Dryopteris Adans.
Family: Dryopteridaceae
Wood-Fern
Dryopteris image
Don Lubin  

Key to Wisconsin Dryopteris

    • 1a.Leaves less than 30 cm long and 6 cm wide, densely covered with large brown scales;indusia large and often overlapping; aromatic glands abundant; old leaves persisting asa conspicuous brown clump at plant base D. fragrans

    • 1b.Well-developed leaves more than 30 cm long and 6 cm wide (except some sterile leaves of D. cristata), with only scattered scales; indusia rarely overlapping; glands lacking or sparse and not aromatic; old leaves not persisting more than a year, not forming dense clumps 2

    • 2a.Sori borne at or very near the margin of the segments D. marginalis

    • 2b.Sori medial or closer to the midvein of segments 3

    • 3a.Blades 2--3 times pinnately compound, many of the pinnules deeply-lobed, with teeth ending in bristle-like tips 4

    • 3b.. Blades once pinnately compound or lower pinnae divided into pinnules, but pinnules not deeply lobed and without triangular teeth ending in bristle-like tip (sharp teeth present at apex of lobes in D. cristata & D. clintoniana) 6

    • 4a.Pinnule closest to the rachis on the lower side of the lowest pinna equal to or shorter than the pinnules next to it; blades relatively thin, remaining green through winter; glands scattered on indusia, rachis, and costae D. intermedia

    • 4b.Pinnule closest to the rachis on the lower side of the lowest pinna larger than the pinnules next to it; blades slightly succulent, turning brown and shriveling in winter; glands absent 5

    • 5a.Blades ovate-lanceolate; pinnule closest to the rachis on the lower side of the lowest pinna only slightly wider than the pinnule above it and slightly larger than the pinnule next to it; scales on petiole tan without a center stripe D. carthusiana

    • 5b.Blades broadly triangular; pinnule closest to the rachis on the lower side of the lowest pinna as wide as the two pinnules above it and much larger than the other pinnules; scales on petiole dark brown or tan with a dark center stripe D. expansa

    • 6a.Fronds widest at the middle, narrowed at the base, the lowest pinna less than half as long as middle pinnae; petioles less than 1/4 length of leaves; petioles and rachises with both scattered scales and hair-like scales D. flix-mas

    • 6b.Fronds slightly wider at the middle, the lowest pinnae nearly as long as middle pinnae; all scales on petioles and rachis alike, not hair-like 7

    • 7a.Lower and middle pinnae oblong-lanceolate, widest beyond the base; scales at base of petioles dark brown; sterile and fertile blades alike, dying in winter; sori closer to midvein than margin of segments D. goldiana

    • 7b.Lower pinnae widest at base; scales at base of petioles dark brown; fertile leaves larger than sterile leaves; sterile leaves evergreen, persisting through winter; sori midway between midvein and margin of segments 8

    • 8a.Fertile leaves about twice as tall as sterile leaves; pinnae of fertile leaves twisted perpendicular to the plane of the blade; lowest pinnae deltoid with 4--12 pairs of segments D. cristata

    • 8b.Hypanthium glabrous, eglandular (rarely glandular). D. clintoniana

A large genus, especially in temperate Asia. Identification of North American species is complicated by extensive hybridization resulting in many sterile hybrids and fertile allopolyploids. Sterile hybrids are not included in the key.
Species within Outagamie County 2016