PLEOPELTIS POLYPODIOIDES (L.) E.G. Andrews & Windham
HABIT: Perennial from a creeping rhizome, fronds
evergreen, 6-25 cm.; sporulating July-September.
SPECIES: A distinctive and easily
identified species. Somewhat resembles
the common polypody (P. virginianum), but differing in the unusual gray
scales on the undersurface of the fronds.
RANGE: FL to TX, s. to Guatemala and n.
to MD, OH, IL, MO, and OK; the typical variety occurs over much of Central and
RANGE: There are post-1960 collections only from Adams and Hocking counties. There are pre-1960 reports from 5 other counties: Clermont, Gallia, Hamilton, Highland, and Meigs.
STATUS: 1980-1997: Endangered, 1998 to
HABITAT: In a variety of periodically moist
situations in sun or shade; in much of its range it is epiphytic on tree
branches; walls, rock exposures, roadbanks; usually on calcareous or neutral
substrates. All known Ohio populations
are on dolomite or sandstone.
Trampling; rock-climbing; mechanical disturbance of habitat.
POTENTIAL: Unknown, but probably good.
GUIDELINES: Collect complete, mature
specimens; avoid over-collecting.
COMMENTS: This is a distinctive fern that is not
likely to be overlooked and/ or misidentified.
It is remarkably drought resistant.
The apparently lifeless fronds resume their color and resiliency after a
rain, returning rapidly to a desiccated state.
Thus this species is often called the resurrection fern.
R. 1980. Ferns and fern allies of Kentucky. Kentucky Nature Preserves Commission Scientific and Technical Series
No. 1 284 p.
Division of Natural Areas and Preserves
Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Created: 3/1982 Allison W. Cusick