Adiantum pedatum
TRUE FERN FAMILY (Polyodiaceae)

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This native perennial grows up to 2 feet tall. First erect, red-brown, spirally-coiled fronds emerge and unfurl (D). When mature, the shiny, black stems divide into recurving branches (A,B). Each branch holds numerous opposite leaflets, resulting in delicate, fan-shaped fern leaves (fronds). Easily differentiated from the other two ferns present in our area by its smooth black stems and branches.

Grows in moist, shady ravines (C). In Fontenelle Forest, locally common along Mormon and History Trails. At Neale Woods, common along lower Maidenhair and Paw Paw Trails.

Valued for medicinal purposes by both Native Americans and European practitioners.

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