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Temporal range: 15.6–0 Ma
Middle Miocene to present[1]
Woodwardia radicans
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Polypodiopsida
Order: Polypodiales
(unranked): Eupolypods II
Family: Blechnaceae
Genus: Woodwardia
  • Anchistea C. Presl
  • Chieniopteris Ching
  • Lorinseria C. Presl

Woodwardia (chain fern) is a genus of 14 to 20 species of ferns in the family Blechnaceae, in the eupolypods II clade[2] of the order Polypodiales,[3] in the class Polypodiopsida.[4] It is native to warm temperate and subtropical regions of the Northern Hemisphere. They are large ferns, with fronds growing to 50–300 cm long depending on the species.

The genus was named after Thomas Jenkinson Woodward.[5]


  1. ^ *Pigg, Kathleen B. & Rothwell, Gar W. (2001); "Anatomically preserved Woodwardia virginica (Blechnaceae) and a new Filicalean fern from the Middle Miocene Yakima Canyon Flora of central Washington, USA" American Journal of Botany 88(5):777-787
  2. ^ 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. doi:10.1093/sysbio/sys001. 
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ McConnell, Anita. "Woodward, Thomas Jenkinson". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/26073.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)

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