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D. aemula resources
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Ferns of the British IslesFerns of the British Isles
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All Ferns
     aemula  affinis
     amurensis  arguta
     bissetiana  campyloptera
     carthusiana  caucasica
     celsa  championii
     clintoniana  crassirhizoma
     cristata  cycadina
     cystolepidota  decipiens
     dilatata  erythrosora
     expansa  filix-mas
     formosana  fragrans
     fuscipes  goldiana
     hondoensis  intermedia
     kuratae  lacera
     lepidopoda  ludoviciana
     marginalis  mindshelkensis
     oreades  pacifica
     polylepis  pseudo-filix-mas
     purpurella  remota
     sacrosancta  saxifraga
     sieboldii  stewartii
     sublacera  tokyoensis
     uniformis  varia

 Other Genera
    Adiantum  Arachniodes
    Aspidotis  Asplenium
    Astrolepis  Athyrium
    Blechnum  Cheilanthes
    Cryptogramma  Cyrtomium
    Cystopteris  Dennstaedtia
    Deparia  Diplazium
    Gymnocarpium  Lygodium
    Matteuccia  Onoclea
    Oreopteris  Osmunda
    Pellaea  Phegopteris
    Pleopeltis  Polypodium
    Polystichum  Pteridium
    Pteris  Pyrrosia
    Thelypteris  Woodsia
Dryopteris aemula (Aiton) Kuntze

Hay-scented wood fern

Etymology Latin: aemula, rivaling or imitating
Description Rhizome: erect.
Frond: 75 cm high by 15 cm wide, deciduous in colder areas, monomorphic, blade/stipe ratio: 1:1 to 2:1.
Stipe: grooved, dark purple-brown at base, shading to green near blade, scales scattered, narrowly lanceolate, pale brown, vascular bundles: 3-7 in a c-shaped pattern.
Blade: 3-pinnate-pinnatifid at base, triangular-ovate, the tips arching, sometimes with upturned tips, herbaceous to somewhat leathery, minute sessile, colorless glands, visible on the lower surface.
Pinnae: 10 to 20 pair, opposite, basal pair anadromous; costae grooved above, continuous from rachis to costae; segments those on the lowermost pinnae nearly pinnate; margins serrate, spiny, strongly upturned; veins free, forked.
Sori: round, in 1 row between midrib and margin, indusium: reniform, at a sinus, sporangia: brownish, maturity: late summer to early fall.
Dimensionality: drooping frond tips.
Culture Habitat: moist, acidic, shady woods, banks. Distribution: Atlantic Europe, Ireland to the Canaries, also the Caucasus, asiatic Turkey. Hardy to -20C, USDA Zone 6.
Distinctive Characteristics the habit with the arching fronds and upturned margins is highly distinctive; the glands on the lower surface separate it from other highly divided species of Dryopteris.
Aspidium aemulum (Aiton) Swartz
Allantodia aemula Desv.
Lastrea aemula Brackenr.
Lastrea foenisecii Watson
Nephrodium aemulum Bak.
Polypodium aemulum Aiton
Polystichum aemulum Presl
Dryopteris aemula
Dryopteris aemula. A) frond, bar: 5 cm; B) stipe scales, bar: 5 mm.  Illustration from The Cultivated Species of the Fern Genus Dryopteris in the United States, Barbara Joe Hoshizaki and Kenneth A. Wilson, American Fern Journal, 89, 1, (1999), with permission.
Compare to D. aemula and D. dilatata are sometimes confused, particularly with younger plants. However, mature plants of the former are 3-pinnate-pinnatifid at the base vs. just 3-pinnate for the latter. The former has segments with upturned margins; the latter has downturned margins.
Dryopteris aemula
Dryopteris aemula. Frond, scale, and indusium.  Drawing by J.E.S. Fecit
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