Woodwardia (chain fern) is a genus of 14-20 species of ferns in the family Blechnaceae, native to warm temperate and subtropical regions of the Northern Hemisphere.
They are large ferns, with fronds growing to 50-300 cm long depending on the species.
Woodwardia fimbriata is a species of fern known by the common name giant chain fern. It is native to the redwood forests of the west coast of North America. It has very long fronds, each reaching up to 8 feet in length. Its sori are short but broad and are arranged in neat lines, the characteristic that gives the chain ferns their name. The chain shape is visible on both surface and underside of each leaflet.
Woodwardia areolata (Netted Chain Fern) is a species of fern native to eastern North America. The sterile fronds are 40-60 cm long, and the fertile fronds 50-70 cm long. It requires wet, acid conditions, often growing in seeps. It is most common along the Atlantic coastal plain, being an avid colonizer of acid mine seeps in the eastern United States, one of the few plants to benefit from acid mine drainage. It is superficially similar to Onoclea sensibilis and sometimes confused with it.
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