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Anchistea C. Presl. Virginia Chain Fern.

A monotypic genus, perennial herb, of e. North America. Anchistea has often been lumped into the Eurasian (mainly e. Asian) Woodwardia, but is basal to Woodwardia, morphologically distinctive from both Woodwardia and Lorinseria, and an ancient independent lineage (Gasper et al. 2016, 2017).

ID notes:Sterile plants of Osmundastrum cinnamomeum are sometimes confused with Anchistea virginica, which also has rather coarse, pinnate-pinnatifid leaves and grows in similar wet, acid places. Osmundastrum is coarser (to 2 m tall, vs. to 1 m tall), has cinnamon tufts of tomentum present in the axils of the pinnae (vs. absent), has the rachis greenish and rather fleshy in texture (vs. brown and wiry), and bears fronds clumped or tufted from a massive, woody, ascending rhizome covered with old petiole bases (vs. fronds borne scattered along a thick, horizontal, creeping rhizome).

Ref: Cranfill (1993b) In Flora of North America Editorial Committee (1993b); Cranfill & Kato (2003); Gasper et al. (2016); Gasper et al. (2017); Kramer, Chambers, & Hennipman In Kramer & Green (1990); Li et al. (2016b); PPG I (2016). Show full citations.

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

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