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Woodsia R. Brown. Woodsia, Cliff Fern.

Key to Woodsia

A genus of about 65 species, of temperate and cool-temperate regions, widespread in the Northern Hemisphere, in montane tropical South America and Africa. Recent proposals have been made, based on molecular and morphological data, to split Woodsia into 2 or more genera (Shmakov 2015; Lu et al. (2020). They have merit, but we hold with a broad circumscription of Woodsia until a consensus develops.

ID notes: Woodsia species and Cystopteris species are all small ferns with thin-textured leaves, occurring primarily on or near rock outcrops; they frequently occur together or in proximity to one another and are often confused. Woodsia has the indusium divided into a series of scale-like or hair-like structures, attached below the sorus; Cystopteris has an undivided indusium, pocket-like or hood-like, attached around one side of the sorus. Woodsia has persistent dark petiole bases; in Cystopteris the petiole bases are deciduous. Woodsia has the final veinlets not reaching the margin; Cystopteris veins do reach the margin.

Ref: Kramer & Green (1990); Lin et al. (2013); Lu et al. (2020); PPG I (2016); Shmakov (2015); Windham (1993d) In Flora of North America Editorial Committee (1993b). Show full citations.

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

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