Bog Plants: Virginia Chain Fern

Photo of Virginia Chain Fern fall

This green season, I've made a habit of checking on a population of Virginia Chain Fern (Woodwardia virginica) every time I visit the local bog, and in late September the patch was dressed in rusty colors of early autumn senescence. Virginia Chain Fern is a specialist of bogs and other acidic wetlands and grows in all six New England states. Individual fronds are fairly tall (2-4') and may call to mind the sterile fronds of Cinnamon Fern. However, unlike Cinnamon Fern, Virginia Chain Fern doesn't grow in circular clumps or have tufts of woolly hairs along the stalk, and the two ferns have different vein patterns (see comparison photo below). (To view the following images in full-size, click here.)

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