Phegopteris connectilis (Michx.) Watt.

Northern beech fern, narrow beech fern

Etymology Connectilis is from the Latin, conecto, to fasten together. See the description of the pinnae.
Description Rhizome: long-creeping, branching, black, ovate scales.
Frond: 50 cm high by 15 cm wide, deciduous, new fronds all summer, monomorphic, blade/stipe ratio: 1:1 or less.
Stipe: straw-colored at base, scales tan, lanceolate, below, and pointed hairs on both sides, vascular bundles: 2, elongate, at 90, merging or not by the top of the stipe.
Blade: 1-pinnate-pinnatifid, triangular, broadest at base, usually somewhat longer than broad, light green, transparent needlelike hairs and spreading, ovate-lanceolate scales on rachis below.
Pinnae: 12 to 15 pair, base fused to rachis, the lowest pair (or two lowest) unconnected by wings to the upper ones, lowest pair typically drooping down and out; costae not grooved, ovate-lanceolate, light tan to shiny brown scales below; veins free, simple or forked.
Sori: round , near the margin, lower pinnae, indusium: absent, sporangia: tan, maturity: early to midsummer.
Dimensionality: lowest pinnae bending forward and down.
Culture Habitat: boreal, wet temperate, and cool climates, moist, calcareous cliff crevices . Distribution: circumboreal. Hardy to -40C, USDA Zone 2.
Distinctive Characteristics drooping pair of lower leaflets, rachis winged above, not on lowest pinnae
Synonyms
Polypodium connectile Michaux
Dryopteris phegopteris (Linnaeus) C. Christensen
Phegopteris polypodioides Fe
Polypodium phegopteris Linnaeus
Thelypteris phegopteris (Linnaeus) Slosson
Aspidium phegopteris Baumg.
Gymnocarpium phegopteris Newm.
Lastrea phegopteris (L.) Bory
Nephrodium phegopteris (L.) Prantl
Phegopteris phegopteris (L.) Keyserl.
Polystichum phegopteris (L.) Roth
Phegopteris connectilis
Phegopteris connectilis. clockwise from bottom center: plant, two types of scale from axes, underside of pinna, sporelings, gametophytes.  Illustration from Scandinavian Ferns by Benjamin llgaard and Kirsten Tind, Rhodos, 1993.
Phegopteris connectilis
Phegopteris connectilis. Habit, early June.  Ray Edwards, 2004.
Phegopteris connectilis
Phegopteris connectilis. a) frond, wings between upper pinnae, not extending to the lowest pair; b) fertile pinnules, hairy, costa scaly.  Illustration by V. Fulford from Ferns and Fern Allies of Canada, William J. Cody and Donald M. Britton, 1989, Agriculture Canada, used with permission.
Phegopteris connectilis vascular bundles
Phegopteris connectilis. Two elongate vascular bundles at the stipe base, merging or not at stipe apex.  Drawing from Ferns of Northeastern United States, Farida A. Wiley, 1936.
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