Skip to main content

netted chain-fern

netted chain-fern (Woodwardia areolata)
Photo © Christopher David Benda

Features and Behaviors

The netted chain-fern is an upright plant with leaves about 24 inches long and six inches wide. Each green leaf is divided into 10 or more pairs of leaflets. The leaflet is thin, sharp-pointed and has a wavy margin. The third pair of leaflets from the base of the leaf is usually the longest. The rachis is green-brown and slightly scaly. The stipe is longer than the leaf. It is yellow-green above and red-brown at the base with a few scales.

The netted chain-fern may be found in Johnson and Pope counties in Illinois. It grows in marshy areas in lowland woods and on sandstone cliffs. Spores are produced from July through October.

Illinois Range


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

Illinois Status: common, native