Phegopteris connectilis

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Northern Beech Fern: for more photos, see Sitka Nature Photo Gallery for Phegopteris connectilis
Northern Beech Fern (Phegopteris connectilis): Expected (and probably common) throughout the region (FNA map), there are only a few collections, mostly from the southern part of the area and around Haines. Checking the non-georeferenced collections in Arctos may reveal additional collections as well.

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Other References

  • Hall 2010: (as Thelypteris phegopteris) Common in moist open forests along streams, also stony slopes and meadows to lower alpine.
  • Muller: gen; forests, cliffs, rocky areas, common

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Field Marks: • Perennial deciduous fern to 10 inches • Fronds may overwinter in areas with mild climates • Blades triangular • Blades divided in paired segments (pinnae) • Each segment is also divided • The lowermost pair of pinnae is bent away from the blade • Clusters of sporangia look like small brown dots on under surface of frond

Habitat: Shady, moist forest, wet rock outcrops

Range: Widespread in the northern forested parts of the United States and Canada

Other Names: Narrow Beech fern, Cowboy fern

Comments: In older floras the scientific name of Long beech fern may be Thelypteris phegopteris. The drooping lower pinnae of this fern are diagnostic; the diverging pinnae resemble bow legs of a cartoon cowboy. This fern spreads vegetatively by underground stems and by spores.