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Woodsia appalachiana T.M.C. Taylor. Appalachian Woodsia, Appalachian Cliff Fern, Mountain Woodsia. Phen: Jun-Sep. Hab: On cliffs of sandstone, shale, granite, granitic gneiss, and hornblende gneiss. Dist: Endemic to the Southern and Central Appalachians of VA, WV, NC, nw. GA, TN, and the Ozarks of AR (Peck 2011).

Origin/Endemic status: Endemic

Taxonomy Comments: This species is similar to W. scopulina of the western mountains of AK south to CO and CA. The eastern plants have been variously treated as a full species, a subspecies, or a variety of W. scopulina, or as indistinguishable from W. scopulina (see synonymy). It now appears that W. appalachiana may be a rather cryptic but distinct element of a reticulate complex also involving W. scopulina ssp. scopulina (of the Rocky Mountains) and W. scopulina ssp. laurentiana Windham (primarily of the Rocky Mountains but also disjunct eastward in ON and QC). Windham in FNA (1993b) treats these three entities as subspecies, and suggests that ssp. laurentiana is the allotetraploid derivative of hybridization of the eastern and western diploids. If this is indeed so, each of the three entities should be recognized at species rank.

Synonymy: = Ar, F, K1, K3, K4, Tn, Va; = Physematium scopulinum (D.C.Eaton) R.Trevis. ssp. appalachianum (T.M.C.Taylor) Li Bing Zhang, N.T.Lu, & X.F.Gao – Lu et al (2020); = Woodsia scopulina D.C.Eaton ssp. appalachiana (T.M.C.Taylor) Windham – FNA2; = Woodsia scopulina D.C.Eaton var. appalachiana (T.M.C.Taylor) Morton – G; = Woodsiopsis appalachiana (T.M.C.Taylor) Shmakov – Shmakov (2015); < Woodsia scopulina D.C.Eaton – C, RAB, Sf, W, WV

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image of plant© Alan M. Cressler | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Alan M. Cressler | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Alan M. Cressler | Original Image ⭷