Asplenium septentrionale

(Linnaeus) Hoffmann

Deutschl. Fl. 2: 12. 1796

Common names: Forked spleenwort
Basionyms: Acrostichum septentrionale Linnaeus Sp. Pl. 2: 1068. 1753
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 2.
Roots not proliferous. Stems erect, much branched to produce dense many-stemmed tufts or mats bearing numerous crowded leaves; scales dark reddish brown to black throughout, narrowly deltate, 2–4 × 0.3–0.6 mm, margins entire. Leaves monomorphic. Petiole dark reddish brown proximally, fading to green distally, 2–13 cm, 2–5 times length of blade; indument absent. Blade linear, simple or more often 1-pinnate, 0.5–4 × 0.1–0.4 cm, occasionally wider when pinnae strongly diverge, leathery, glabrous; base acute; apex acute, not rooting at tip. Rachis green, lustrous, glabrous. Pinnae of pinnate leaves 2(–4), strongly ascending to give forked appearance, linear, (5–)10–30 × 0.75–3 mm; base acute; margins remotely lacerate; apex acute. Veins free, obscure. Sori usually 2+ per pinna, parallel to margins. Spores 64 per sporangium. 2n = 144.

Habitat: Cliffs of various substrates
Elevation: 700–2900 m


V2 229-distribution-map.gif

Ariz., Calif., Colo., D.C., N.Mex., Okla., Oreg., S.Dak., Tex., Utah, W.Va., Wyo., Mexico in Baja California, Europe, Asia.


In North America Asplenium septentrionale is principally a western species with isolated disjunct populations in Monroe and Hardy counties, West Virginia. Because of its close resemblance to a tuft of grass, it is easily overlooked, and discoveries of additional localities are to be expected. In Europe A. septentrionale is known to hybridize with several species, but in North America only the hybrid with A. trichomanes (A. × alternifolium Wulfen) is known.



Lower Taxa

No lower taxa listed.

AuthorWarren H. Wagner Jr. +, Robbin C. Moran + and Charles R. Werth +
Authority(Linnaeus) Hoffmann +
BasionymsAcrostichum septentrionale +
Common nameForked spleenwort +
DistributionAriz. +, Calif. +, Colo. +, D.C. +, N.Mex. +, Okla. +, Oreg. +, S.Dak. +, Tex. +, Utah +, W.Va. +, Wyo. +, Mexico in Baja California +, Europe + and Asia. +
Elevation700–2900 m +
HabitatCliffs of various substrates +
IllustratorJohn Myers +
Publication titleDeutschl. Fl. +
Publication year1796 +
ReferenceNone +
Source xml grained fna xml/V2/V2 229.xml +
Taxon familyAspleniaceae +
Taxon nameAsplenium septentrionale +
Taxon parentAsplenium +
Taxon rankspecies +
VolumeVolume 2 +