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Bradley's spleenwort

Bradley's spleenwort (Asplenium bradleyi) [state endangered]
Photo © Christopher David Benda

Features and Behaviors

Bradley’s spleenwort is an evergreen fern that grows in tight clusters on rocks. Each thin leaf is about six inches long. The leaf is widest at the base and becomes narrower toward the tip. Ten or more pairs of leaflets are present. The leaflet is more or less triangular in shape and is toothed along the edges. Upper leaflets are not stalked while the lower ones are stalked. The lower half of the rachis is dark green while the upper half is light green. The dark brown stipe is about three inches long.

Bradley’s spleenwort may be found in Jackson, Randolph and Union counties in Illinois. It grows on sandstone or chert cliffs. Spores are produced from June through September.

Illinois Range


​Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Polypodiopsida
Order: Polypodiales
Family: Aspleniaceae

Illinois Status: state endangered, native