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Vascular Plants of California
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Dryopteris arguta

Higher Taxonomy
Family: DryopteridaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Perennial herb, in soil or rock crevices; rhizome generally short-creeping, suberect, or erect, scales large, generally tan to brown, generally uniformly colored. Leaf: generally tufted, 5--200+ cm, generally +- alike; stipe generally firm, base generally darker, with many vascular strands; blade 1--4-pinnate, often with scales, hair-like scales, hairs (except clear, needle-like hairs generally 0), or short-stalked glands on axes, between veins or not, veins free to netted; rachis, costa generally grooved adaxially. Sporangia: sori round, along veins; indusia peltate or round-reniform; spores elliptic, winged, ridged, or spiny, scar linear.
Genera In Family: +- 40--45 genera, > 1600 species: worldwide, especially tropics, wooded areas. Note: Based on molecular sequence data, Athyrium, Cystopteris, Woodsia removed to Woodsiaceae to preserve a monophyletic Dryopteridaceae.
Unabridged Note: Current data (as reported by Schuettpelz & Pryer and in papers cited therein) suggest that Wooodsiaceae is paraphyletic (with respect to Aspeniaceae, Blechnaceae, and Thelypteridaceae), yet are insufficient to resolve the questions of circumscription (too few taxa, not enough genes sampled). Alternative classifications that would preserve monophyly include recognition of several additional, small families (e.g., Cystopteridaceae, Athyriaceae, and others not in California, each comprising just a few genera) or lumping at least 4 currently recognized families, many of long-standing use and acceptance; a conservative and expedient course is taken for now (Smith et al. 2006), pending further work.
eFlora Treatment Author: Alan R. Smith
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: DryopterisView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: WOOD FERN
Habit: Rhizome short-creeping or ascending to suberect, stout. Leaf: stipe > 1.5 mm wide, firm, more densely scaly than midrib, base ×-section with many round vascular strands in an arc; blade >= 1--3-pinnate, proximal pinnae reduced or not, veins free, simple or forked; segments deeply pinnately lobed or not. Sporangia: sori round; indusium round-reniform, +- centrally attached at a sinus, generally persistent.
Etymology: (Greek: oak, fern) Note: Hybrids unknown in California, frequent in eastern North America.
Unabridged Reference: Montgomery & Paulton 1981 Fiddlehead Forum 8:25--31
Dryopteris arguta (Kaulf.) Watt
Leaf: 30--60(100+) cm, 12--18(30) cm wide; stipe, midrib minutely glandular; blade lanceolate, 1--2-pinnate, proximal pinnae <= others, longest generally near blade base, sides +- equal, basiscopic pinnules 1--1.3 × acroscopic on same pinna, segments deeply pinnately lobed or not, teeth with bristle-like tips or not, veins into teeth; scales of pinna midribs lance-ovate to +- lanceolate. Chromosomes: 2n=82.
Ecology: Locally common. Open, wooded slopes, caves; Elevation: < 2500 m. Bioregional Distribution: NW, SN, ScV (Sutter Buttes), CW, SW, MP (caves in Lava Beds National Monument), s DMoj; Distribution Outside California: to British Columbia, Arizona.
Jepson eFlora Author: Alan R. Smith
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Dryopteris arguta

botanical illustration including Dryopteris arguta

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Citation for this treatment: Alan R. Smith 2012, Dryopteris arguta, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 16, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 16, 2024.

Dryopteris arguta
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©2004 Julie Kierstead Nelson
Dryopteris arguta
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©2011 Barry Breckling
Dryopteris arguta
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©2004 Julie Kierstead Nelson
Dryopteris arguta
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©2008 Keir Morse
Dryopteris arguta
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©2004 Julie Kierstead Nelson

More photos of Dryopteris arguta
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Dryopteris arguta:
NW, SN, ScV (Sutter Buttes), CW, SW, MP (caves in Lava Beds National Monument), s DMoj
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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).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).