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Wasowski, Sally and Andy
Woodwardia areolata (L.) T. Moore
Netted chainfern, Chain fern, Netted chain fern
Synonym(s): Lorinseria areolata
USDA Symbol: WOAR
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
Netted chain fern is a deciduous, colony-forming, waxy green fern which stands 1-2 ft. high and has fronds 4-8 in. wide. The sterile fronds are deeply lobed, and the veins in the leaf form a net-like pattern. The fertile fronds are similar but reduced in width. The entire plant maintains a neat, compact form. Fiddleheads are bronzy and appear in early spring.
Netted chain fern is a well-mannered fern, providing a ground cover for wet, shady places. It colonizes by shallow, slender, brown rhizomes.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb
, Fern Leaf Retention: Deciduous Size Notes:
12 to 30 inches high Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Not Applicable
Bloom Notes: Not a flowering plant. Reproduces by spores.
, WV Canada: NS Native Distribution:
N.S. through MI
& s. IL
s. to FL
Zones 5 to 9 Native Habitat:
Swamps, Marshes, Still water edges, Moist woods, Floodplains
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium , High
Light Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Wet, acid soils. Acid-based, Calcareous, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay. Tolerates brackish soils.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Water garden, bog, or pond area
Use Wildlife: Provides shelter for frogs, toads, newts.
Interesting Foliage: yes
Root Division Description:
Propagate by spores or rhizome
division. Commercially Avail:
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
- Picayune, MSMt. Cuba Center
- Hockessin, DE
Record Last Modified: 2013-09-09
Research By: TWC Staff