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Onoclea sensibilis Linnaeus. Sensitive Fern, Bead Fern. Phen: May-Jun. Hab: Marshes, swamps, bottomland forests, ditches, wet disturbed places. Dist: NL (Newfoundland) west to MN and CO, south to FL and TX. O. interrupta (also treated as a variety or included in O. sensibilis without taxonomic recognition (see synonymy) is e. Asian.

Origin/Endemic status: Native

Taxonomy Comments: Two taxa of Onoclea, one in e. North America and one in e. Asia, should be recognized (Gastony & Ungerer 1997); the appropriate rank is not agreed on, though Gastony & Ungerer (1997) demonstrated a similar level of distinction as various disjunct sibling pairs in other fern genera.

Other Comments: The specific epithet and common name refer to the fact that the fronds wither at the first touch of frost, not that they respond to touch. The peculiar fertile leaves (with their brown, beadlike, fertile pinnules) are collected for use in dried arrangements.

Synonymy: = AqW, Gastony & Ungerer (1997); = Onoclea sensibilis L. var. sensibilis – TxFerns, Va; < Onoclea sensibilis L. – Ar, C, ETx1, F, Fl1, FNA2, G, GrPl, Il, K1, K4, Mo1, NE, NY, Pa, RAB, S13, Sf, Tat, Tx, W, WH3, WV, Lin et al (2013)

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Wetland Indicator Status:

  • Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain: FACW
  • Eastern Mountains and Piedmont: FACW
  • Great Plains: FACW
  • Midwest: FACW
  • Northcentral & Northeast: FACW

Heliophily: 5

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image of plant© Keith Bradley | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Emily Oglesby | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Emily Oglesby | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Emily Oglesby | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Erik Danielson source | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Radford, Ahles and Bell | Original Image ⭷


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