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Published In: A Manual of the Botany of the Northern United States 632. 1848. (Manual) Name publication detailView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Status: Native


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6. Dryopteris marginalis (L.) A. Gray (marginal shield fern) Pl. 7a,b; Map 26

Rhizome and petiole scales orangish brown, concolorous, not shiny, linear to ovate. Leaves 25–95 cm long, monomorphic, leathery. Leaf blades ovate to lanceolate or narrowly elliptic in outline, pinnately compound above to usually 2 times pinnately compound below, glabrous, flat. Pinnae 1–12 cm long, narrowly triangular to lanceolate or linear, the tips attenuate, the margins entire or shallowly toothed, the pinnules entire to deeply lobed. Basal lower segment of basal pinnae 1–3 times longer than the basal upper segment and longer than or shorter than the adjacent basal segment. Sori near the margins of the pinnules or pinnule lobes. Indusia glabrous, thick, not shriveling at maturity. Spores 41–48 mm long. 2n=82. June–October.

Scattered throughout the Ozark and Ozark Border Divisions, locally north to Saline and Lewis Counties (eastern U.S. west to Oklahoma, eastern Canada). Shaded ledges of bluffs and rock outcrops, less commonly on rocky slopes of upland forests, mostly on sandstone, but also on other acidic substrates.

This is the most widely distributed species of Dryopteris in the state. It tolerates a broader range of moisture and light conditions than other members of the genus in Missouri.

In the eastern Ozarks, D. marginalis sometimes grows in close proximity to D. intermedia on sandstone ledges. The sterile, diploid hybrid between these two diploid species, which has not been formally named, has not been found in Missouri but should be searched for at these sites. This hybrid has a leaf texture similar to that of the marginal shield fern, but has a somewhat more divided leaf blade and has the sori farther from the margins. Observation of the malformed, irregular spores is necessary to confirm its identity.

Two other hybrids involving D. marginalis that are less likely to be discovered in Missouri are the sterile, diploid hybrid with D. goldiana (D. ¥neo-wherryi W.H. Wagner), which has been reported from Illinois, and the sterile, triploid hybrid with D. celsa (D. ¥leedsii Wherry), which is known from Arkansas. Both of these hybrids are large plants that resemble their other parent more than they do the marginal shield fern and are best distinguished by their abortive spores.



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