Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Silvery Spleenwort - Deparia acrostichoides   (Swartz) M. Kato
Members of Athyriaceae:
Only member of Deparia in NC.
Google Images
Section 2 » Order Polypodiales » Family Athyriaceae
Show/Hide Synonym
Author(Swartz) M. Kato
DistributionThroughout the Mountains; nearly throughout the western Piedmont, and scattered into the central Piedmont, but only a few records in the eastern portions (including a few current sites in Wake County). Recorded east to Caswell, Orange, and Wake counties.

This is a Northeastern species, ranging from N.S. to MN, south to northern GA and AR.
AbundanceFairly common to common in the Mountains; infrequent to locally fairly common in the Piedmont foothills, but mostly rare into the central and eastern Piedmont.
HabitatThis is a species of rich to very rich forested slopes, typically in circumneutral (high pH) soil. It is widespread in Rich Cove Forests, and into the Piedmont is mainly found in Basic Mesic Forests. It can also occur in rich bottomlands, along forested creeksides, and similar places -- always in shaded places.
PhenologyFruits from June to September.
IdentificationThis is a familiar fern in the mountain coves, but not so familiar into the Piedmont. There are only a few fronds per clump, with a rather thick and green stipe that is about 6-8 inches long. The blade is about 1.5-2 feet long and about 7 inches wide, with a lanceolate outline, tapering at the tip and a somewhat squared-off base (lower pinnae slightly shorter than or equal to the length of several above them). The blade is cut pinnate-pinnatifid, such that the pinnules are not quite cut to the midrib, and each is oblong with only shallow scallops on the margins (and not lobes). There are 15-20 pairs of pinnae, the lower sub-opposite but often alternate. Thus, the blade is not as lacy-cut as are the two Athyrium species, which have distinct pinnules with lobing. Several Dryopteris species have similar blades, but most are dark green and somewhat coriaceous; Deparia blades are bright green and rather thin. Also, this species has oblong-linear sori in rows that are diagonal to the midribs of the pinnules on the blade underside; Dryopteris sori are rounded in shape.
Taxonomic CommentsMost references formerly named the species as Athyrium thelypteroides.

Other Common Name(s)Silvery Glade-fern, Silvery False Spleenwort
State RankS5
Global RankG5
State Status
US Status
USACE-agcpFAC link
USACE-empFAC link
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
Select a source
Select an occurrence type