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Gymnocarpium dryopteris (Linnaeus) Newman. Northern Oak Fern.

Triploids are known from the mountains of VA. Their identity is uncertain; based on geography they are presumably G. appalachianum × dryopteris [AAJ], but could be G. ×brittonianum (Sarvela) Pryer & Haufler [= G. disjunctum × dryopteris = AJJ]. Triploids can be distinguished by the presence of malformed spores, irregular in shape and size, often intermixed with large round spores (vs. all spores reniform and relatively uniform in size and shape).

Phen: Jun-Sep. Hab: Moist, rocky forests, at medium to high elevations. Dist: Circumboreal, occurring throughout northern and central Eurasia, Greenland, south in North America to MD (?), e. WV, s. PA, OH, MI, IL, IA, w. SD, CO, n. NM, c. AZ, and OR.

Origin/Endemic status: Native

Other Comments: See Pryer & Haufler (1993) for a detailed analysis of the distinguishing features of G. appalachianum and G. dryopteris. Rothfels et al. (2014) confirmed its origin as an allotetraploid derived from G. appalachianum and the w. North American/e. Asian G. disjunctum (Ruprecht) Ching. Karyotype = AAJJ.

Synonymy: = FNA2, FoC, GrPl, Il, K1, K3, K4, NE, NY, Pa, Pryer & Haufler (1993); < Dryopteris disjuncta (Ledeb.) C.V.Morton – F; < Gymnocarpium dryopteris (L.) Newman – C, G, W, WV

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image of plant© Alan Cressler: Gymnocarpium dryopteris, Snowy Mountain, Adirondack Park, Hamilton County, New York 1 by Alan Cressler source
image of plant© Erik Danielson source | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Erik Danielson source

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