Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago

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S.G. Aiken, M.J. Dallwitz, L.L. Consaul, C.L. McJannet, R.L. Boles, G.W. Argus, J.M. Gillett, P.J. Scott, R. Elven, M.C. LeBlanc, L.J. Gillespie, A.K. Brysting, H. Solstad, and J.G. Harris

Dryopteris fragrans (L.) Schott

English: Fragrant shield fern, fragrant wood fern,

French: Dryoptère odorante, dryoptère dressée.

Dryopteridaceae, Fern family.

Published in Gen. Fil. 1, plate 9. 1834.

Type: Selected by Jonsell and Jarvis, Nordic J. Bot. 15: 149. 1994. Lectotype: LINN 1251.32.

Synonymy. Polypodium fragrans L. Sp. Pl. 2: 1089. 1753.

Vegetative morphology. Plants (6–)8–18(–40) cm high; perennial herbs; not caespitose; never vegetatively proliferating by bulbils on stems or leaves, in inflorescences, from gemmiphores and gemmae, or by fragmentation. Only fibrous roots present. Roots grey, or black. Ground level or underground stems horizontal, or vertical (see image library); rhizomatous, or stoloniferous (rarely preserved); elongate, or compact. Ground level or underground stems scales present; 5–10 (many). Aerial stems not developed, fern leaves with long petioles arising from a rhizome; not conspicuously jointed. Leaves present; arising singly from creeping rhizomes; alternate; persistent (through winter, which is unusual for a fern), or marcescent. Petioles 25–80(–120) mm long (petioles (rachis at the base of the frond) one-third of the length of the leaf, covered at the base with reddish brown scales, 2–3 mm wide). Leaf blades compound. Blades (10–)60–170 mm long, 10–23 mm wide, circinate when young (linear or lanceolate fronds), veins pinnate. Blade adaxial surface with sessile glands (aromatic when handled), glabrous. Blade abaxial surface scaly (along the rachis; these scales and the indusia can make the underside of the leaves appear furry-fuzzy), hairs very dense. Blades lobed. Blade margins crenate (margins of the pinnae); apices acute, or obtuse. Leaflet arrangement pinnate (pinnate-pinnatifid to 2-pinnate; pinnae in the plane of the blade, linear-oblong, much reduced basal pinnules).

Reproductive morphology. Sporangia in sori on the undersurface of the leaves. Each sorus with a distinct indusium. Indusia glandular (spores brown).

Chromosome information. 2n = 82.

2n = 82. Britton, in Fabbri (1963, Canada); Taylor and Lang (1963, western Canada); Britton (1965, central Canada); Britton and Soper (1966, central Canada); Cody and Mulligan (1982, Canada).

Ploidy levels recorded 2x.

Ecology and habitat. Substrates: slopes, ridges, cliffs (and rock screes); dry, moderately well-drained areas; rocks, gravel, till; with low organic content; non-calcareous. In crevices and on earthen ledges of granitic outcrop.

North American distribution. Alaska, Yukon, Northwest Territories Islands, continental Northwest Territories, Nunavut Islands, continental Nunavut, northern Quebec, Labrador. Range in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago widespread. Uncommon. Arctic, alpine. Arctic islands: Baffin, Ellesmere, Banks, Victoria, Southampton (and Simpson Peninsula).

Northern hemisphere distribution. Circumpolar, or circumboreal (with a gap in northern Europe). Polar Ural – Novaya Zemlya, Taimyr – Severnaya Zemlya, Anabar–Olenyok, Kharaulakh, Yana–Kolyma, West Chukotka, South Chukotka, East Chukotka, West Alaska, North Alaska – Yukon, Central Canada, Labrador – Hudson Bay, Ellesmere Land – Peary Land, West Greenland, East Greenland.

Illustrations. • Close-up of plants. Plants growing on rocky talus slope. Nunavut, Baffin Island, Ogac Lake. 12 July, 2004. Aiken and LeBlanc 04–077. CAN 586547. • Close-up of plant. Plant with protective basal covering of withered leaves. Finland, Inarin lappi, Kevojoki. September, 1996. R. Elven. O. • Close-up of plant. Plant with above-ground fronds arising from a mass of scales near ground level, and an old vertical underground stem with fine blackish roots. Inset shows close-up of stem covered by leaf bases where fronds have broken off at articulations. Nunavut, Baker Lake. 11 August, 1947. T.N. Freeman. DAO 378861. • Leaf lower surface. Sporangia on lower surface of leaf. Finland, Inarin lappi, Kevojoki. August, 1996. R. Elven. O. • Arctic Island Distribution.


This publication is available on the internet (posted May 2011) and on CD-ROM (published in 2007). These versions are identical in content, except that the errata page for CD-ROM is accessible on the main index page of the web version.

Recommended citation for the web-based version of this publication: Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa. http://nature.ca/aaflora/data, accessed on DATE.

Recommended citation for the CD-ROM version of this publication: Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. [CD-ROM] NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa.

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