Woodwardia virginica (L.) Sm.
Virginia Chainfern, Virginia Chain Fern
Blechnaceae (Chain fern Family)
Synonym(s): Anchistea virginica
USDA Symbol: WOVI
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.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Habit: Herb , Fern
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Size Class: 1-3 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Not Applicable
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
Bloom Notes: Not a flowering plant. Reproduces by spores.
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VA , VT , WV
Canada: NB , NS , ON , PE
Native Distribution: N.S. to FL, LA & AR, 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.
PropagationPropagation Material: Root Division
Description: Propagate by spores or rhizome division.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
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:
Crosby Arboretum - Picayune, MS
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
BibliographyBibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Woodwardia virginica in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Woodwardia virginica in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Woodwardia virginica
MetadataRecord Modified: 2014-09-10
Research By: TWC Staff