Ferns

Bulblet Fern

Wahkeena has 31 different species of ferns. The majority of these can be observed from the trail system, especially the Shelter Trail. Ferns are ancient plants dating back to around 300 million years ago! At that time ferns were huge tree-like plants and dominated the landscape. In fact, we can thank those ferns for much of our electricity today. Why? Those plants over time became coal, which in Ohio, is our main source of electricity!


Today, ferns may not be important for most wildlife, but aesthetically, provide us humans with some very pretty sights. A few of our ferns are evergreen, providing some much needed color in the winter landscape. Some grow right out of the cliff face seeming to defy gravity. Ferns are also very popular in the garden setting. They can provide color and texture especially in shady places.
Cinnamon Fern fiddleheads


Each year we have a few Nature Walks dedicated just to the ferns. If you want to learn how to identify ferns, hear some folk lore and natural history information, or just enjoy a guided nature walk through the woods, then these walks are for you! Check out the Programs Page for this year’s dates!

Lady Fern


Ferns found at Wahkeena Nature Preserve – listed in no particular order

·        Water Clover, Marsilia quadrifolia
·        Grape Fern, Botrychium dissectum
·        Rattlesnake Fern, Botrychium virgnianum
·        Daisy-leaved Grape Fern, Botrychium matricarifolium
·        Cinnamon Fern, Osmunda cinnamomea
·        Interrupted Fern, Osmunda claytonia
·        Royal Fern, Osmunda regalis
·        Northern Maidenhair Fern, Adiantum pedatum
·        Lobed Spleenwort, Asplenium pinnatifidum
·        Ebony Spleenwort, Asplenium platyneuron
·        Maidenhair Spleenwort, Asplenium trichomas
·        Lady Fern, Athyrium filis-femina
·        Silvery Speenwort or Silvery Glade Fern – Deparia acrostichoides
·        Bulblet Fern, Cystopteris bulbifera
·        Fragile Fern, Cystopteris fragilis
·        Mackay’s Fragile Fern, Cystopteris tenuis
·        Hay-scented Fern, Dennstaedia punctilobula
·        Broad Beech Fern, Phegopteris hexagonaptera
·        Marginal Fern, Drypteris marginalis
·        New York Fern, Thelypteris noveborecensis
·        Intermediate Wood Fern, Dryopteris intermedia
·        Wood Fern, Dryopteris Carthusiana
·        Sensitive Fern, Onoclea sensibilis
·        Common Polypody or Rockcap Fern, Polypodium virginianum
·        Christmas Fern, Polystichum acrostichoides
·        Ostrich Fern, Matteuccia struthiopteris
·        Bracken Fern, Pteridium aquilinum
·        Blunt-lobed Woodsia, Woodsia Obtusa
·        Appalachian gametophyte, Vittaria appalachiana
·        Walking Fern, Asplenium rhizophyllum

·        Southern Adder’s Tongue Fern, Ophioglossum vulgatum

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