Connecticut Plants
Ebony Spleenwort
Asplenium platyneuron (L.) Britton

Ebony spleenwort looks something like a smaller, more delicate version of Christmas fern, though the two ferns are not closely related. To identify ebony spleenwort, look for a smooth, glossy red-brown petiole (leaf stalk). The fertile fronds grow very erect, while the sterile fronds are shorter and more horizontal.

  • Family: spleenwort (Aspleniaceae)
  • Habitat: rocky woods
  • Height: 15 inches
  • Location of spores: underside of fronds (see second photo)
  • Petiole (leaf stalk): glossy red-brown, smooth, and brittle
  • Growth pattern: asymmetric clump
  • Persistence: evergreen
  • Origin: native
Asplenium platyneuron (L.) B.S.P.
Asplenium platyneuron (L.) B.S.P.

Underside of a fertile frond, showing the oblong sori (spore-bearing structures).