Phegopteris hexagonoptera

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Broad beech fern
Phegopteris hexagonoptera1.JPG
Phegopteris hexagonoptera in spring

Secure (NatureServe)
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Polypodiopsida/Pteridopsida
Order: Polypodiales
Family: Thelypteridaceae
Genus: Phegopteris
Species: P. hexagonoptera
Binomial name
Phegopteris hexagonoptera
Phegopteris hexagonoptera.GIF

Dryopteris hexagonoptera (Michx.) C. Chr.
Thelypteris hexagonoptera (Michx.) Weath.

Phegopteris hexagonoptera, commonly called the broad beech fern, is a common forest fern in the eastern United States and adjacent Ontario.[1][2] It grows from a creeping rootstock, sending up individual fronds that more or less clump.

The fronds are broadly triangular. The specific name hexagonoptera refers to the winging of leaf tissue along the rachis between the basal pinnae.

Sori are small, round and naked. This aspect of the plant has caused it in the past to be placed, at first, in the genus Polypodium, then grouped with genus Dryopteris, then with the genus Thelypteris. Genetic analysis has shown the genus Phegopteris to be a sister clade to the rest of the thelypteroid ferns.

Rare hybrids with Phegopteris connectilis are known.

This fern makes an excellent garden plant, gradually filling in a bed.


  1. ^ Tryon, RM (1936). "Ferns of the Dune Region of Indiana". American Midland Naturalist. 17 (2): 425–429. doi:10.2307/2419969. JSTOR 2419969.
  2. ^ Small, John (1975). Ferns of the vicinity of New York: being descriptions of the fern-plants growing naturally within a hundred miles of Manhattan Island, with notes. New York: Dover Publications. ISBN 0-486-23118-6.

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