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Alan R. Smith, except as noted

Perennial herb in soil or rock crevices; rhizome generally short-creeping, ascending, or erect, scales small to large, generally tan to brown, generally uniformly colored. Leaf: generally tufted or short-spaced, 5–200+ cm, generally ± alike; stipe firm or fleshy (easily crushed), base darker or not, with 2 vascular strands; blade generally 1–3-pinnate, ± glabrous or with hairs, hair-like scales, or gland-tipped hairs on axes, veins generally free (or netted); rachis, costa generally grooved adaxially. Sporangia: sori round, oblong, J-shaped, or linear along veins; indusia 0 or oblong, J-shaped, reniform, or linear, or of many segmented hair- or scale-like fragments or lobes encircling sorus from below; spores elliptic, winged, ridged, or spiny, scar linear.
± 15 genera, 700 species: worldwide, especially tropics, wooded areas, but some genera (e.g., Cystopteris, Woodsia) generally temperate. See note, reference (Smith et al. 2006 Taxon 55:705–731) under Dryopteridaceae for removal of genera from that family to this. —Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.

Key to Woodsiaceae


John C. Game, Alan R. Smith and Thomas Lemieux

Rhizome generally ascending to suberect, short, old stipe bases many. Leaf: often glandular or hairy; stipe base ×-section with 2 vascular strands; blade 1–2-pinnate, segments ± toothed to pinnately lobed, veins free, ending just short of margin. Sporangia: sori round, generally not at margins; indusium cup-like, often of many segmented hair- or scale-like fragments or lobes encircling sorus from below, often of crusty, ± white beads, often obscure in age.
± 30 species: generally northern temperate. (J. Woods, Britain, b. 1776) [Windham 1993 FNANM 2:270–280]
Unabridged references: [Brown 1964 Beih Nova Hedwigia 16:1–154]

Key to Woodsia

W. scopulina D.C. Eaton
Leaf: < 32 cm, 1.5–2 cm wide, tip ± acute, unforked; hairs on abaxial leaf axes ± 0.5–1 mm, ± flat, segmented, nonglandular, and ± 0.1 mm, cylindric, non-segmented, glandular; pinnae < 12–27 mm, 5–12 mm wide, pinnately lobed to 1-pinnate, margin toothed to shallowly lobed. Sporangia: indusium of narrow scale-like lobes.
2n=76,152. Crevices, rock bases; 1300–3500 m. Klamath Ranges, High Cascade Range, High Sierra Nevada, San Bernardino Mountains, Modoc Plateau, White and Inyo Mountains; to Alaska, eastern Canada, western United States. If recognized taxonomically, plants differing in chromosome number, spore size [Windham 1993], perhaps other ways assignable to W. scopulina subsp. laurentiana Windham (2n = 152), W. scopulina subsp. scopulina (2n = 76); study needed. [Online Interchange]

Previous taxon: Woodsia plummerae
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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 27 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Woodsia, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 27 2015

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click for enlargement Woodsia scopulina
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© 2006 Steve Matson

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Woodsia scopulina Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.