American Wall Fern (Polypodium virginianum)

Common names:
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General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Fern
Sun Requirements: Partial or Dappled Shade
Partial Shade to Full Shade
Full Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 3 -40 °C (-40 °F) to -37.2 °C (-35)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 7b
Plant Height: 6 to 12 inches
Plant Spread: 1 foot, spreads some
Leaves: Evergreen
Underground structures: Rhizome
Uses: Will Naturalize
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Humidity tolerant
Drought tolerant
Propagation: Other methods: Division
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil
Conservation status: Least Concern (LC)

Conservation status:
Conservation status: Least Concern
little mass on slope with tree

Photo gallery:
Location: Jenkins Arboretum in Berwyn, PennsylvaniaDate: 2012-03-18little mass on slope with tree
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Location: Jenkins Arboretum in Berwyn, PennsylvaniaDate: 2012-03-18foliage in winter, sign
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Location: Downingtown, PennsylvaniaDate: 2017-04-14colony on ledges above Brandywine Creek
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Location: Downingtown, PennsylvaniaDate: 2017-04-14closer shot on ledges above creek
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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Sep 26, 2018 2:02 PM

I have occasionally come across this species in the wilds of southeast Pennsylvania on various upland sites, especially around boulders on cliffs and ledges with trees around for some shade. Its native range in North America is from Newfoundland to southern Saskatchewan and from New England to northern Alabama & Georgia to Arkansas up to South Dakota to Minnesota. This is a small fern species with evergreen, dark, leathery deeply pinnately lobed fronds. Its fertile fronds are the same size as infertile fronds and bear circular or kidney-shaped sori (spore producing dots) under the leaves. The leaf stalks have scales and are hairless. I have never seen this fern sold by any nursery. There are some specialty and native plant mail order nurseries that sell some as: Izel Nursery in Washington, D.C. and Fernwood Nursery in Nova Scotia near Halifax. In a garden or landscape situation it likes average or moist soil in part or full shade, out of strong winds. It slowly spreads some by its rhizomes (underground stems).

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