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, also known as the mountain wood fern
, is a large American fern
A fern is any one of a group of about 12,000 species of plants belonging to the botanical group known as Pteridophyta. Unlike mosses, they have xylem and phloem . They have stems, leaves, and roots like other vascular plants...
of higher elevations and latitudes. It was once known as Dryopteris spinulosa var. Americana
. This species also has been referred to as D. austriaca
and D. dilatata
. A distinctive feature of this fern is that the bottom innermost pinnule on the basal pinnae spans approximately the first two top innermost pinnules on the same pinnae.
This fern is a tetraploid species
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...
of hybrid origin, the parents being Dryopteris intermedia
Dryopteris intermedia A. Gray, the intermediate wood fern, is an evergreen eastern North American species also occasionally found in Europe. It is a diploid species, and is the parent of several species of hybrid origin, including Dryopteris carthusiana.This fern is often confused with several...
and Dryopteris expansa
Dryopteris expansa, alpine buckler fern or spreading wood fern, is a species of fern native to cool temperate and subarctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere, south at high altitudes in mountains to Spain and Greece in southern Europe, to Japan in eastern Asia, and to central California in North...
. Phenotypologically, the fern greatly resembles the second parent.
In West Virginia
West Virginia is a state in the Appalachian and Southeastern regions of the United States, bordered by Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, Pennsylvania to the northeast and Maryland to the east...
, this species may only be found above 3800 feet elevation, but is a part of the normal flora in northern New England
New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut...