Greek: phegos, beech + pteris, fern. The original name for Phegopteris connectilis was Polypodium phegopteris, the beech fern.
Rhizome: long-creeping, ovate scales.
Frond: deciduous, monomorphic.
Stipe: straw-colored at base, scales tan, lanceolate, below, and pointed hairs on both sides, vascular bundles: 2, crescent-shaped.
Blade: pinate-pinnatifid, triangular to ovate, transparent needlelike hairs and spreading, ovate-lanceolate scales on rachis below.
Pinnae: base fused to rachis, and often connected by wings, costae not grooved, spreading, ovate-lanceolate scales below, veins free, simple or forked.
Sori: round to oblong, beyond the middle to submarginal, indusium: absent, sporangia: tan.
The broad connection of the pinnae along the rachis (adnate) and winged tissue between adjacent pinnae is distinctive.