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Wasowski, Sally and Andy
Woodwardia areolata (L.) T. Moore
Netted chainfern, Chain fern, Netted chain fern
Synonyms: Lorinseria areolata
USDA Symbol: woar
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
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: Evergreen Size Notes:
12 to 30 inches high Flower:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Not Applicable
Bloom Notes: Not a flowering plant. Reproduces by spores.
AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MO , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VA , WV Canada: NS Native Distribution:
N.S. through MI & s. IL to MO, s. to FL & TX, Zones 5 to 9 Native Habitat:
Swamps, Marshes, Still water edges, Moist woods, Floodplains USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
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:
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, MS
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Record Modified: 2011-04-08
Research By: TWC Staff