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

Plants in soil [climbing]; rhizome short- to long-creeping to erect, scaly; new growth often ± red. Leaf: of 1 or 2 kinds, fertile, sterile; stipe in ×-section with vascular strands in circle; blade [(simple or 2-pinnate)] deeply pinnately lobed to 1-pinnate, pinnae deeply pinnately lobed or not, hairs generally 0; veins free or netted. Sporangia: sori linear to oblong, along veins parallel to nearest midrib; indusium shaped ± like sorus, opening towards nearest midrib; stalk cells in 2–3 rows; spores elliptic, scar linear.
± 9 genera, ± 250 species: worldwide, especially tropics; several species cultivated. New classification badly needed, in which all genera but Woodwardia are placed under Blechnum or, preferably, ± 25 genera, including ± 10 new ones, are recognized. —Scientific Editors: Alan R. Smith, Thomas J. Rosatti.

Key to Blechnaceae

Rhizome prostrate to ascending; scales dense, orange-brown. Leaf: all alike, lower pinnae generally slightly reduced or not; veins of sterile leaves netted but free at margin. Sporangia: sori oblong.
14 species: generally temperate, subtropics, North America, Europe, eastern Asia. (T.J. Woodward, British phycologist, 1745–1820)

W. fimbriata Sm. GIANT CHAIN FERN
Rhizome prostrate, short, stout. Leaf: evergreen, generally 1–3 m, coarse; stipe generally 5–15 mm wide at base, scales large, orange-brown to straw-colored; pinnae generally 15–30 cm, often glandular, lobed ± to midrib, lower ± reduced. Sporangia: sori generally ± 2–4 mm.
2n=68. Near streams, springs, seeps; ± 0–2300 m. California Floristic Province (rare Great Central Valley); to British Columbia, Nevada, Arizona, northwestern Mexico. [Woodwardia chamissoi Brack.; Woodwardia radicans (L.) Sm., misappl.] [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 29 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Woodwardia, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 29 2015

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click for enlargement Woodwardia fimbriata
See CalPhotos for additional images
© 2003 Keir Morse

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Woodwardia fimbriata 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.