Possibly in peril in Alabama, but status
 uncertain.

S? Not ranked to date.
Table 2. Definition of wetland indicator codes.


Code Status Probability of Occurrence

OBL Obligate Wetland Species Occurs with estimated 99%
 probability in wetlands.

FACW Facultative Wetland Species Estimated 67%-99% probability
 of occurrence in wetlands,
 1%-33% probability
 in non wetlands.

FAC Facultative Species Equally likely to occur in
 wetlands and nonwetlands
 (34%-66% probability).

FACU Facultative Upland Species Estimated 67%-99% probability
 of occurrence in nonwetlands,
 1%-33% probability
 in wetlands.

UPL Obligate Upland Species Occurs with estimated 99%
 probability in uplands.

NI No Indicator Status Insufficient information
 available to determine an
 indicator status.



Note: Positive or negative signs indicate a frequency
toward higher (+) or lower (-) frequency of occurence
within a category.
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Author:Spaulding, Daniel D.; Ballard, J. Mark; Whetstone, R. David
Publication:Journal of the Alabama Academy of Science
Geographic Code:1U6AL
Date:Jan 1, 2001
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