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

Woodsiaceae (Diels) Herter

Woodsiaceae, Cliff-fern family.

Vegetative morphology. Plants perennial herbs; caespitose. Only fibrous roots present. Roots red-brown, or grey, or black. Ground level or underground stems horizontal; stoloniferous; compact. Aerial stems not developed, fern leaves with long petioles arising from a rhizome. Leaves arising singly from creeping rhizomes (arising along a horizontal stem at ground level); alternate; dying annually and non-persistent, or marcescent. Petioles (10–)15–30(–50) mm long; glabrous, or hairy. Petiole hairs longer than the diameter of the petiole (if applicable). Leaf blades compound. Blades 30–150(–250) mm long, (2–)5–25(–35) mm wide, circinate when young, with inconspicuous veins. Blade adaxial surface glabrous or hairy. Blade abaxial surface scaly (along the rachis; these scales and the indusia can make the underside of the leaves appear furry-fuzzy), hairs sparse or very dense. Blade margins slightly revolute, blades lobed. Blade margins serrulate or crenate. Hydathodes present and conspicuous (slit-like), or present but inconspicuous. Blade apices obtuse. Leaflet arrangement pinnate.

Reproductive morphology. Sporangia in sori on the undersurface of the leaves. Indusia of narrow hair-like segments, one row of cells many times longer than wide, and longer than the sporangia.

Ecology and habitat. Substrates: ridges, cliffs; dry, moderately well-drained areas; rocks, gravel, sand; with low organic content.

General notes. In Flora of North America (1993) this family was included in the Dryopteridaceae. The following selected sources recognise two families, Dryopteridaceae and Woodsiaceae (or families by synonymous names), Kramer and Green (1990), Tutin (1993), Czerepanov (1995), and Jonsell (2000). We have chosen to follow these authors.


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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