Matteuccia Todaro (Woodsiaceae) Earlier placement: Polypodiaceae, Athyriaceae, Dryopteridaceae, Onocleaceae

Ostrich fern

Etymology Named after Carlo Matteucci (1811-1863), a physicist at the University of Florence, Italy and later a politician.
Description Rhizome: erect, forming a vase-like plant, leaf-scales on the runners.
Frond: deciduous, dimorphic.
Stipe: green, expanded base (trophopod), white hairs, vascular bundles: 2, lunate.
Blade: sterile: 1-pinnate-pinnatifid, elliptic, sterile: herbaceous, absent or deciduously hairy below.
Pinnae: proximal pinnae (several pairs) greatly reduced, sessile, costae shallowly grooved above, grooves not continuous from rachis to costae, segments entire, veins free.
Sori: round, covered by revolute margins, indusium: vestigial, sporangia: green.
Distinctive Characteristics The vase shape on a large plant and the ostrich feather outline of the sterile blade are enough to spot this. The persistent -- into the next year -- fertile fronds, when produced, are confirmatory. Older habitats are always composed of multiple plants produced stoloniferously.
Matteuccia . Fertile fronds, one old, one new. The persistence into the second year of a fertile frond is rare among temperate ferns.  Photo by Rod Tulloss, Environmental Commission of the Borough of Roosevelt and the Fund for Roosevelt, Inc.
Valid XHTML 1.0     Reports of errors and omissions appreciated: toms AT (please replace the AT with @)