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Bulblet Fern
Cystopteris bulbifera

Bulblet fern gets its name from the green bulblets that form on the underside of the leaves. The bulblets drop off and grow into new ferns.

• Family: Dryopteridaceae
• Habitat: shaded limestone-rich cliffs & outcroppings
• Height: fronds 12-30 inches long
• Location of spores: spores & bulblets on undersides of leaflets (see second photo)
• Stipe (leaf stalk): yellow-green, except darker at base
• Growth pattern: asymmetric clump
• Persistence: deciduous

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Cystopteris bulbifera


Bulblet fern has two means of reproduction. The green knot-shaped structures are bulblets; these break off and grow into new ferns. The pale whitish structures bear spores (the standard means of fern reproduction). The white fibers are spider web, not part of the fern.


Bulblet fern fronds are long and narrow, tapering very gradually to the tip. The ruler shows inches.


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