Connecticut Plants
Walking Fern
Asplenium rhizophyllum L.

Walking fern has very unfernlike fronds. When the tips touch moist ground, a new fern can grow; the fern thus ""walks"" across the ground.

  • Synonyms: Camptosorus rhizophyllus
  • Family: spleenwort (Aspleniaceae)
  • Habitat: shaded limestone, moss-covered outcrops
  • Height: fronds 6-12 inches long
  • Location of spores: scattered on the undersurface of leaflets (see second photo)
  • Petiole (leaf stalk): green and smooth above, dark and scaly at the base
  • Growth pattern: random
  • Persistence: evergreen
  • Origin: native
Asplenium rhizophyllum L.
Asplenium rhizophyllum L.

Underside of a frond, showing the sori (spore-bearing structures). They look randomly placed, but each one follows a leaf vein.