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Native Plant Trust: Go Botany Discover thousands of New England plants

Family: Pteridaceae — maidenhair fern family

Species in the Pteridaceae are ferns, sometimes small, growing on soil or on rock. The leaf blades and leaf stalks are quite varied in this family; some species have unusual umbrella- or funnel-shaped leaves. The undersides of the leaf blades are sometimes covered in small hairs or scales. The leaf stalks in most species are dark brown to dark purple. The long, narrow sori grow at the leaf segments and are hidden under the curved-over margin (a false indusium). Species in the Pteridaceae were formerly thought to belong to the Polypodiaceae.

This family’s genera in New England

Visit this family in the Dichotomous Key