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norther maidenhair

northern maidenhair (Adiantum pedatum)
Photo © John Hilty

Features and Behaviors

The northern maidenhair has curved, flat fronds on thin stalks. Each flat frond may attain a length of more than 10 inches. Leaflets are blue-green and arranged five or six per each branch of stalk. The rachis is red-brown. The stipe is smooth and black or dark brown. It may grow to 20 inches in length. The fiddleheads are dark red.

The northern maidenhair may be found statewide in Illinois. It grows in moist, shaded, rich woodlands, especially in ravines or under wet, rock banks. Spores are produced June through September.

Illinois Range


​Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Filicopsida
Order: Polypodiales
Family: Pteridaceae

Illinois Status: common, native