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Gymnocarpium appalachianum Pryer & Haufler. Appalachian Oak Fern. Phen: Jun-Sep. Hab: Moist, rocky forests, at medium to high elevations. Dist: Endemic to the c. and s. Appalachians (known from ne. WV, nw. VA, sc. PA, and disjunct in nw. NC and OH).

Origin/Endemic status: Endemic

Taxonomy Comments: Electrophoretic, morphologic, and DNA analyses show that it is one of the diploid parents of the widespread allotetraploid G. dryopteris (Pryer 1992; Pryer & Haufler 1993; Rothfels et al. 2014). Karyotype = AA.

Other Comments: In NC, it is limited to a single site, below the north-facing summit cliffs on Bluff Mountain, Ashe County, where seepage results in extensive ice formations which frequently persist until June.

Synonymy: = FNA2, K1, K3, K4, Pa, Va, Pryer & Haufler (1993); = n/a – RAB; < Dryopteris disjuncta (Ledeb.) C.V.Morton – F; < Gymnocarpium dryopteris (L.) Newman – C, G, W, WV

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image of plant© Gary P. Fleming | Original Image ⭷