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Marginal Woodfern
Dryopteris marginalis

• Family: Dryopteridaceae
• Habitat: rich woodlands, especially on rocky slopes or outcroppings
• Height: fronds 1-2 feet long
• Location of spores: spores on undersides of leaflets along edges
• Stipe (leaf stalk): stout, ungrooved, brown-green above, darker near base, covered with dense, light-brown scales near base, more sparse above
• Growth pattern: asymmetric clump
• Persistence: evergreen

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Dryopteris marginalis
Marginal woodfern in spring. The newly-emerged leaves are light green, but they turn dark green by summer.


Fiddleheads emerging in the spring.


Sori (spore-bearing dots) on the underside of a frond. The name "marginal woodfern" comes from the fact the sori are at the margin of the leaf.


Top part of a marginal woodfern frond.


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