Latin: fragrans, fragrant. The fronds have a sweet, fruity odor.
Rhizome: erect, stout.
Frond: 25 cm high by 5 cm wide, persistent old fronds surround the base, monomorphic, blade/stipe ratio: 3:1 to 1:2.
Stipe: grooved, scaly, vascular bundles: 6 in a c-shaped pattern.
Blade: 2-pinnate-pinnatifid on larger fronds near the rachis, otherwise pinnate-pinnatifid, narrowly elliptic, leathery, upper side bright green, brown to reddish scales below, yellow glandular above (violet or raspberry fragrance).
Pinnae: 20 to 30 pair, opposite, sometimes overlapping; pinnules crenately toothed; costae grooved above, continuous from rachis to costae; veins free, forked.
Sori: round, medial, indusium: reniform, large, whitish, becoming brown, often overlapping, at a sinus, sporangia: brownish, maturity: midsummer.
Habitat: rock crevices and talus slopes, often calcareous.
Hardy to -40°C, USDA Zone 2, requires a cool summer.
mistaken for Woodsia ilvensis, but the persistent, curled, dead fronds are unique
Polypodium fragrans L.
Aspidium fragrans Sw.
Filix fragrans Farwell
Lastrea fragrans Presl
Nephrodium fragrans Richards
Polystichum fragrans (L.) Roth
Thelypteris fragrans Nieuwl.
Woodsia xanthosporangia Ching