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Connecticut Plants
Broad Beech Fern
Phegopteris hexagonoptera (Michx.) Fee
  • Synonyms: Thelypteris hexagonoptera
  • Family: marsh fern (Thelypteridaceae)
  • Habitat: rich woods with moderately acidic soil
  • Height: fronds 16-24 inches long
  • Location of spores: underside of frond near the leaf margin
  • Petiole (leaf stalk): green and winged through the leaf blade; yellowish and smooth below the blade; at the base darker and slightly hairy and scaly
  • Growth pattern: random
  • Persistence: deciduous
  • Origin: native
Phegopteris hexagonoptera (Michx.) FÈe
Phegopteris hexagonoptera (Michx.) FÈe

Scan of a broad beech fern frond. Note how the leaf blade at the base of the leaflets continues along the main stem, forming "wings" on the stem. Both broad beech fern and long beech fern have winged stems, but only broad beech fern is winged between the lowest two leaflets.

Phegopteris hexagonoptera (Michx.) FÈe

Underside of a frond, showing the sori (spore-bearing dots).