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Polypodium glycyrrhiza (Licorice fern)
Cressler, Alan

Polypodium glycyrrhiza

Polypodium glycyrrhiza D.C. Eaton

Licorice Fern

Polypodiaceae (Polypody Family)

Synonym(s): Polypodium vulgare ssp. occidentale, Polypodium vulgare var. commune, Polypodium vulgare var. occidentale

USDA Symbol: POGL8

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N)

The evergreen fronds of this fern arise from a licorice-flavored rhizome and are downward arching from their home on trunks, logs & rocks. The pinnae are simple and pointed at the tip. Fronds are from 12-30 in. long. The branching rhizomes are often exposed and are effective tumbling over rocks and logs.


From the Image Gallery

3 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb , Fern
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Size Notes: Fronds up to about 30 inches long.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Not Applicable
Bloom Notes: Not a flowering plant. Reproduces by spores.


USA: AK , AZ , CA , ID , OR , WA
Canada: BC
Native Distribution: Chiefly near the coast from AK to c. CA
Native Habitat: Tree trunks; mossy logs & rocks; moist banks

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Moist soils.


Description: Divide the rhizome or propagate by spores.
Commercially Avail: yes

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA

Web Reference

Webref 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 resources

USDA: Find Polypodium glycyrrhiza in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Polypodium glycyrrhiza in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Polypodium glycyrrhiza


Record Modified: 2023-02-23
Research By: TWC Staff

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