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Virginia Chain Fern Woodwardia virginica

Previously known as:

  • Anchistea virginica
Phonetic Spelling
wood-WAR-dee-ah ver-JIN-ih-kah
Description

Woodwardia virginica, commonly known as Virginia Chain Fern, can be found naturally in where soils are moist, acidic, and contain a plentiful amount of organic matter. Environments such as bogs, wetlands, and occasionally flooded coastal plain ponds are sites that support the natural growth of this plant. It does best when planted in moist areas near bogs, streams, ponds, or water gardens.  Plant in full sun to shade; sandy to humus-rich acidic soil. It is easy to grow and spreads rapidly. 

VIDEO Created by NC State Extension's Homegrown series featuring Mark Weathington, Director of JC Raulston Arboretum.

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See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#water garden#heavy shade#easy to grow#shade tolerant#weedy#fern#boggy#wetlands#wet sites#food source#aggressive#deer resistant#ponds#food source summer#Coastal OBL#food source herbage#Piedmont Mountains FACW#colonial#audubon#woodlands
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#water garden#heavy shade#easy to grow#shade tolerant#weedy#fern#boggy#wetlands#wet sites#food source#aggressive#deer resistant#ponds#food source summer#Coastal OBL#food source herbage#Piedmont Mountains FACW#colonial#audubon#woodlands
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Woodwardia
    Species:
    virginica
    Family:
    Blechnaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Primarily used for shelter.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    North America
    Distribution:
    Eastern United States and Canada
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Heavy shade, Deer
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Fern
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Occasional Flooding
    Occasionally Dry
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10b, 10a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Description:
    No fruits. This plants reproduces via spores.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Description:
    no flower.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Feel:
    Leathery
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Fronds
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Other/more complex
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Dentate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Lustrous, dark green, leathery fronds in a close mass; broadest in middle; pinnate-pinnatifid; alternating pairs of closely spaced pinnae; short blunt lobes; pinnule are narrow, point upward, and taper at both ends; rachis is dark purple brown below. Fronds emerge coppery red in color.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Pond
    Riparian
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Shade Garden
    Water Garden
    Attracts:
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Heavy Shade
    Wet Soil
    Problems:
    Weedy