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Massachusetts Fern
Thelypteris simulata (Parathelypteris simulata)

Massachusetts fern is a fairly common fern, yet it was not discovered until 1894. To a casual glance, it looks like a marsh fern, or perhaps a New York fern.

• Family: Thelypteridaceae
• Habitat: wooded swamps and moist, acid woods
• Height: 18-30 inches
• Location of spores: underside of fronds
• Stipe (leaf stalk): green to yellow-brown, with a few scales at the base
• Growth pattern: random
• Persistence: deciduous

next fern
Thelypteris simulata



Underside of a fertile leaflet, showing the kidney-shaped sori (spore-bearing dots). Note that the leaf edges are not rolled around the sori; this is the easiest way to distinguish Massachusetts fern from the similar marsh fern. Also, Massachusetts fern has veins that are unforked, while marsh fern has mostly forked veins.


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