Wahkeena has 33 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.

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!

Fronds of Wahkeena: 

  • 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
  • New York Fern, Thelypteris noveborecensis
  • Marginal Fern, Dryopteris marginalis
  • Broad Beech Fern, Phegopteris hexagonaptera
  • Hay-scented Fern, Dennstaedia punctilobula
  • Mackay’s Fragile Fern, Cystopteris tenuis
  • Fragile Fern, Cystopteris fragilis
  • Bulblet Fern, Cystopteris bulbifera
  • Silvery Speenwort or Silvery Glade Fern –Deparia acrostichoides
  • Lady Fern, Athyrium filis-femina
  • 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
  • Netted Chain Fern, Woodwardia areolata
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