Flora of Scotts Creek Watershed
Woodwardia fimbriata - Western Chain Fern
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Family Name: Blechnaceae
Common Names: Western Chain Fern, Giant Chain Fern, Chain Fern
Origin: Native to California
Habitat: Often near streams, or moist places in woods, mountains, canyons. Below 2300 m.
Life Form and Duration: Perennial Fern, 1-3 m
Comments on overall growth: Large attractive fern with numerous long stalked, almost erect fronds. Rhizome stout, woody, with brownish scales that taper to a point, only basal portion underground, clustered fronds arising from ascending apex.
Foliage Type: Evergreen
Foliage Description: Stipes (frond stalks) 15-18 cm long and 5-15 mm wide at base, sturdy, straw-colored, base scaly with large pale reddish-brown scales. Laminae (blade portion) up to 150 cm long and 50 cm wide, pale green, elliptic to lanceolate in shape, once pinnate, frond lobed at apex. Pinnae (1st divisions) oblong-lanceolate, deeply lobed, 15-30 cm with lower pinnae reduced in size, glandular, hairy on midvein, alternates along rachis. Lobes lanceolate, finely toothed, pointed at tips, 2-5 cm long (may be up to 10cm) and 1 cm wide. Fertile and sterile fronds alike.
Indusia and Sori Description: Pattern of sori resembles chain. Sori are elongate, 2-4 mm long, set in visible shallow depressions, in a series alongside the midrib of the frond segments. Covered by elongate indusia, remains after release of sporangia.
Spore Production: November-June