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Netted Chain Fern Woodwardia areolata

Previously known as:

  • Blechnum angustifolium
Phonetic Spelling
wood-WAR-dee-ah air-ee-oh-LAY-tah
Description

Woodwardia areolata, commonly called netted chain fern, is a deciduous fern of eastern North America which typically occurs in woodland swamps and bogs.  This fern is similar in appearance to the much more common sensitive fern (Onoclea sensibilis), except the latter generally grows taller (to 4'), has beaded, woody-like fertile fronds and has smooth-edged leaflets with opposite arrangement on the sterile fronds.

It is easily grown in organically rich, medium to wet, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Does well in average garden soils and will take considerable sun as long as soils are kept consistently moist. Spreads by branching and creeping rhizomes, and will naturalize over time into large colonies in optimum growing conditions... almost to the point of being weedy.

Pinnae of the Netted chain fern are mostly aternate.  Its spores are borne in chain-like rows on a frond with narrow pinnae.  It has bright green lanceolate, pinnatifid with wide wings along rachis. Its veins joining into two or more rows of areaoles beween the midvein and the margin of the pinn.

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems:  This plant needs consistently moist soil.

Cultivars:
Tags:
#deciduous#wildlife plant#shade tolerant#woodland garden#cover plant#riparian#wetlands#wet sites#ncemgva2018#swamps#ground cover
Cultivars:
Tags:
#deciduous#wildlife plant#shade tolerant#woodland garden#cover plant#riparian#wetlands#wet sites#ncemgva2018#swamps#ground cover
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Woodwardia
    Species:
    areolata
    Family:
    Blechnaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern North America
    Distribution:
    Nova Scotia to the USA
    Wildlife Value:
    It provides excellent ground cover.
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    This plant is highly deer resistant.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 6 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Fern
    Ground Cover
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Creeping
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Drainage:
    Frequent Standing Water
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Pink
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leaf Type:
    Fronds
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Other/more complex
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Features pinnatifid, glossy green sterile fronds which emerge pinkish in spring and unroll to 1'-2' long. Sterile fronds typically have 8-10 pairs of lance-shaped pinnae (leaflets) with small marginal teeth. Fertile fronds arise in summer to the same length as the sterile ones but have narrower leaf divisions. The pinnae of both fronds have netted veins and the sori (spores) on the fertile fronds are arranged in chain-like rows parallel to the pinnae midribs, hence the common name.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Riparian
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Water Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Wet Soil
    Problems:
    Weedy