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Woodsia obtusa (Spreng.) Torr.

Blunt-lobed cliff fern

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
ClassFilicopsida“Leptosporangiate” (has to do with how their spores form) ferns—includes most ferns
OrderPolypodialesPolypod ferns
FamilyDryopteridaceaeWood ferns (about 70% of the ferns)
GenusWoodsiaFor Joseph Woods (1776-1864), English architect and botanical author
Speciesobtusa“Blunt,” for the blunt lobes and pinnules

About plant names...

Blunt-lobed cliff fern is a North American native. They tolerate temperatures as low as –35°C.

Identification: Leaf stalks are scaly, with hairs. Fronds are lacy, 24" (60 cm) × 3" (8 cm), bipinnate. The sterile fronds are evergreen, while the fertile fronds are not. Fronds are light green to gray-green. Sori, the structures that contain the fern’s spores, are located on leaf undersides. They form a regular array of dots that are circular or kidney-shaped.

Online References:

Woodsia obtusa at Illinois Wildflowers

Woodsia obtusa on Wikimedia Commons

Woodsia obtusa at the Missouri Botanical Garden

Woodsia obtusa on Discover Life

Woodsia obtusa on the New England Wildflower Society’s GoBotany site

Woodsia obtusa on plants.ces.ncsu.edu


Woodsia obtusa description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.

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Woodsia obtusa (blunt-lobed cliff fern)

1/19/2021 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, Mass­a­chu­setts

Range: Zones 4-9:

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