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Nephrolepis exaltata (Linnaeus) Schott ssp. exaltata . Wild Sword Fern, Wild Boston Fern. Phen: Jan-Dec. Hab: Epiphytic or terrestrial in a range of open to shaded moist habitats. Dist: Panhandle and ne. FL south to s. FL; West Indies; Central and South America; widely introduced elsewhere. Marginally present in GA (Jekyll island, Glynn County, Max Medley, pers.comm. 2022), where it seemed to have been in place for several years but then died; not likely to become established, but included because it is likely to be observed occasionally where it appears to be naturalized, or at least stably persistent.

Origin/Endemic status: Native

Taxonomy Comments: N. exaltata ssp. exaltata appears to be a trigenomic hybrid involving N. cordifolia, N. biserrata, and probably N. brownii, with normal, sexual fertility (Yahaya et al. 2016). Ssp. hawaiiensis W.H. Wagner is endemic to the Hawaii Islands.

Synonymy: = K3, K4; < Nephrolepis exaltata (L.) Schott – Ar, Bah, ETx1, Fl1, FNA2, Meso1, S13, Sf, SFla, Tx, TxFerns, WH3, Hovenkamp & Miyamoto (2005)

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Wetland Indicator Status:

  • Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain: FAC (taxonomic split from wetland indicator species)
  • Great Plains: FACU (taxonomic split from wetland indicator species)

Heliophily: 2

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image of plant© Aidan Campos source | Original Image ⭷

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