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Lowland Brittle Fern (Southern Bladder Fern)
Cystopteris protrusa (Cystopteris fragilis var. protrusa)

This fern looks very similar to fragile fern and slender fragile fern, but it grows in soil on the forest floor, while the other ferns usually grow on rocky surfaces.

• Family: Dryopteridaceae
• Habitat: moist woods
• Height: fronds 6-16 inches long
• Location of spores: undersides of leaflets
• Stipe (leaf stalk): Slender, smooth with a few scales near base. Yellowish-tan to green.
• Growth pattern: asymmetric clump
• Persistence: deciduous

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Cystopteris protrusa


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


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