Connecticut Plants
Clinton's Woodfern
Dryopteris clintoniana (D.C. Eat.) Dowell

Clinton's woodfern originated as a hybrid of Goldie's fern and crested woodfern, and its characteristics are mostly intermediate between the two parents. Clinton's woodfern fronds are wider than crested woodfern fronds, but narrower than Goldie's fern fronds. Similar to crested woodfern, Clinton's woodfern has fertile fronds that are taller, narrower, and more upright than its sterile fronds, but the difference is less pronounced than it is in crested woodfern. Like crested woodfern, Clinton's woodfern's lowest leaflets are broadly triangular.

  • Synonyms: Dryopteris cristata (L.) A. Gray var. clintoniana (D.C. Eaton) Underw.
  • Family: woodfern (Dryopteridaceae)
  • Habitat: wet woods, swamps
  • Height: 2-4 feet
  • Location of spores: underside of fronds
  • Petiole (leaf stalk): green; dark brown and scaly at the base
  • Growth pattern: asymmetric clump
  • Persistence: evergreen
  • Origin: native
Dryopteris clintoniana (D.C. Eat.) Dowell

Photo © Don Lubin, courtesy of Ferns et al. of New England.

Dryopteris clintoniana (D.C. Eat.) Dowell

This Clinton's woodfern has only sterile fronds.

Dryopteris clintoniana (D.C. Eat.) Dowell

A fertile frond of Clinton's woodern.

Dryopteris clintoniana (D.C. Eat.) Dowell

Underside of a leaflet from the frond shown above.