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Phegopteris hexagonoptera (Michx.) Fée
Broad Beechfern, Broad Beech Fern
Thelypteridaceae (Marsh Fern Family)
Synonym(s): Dryopteris hexagonoptera, Thelypteris hexagonoptera
USDA Symbol: PHHE11
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
Fronds of the broad beech fern occur singly along a creeping rhizome and are 1-2+ ft. long, twice-pinnate, and broadly triangular, holding a bright-green color throughout the entire growing season. The lowermost, two pinnae point downward. Along the rachis (the central axis found within the blade portion of the fern) is a conspicuous wing - an extension of the green, leafy material.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Habit: Herb , Fern
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Size Notes: Fronds up to about 30 inches long.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Not Applicable
Bloom Notes: Not a flowering plant. Reproduces by spores.
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: ON , QC
Native Distribution: Que. & ME to Ont. & s.e. MN, s. to n. FL & TX
Native Habitat: Moist, undisturbed, hardwood forests
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Moist, acid, humus-rich soil.
Conditions Comments: Broad beech fern spreads rapidly. It dies back in the winter and when it receives too much sun.
PropagationDescription: Propagate by spores or rhizome division.
Commercially Avail: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
BibliographyBibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Phegopteris hexagonoptera in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Phegopteris hexagonoptera in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Phegopteris hexagonoptera
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-02-23
Research By: TWC Staff