Woodwardia fimbriata

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Woodwardia fimbriata
Conservation status

Secure (NatureServe)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Polypodiopsida
Order: Polypodiales
(unranked): Eupolypods II
Family: Blechnaceae
Genus: Woodwardia
Species: W. fimbriata
Binomial name
Woodwardia fimbriata

Woodwardia fimbriata, known by the common name giant chain fern, is a fern species in the family Blechnaceae, in the eupolypods II clade[1] of the order Polypodiales,[2] in the class Polypodiopsida.[3] It is native to western North America from British Columbia through California, including the Sierra Nevada, into Baja California.

It grows in coniferous forests and other moist wooded habitat.[4][5]


Woodwardia fimbriata has very long fronds, each reaching 1 to 3 meters in length.[6] Its sori are short but broad and are arranged in neat lines, the characteristic that gives the chain ferns their name. The chain shape is visible on both sides of each leaflet.


Woodwardia fimbriata is cultivated as an ornamental plant for traditional and native plant gardens, and in natural landscaping and habitat restoration projects.


  1. ^ Carl J. Rothfels, Anders Larsson, Li-Yaung Kuo, Petra Korall, Wen- Liang Chiou, Kathleen M. Pryer (2012). "Overcoming Deep Roots, Fast Rates, and Short Internodes to Resolve the Ancient Rapid Radiation of Eupolypod II Ferns". Systematic Biology 61 (1): 70. 
  2. ^ Maarten J. M. Christenhusz, Xian-Chun Zhang & Harald Schneider (2011). "A linear sequence of extant families and genera of lycophytes and ferns" (PDF). Phytotaxa 19: 7–54. 
  3. ^ Alan R. Smith, Kathleen M. Pryer, Eric Schuettpelz, Petra Korall, Harald Schneider & Paul G. Wolf (2006). "A classification for extant ferns" (PDF). Taxon 55 (3): 705–731. doi:10.2307/25065646. 
  4. ^ Flora of North America
  5. ^ USDA Plants Profile - Woodwardia fimbriata (Giant chain fern)
  6. ^ Jepson Manual Treatment: Woodwardia fimbriata

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