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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. 
  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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