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Broad Beech Fern (Phegopteris hexagonoptera)

Broad Beech Fern A number of ferns at the Arboretum are not commonly seen along the trails, but may occur in areas not open to the public. One of these, the Broad Beech Fern, is sometimes seen along the South Forest Loop Road and probably occurs at a variety of other sites off the trails. Some of its distinguishing characteristics are: (1) a triangular leaf shape - the leaves are typically as wide at the bases as they are long; (2) the rachis of the leaf (the central stalk) is winged; (3) the compound leaves are bipinnatified (i.e., the primary divisions of the leaf (the pinna) are themselves subdivided into secondary divisions); (4) the lowermost pinna tend to point downward; and (5) the spore-bearing structures (sori), borne on the underside of the leaf, are arranged in two rows near the center of the primary pinna and have no indusia (membranous cover). Broad Beech Fern is found throughout Tennessee, and its range extends throughout the eastern half of the US and north into most of the eastern Canadian Provinces.

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University of Tennessee - Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center
901 South Illinois Avenue, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37830 · Telephone: 865-483-3571 · Email: UTforest@utk.edu