Cystopteris protrusa — southern fragile fern
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New England distribution
Adapted from BONAP data
Non-native: introduced (intentionally or unintentionally); has become naturalized.
County documented: documented to exist in the county by evidence (herbarium specimen, photograph). Also covers those considered historical (not seen in 20 years).
State documented: documented to exist in the state, but not documented to a county within the state. Also covers those considered historical (not seen in 20 years).
Note: when native and non-native populations both exist in a county, only native status is shown on the map.
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Southern fragile fern is probably the most common fragile fern through much of its southern distribution. It reaches the northeastern limit of its range in New England, where it is known only from rich moist forests in Connecticut. Unlike the other fragile ferns, this species grows on soil rather than rocks.
- New England state
- Features of leaves
- there are no special features on the leaves
- New England state
- Specific habitat
Usually occurs in non-wetlands, but occasionally in wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: FACU)
New England distribution and conservation status
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island
Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.
- unranked (S-rank: SNR)
Native to North America?
Sometimes confused with
- Cystopteris tenuis:
- leaves clustered near rhizome apex, rhizome lacking hairs, and leafules varying from sessile to short-stalked(vs. C. protrusa, with leaves clustered 1–4 cm behind the apex of the rhizome, rhizome pubescent, especially toward apex, with yellow hairs, and leafules, especially those of the basal medial portion of the blade, borne on evident stalks).
- Cystopteris fragilis (L.) Bernh. var. protrusa Weatherby
From the dichotomous key of Flora Novae Angliae
4. Cystopteris protrusa (Weatherby) Blasdell NC
southern fragile fern. Cystopteris fragilis (L.) Bernh. var. protrusa Weatherby • CT; also reported from MA by Haufler et al. (1993a), but voucher specimens are unknown. On soil in rich, mesic forests.