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Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

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Woodsia ilvensis

Woodsia ilvensis (L.) R. Br.

Rusty Woodsia, Rusty Cliff Fern

Dryopteridaceae (Wood Fern Family)


USDA Symbol: woil

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

Small, 2-10 in. fronds are dark green above and densely covered below with rusty-brown chaff. Twice-pinnate pinnae.


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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb , Fern
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Size Notes: Fronds up to about 10 inches long.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Not Applicable
Bloom Notes: Non-flowering, sporulating plant. Sporulates Jun - Sep.


USA: AK , CT , IA , IL , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: AB , BC , MB , NB , NL , NS , NT , NU , ON , QC , SK , YT
Native Distribution: Arctic region, s. to New England, PA, upland NC, MI, n. IL, n. IA, Alt. & B.C.
Native Habitat: Dry, exposed, rocky slopes & ledges. Always in contact with rocks.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Rocky, moderately acid soils.

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


Record Modified: 2023-06-12
Research By: TWC Staff

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