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Slender Cliffbrake
Cryptogramma stelleri

Slender cliffbrake is endangered in Connecticut.

• Family: Pteridaceae
• Habitat: moist, shaded ledges, usually on limestone cliffs
• Height: 2-4 inches
• Location of spores: at the edges of fertile fronds, partially covered by rolled edges of the leaves
• Stipe (leaf stalk): green above, brown at base; smooth
• Growth pattern: random
• Persistence: deciduous, disappearing by late summer

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Cryptogramma stelleri


The fertile (spore-bearing) fronds have a different shape from the sterile fronds. The fertile fronds have narrower leaflets, and the overall frond size is usually larger. In this photo, fertile fronds are at top right and lower left, with a more rounded sterile frond between them.


A sterile frond.


Underside of a fertile frond.


Underside of a fertile leaflet. Note how the leaf edges curl under, mostly covering the spores. The markings on the left are sixteenths of an inch.


Last updated November 25, 2005. © 2005 Connecticut Botanical Society. All rights reserved.