Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Goldie's Wood-fern - Dryopteris goldieana   (Hooker ex Goldie) A. Gray
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Section 2 » Order Polypodiales » Family Dryopteridaceae
Author(Hooker ex Goldie) A. Gray
DistributionEssentially throughout the mountains. A disjunct specimen from Orange County in the eastern Piedmont, where certainly extirpated now ("Eno River bridge").

This is a Northeastern species, ranging from eastern Canada south to PA and IA, and farther southward mainly in the Appalachians and Ozarks to central AL and northern AR.
AbundanceRare to very uncommon in the mountains; no longer known from the Piedmont. This is a Watch List species, as identified by the NCNHP.
HabitatThis fern requires rich and moist circumneutral soil. It grows in Rich Cove Forests, Boulderfield Forests, seepages in rich forests, and other very loamy soils in cool microclimates. Most sites for it are high quality natural areas.
PhenologyFruits from June to September.
IdentificationThis rare fern grows in rich forested sites, often where many other scarce plants can be found. It has a dark stipe about 8-10 inches long, and a large, widely ovate blade about 18-20 inches long and 12 inches wide, one of the wider fern blades in the state. The blade is pinnate-pinnatifid, to nearly bipinnate. There are 12-16 pairs of pinnae, the lower opposite, but these pinnae remain equal or nearly equal in length for most of the blade but become quite short in the upper portions, with a handful of simple (undivided) pinnae at the apex. Most other ferns have blades that gradually taper to the apex, and thus this species stands out from that group. Sori are rounded, in rows on the undersides of the pinnules.
Taxonomic CommentsWeakley (2018) notes that the correct spelling of the epithet is indeed "goldieana", and not "goldiana" as used in nearly all other references. As the fern is named after its discoverer, John Goldie, this indeed is the correct spelling.

Other Common Name(s)Giant Wood-fern, Goldie's Fern
State RankS3
Global RankG4G5
State StatusW1
US Status
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