Dennstaedtia punctilobula (Michaux) T. Moore

Hay-scented fern

Etymology From punctum, a spot, + lobus, a lobe. Refers to the spore dots on the lobes.
Description Rhizome: long-creeping, slender, just below the surface, hairs dark reddish brown, jointed.
Frond: 70 cm high by 25 cm wide, deciduous, monomorphic, blade/stipe ratio: 2:1 to 3:1.
Stipe: straw-colored to brown, darker at base, grooved above, pubescent with white, soft, jointed hairs, vascular bundles: 1, in a U-shape.
Blade: 2-pinnate-pinnatifid, lanceolate, lacy, papery, yellow-green, silver-gray, jointed hairs on both surfaces, tipped with white glands.
Pinnae: 10 to 25 pair, broadest at the base; segments ovate to lanceolate, margins serrate-crenate; margins deeply lobed, serrate-crenate; veins free, pinnately branched.
Sori: globose to almost cylindric, marginal at vein tips, indusium: formed by fusion of inner and outer laminar flaps to form a circular, small cup, whitish, at the margin and in from the margin, sporangia: brown, maturity: midsummer.
Dimensionality: pinnae twisted somewhat out of plane of blade, the lowest pair also bending above the plane and towards the base.
Culture Habitat: open or thinly shaded areas . Distribution: eastern and northeastern North America. Hardy to -35C, USDA Zone 3.
Distinctive Characteristics Sometimes a hay scent when bruised, aggressive, forming colonies, yellow-green color, hairy, yellowing early in fall.
Nephrodium punctilobulum Michaux
Aspidium punctilobulum Sw.
Dennstaedtia punctilobula
Dennstaedtia punctilobula. Frond, fertile pinnule and sorus.  Illustration by Edgar Paulton, from How to Know the Ferns and Fern Allies, John T. Mickel, 1979 Wm. C. Brown Co.
Dennstaedtia punctilobula
Dennstaedtia punctilobula. Vascular bundle an inverted u-shape at both top (above) and bottom of the stipe; front of the stipe is below.  Drawing from Ferns of Northeastern United States, Farida A. Wiley, 1936.
Dennstaedtia punctilobula
a single frond, an unusual occurrence for this gregarious socialite  James A. Zaepfel Nature Sanctuary and Research Center
Dennstaedtia punctilobula
Dennstaedtia punctilobula. a) rhizome, frond; b) pinnule, sori.  Illustration by V. Fulford from Ferns and Fern Allies of Canada, William J. Cody and Donald M. Britton, 1989, Agriculture Canada, used with permission.
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