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Woodwardia virginica (L.) Sm.
Virginia chainfern, Virginia chain fern
Synonym(s): Anchistea virginica
USDA Symbol: wovi
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
Virginia chain fern is a 2-3 ft. fern with thick black stems arising singly from a fast-creeping rhizome. Fertile and sterile fronds are similar. Fronds are leathery and have such deeply cut leaflets, they could almost be considered twice-pinnate. The frond is broadest in the middle and dark-green turning bronze in the fall.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Not Applicable
Bloom Notes: Not a flowering plant. Reproduces by spores.
, WV Canada: NB
, PE Native Distribution:
N.S. to FL, LA
chiefly along the coast; also inland in the Great Lakes region Native Habitat:
Swamps, Still water, Stream, river banks, Near lakes or ponds
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Medium Light Requirement:
Part Shade Soil Moisture:
Moist , Wet Soil pH:
Acidic (pH<6.8) Soil Description:
Moist to wet acid soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay Calcareous, Acid-based Conditions Comments:
This aggressive fern
will quickly take over a small garden. It is best planted in large, water-logged areas where little else will grow.
Root Division Description:
Propagate by spores or rhizome
division. Seed Collection:
Not Available Seed Treatment:
Not Available 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: 2012-11-07
Research By: TWC Staff