Broad beech fern

Phegopteris hexagonoptera

''Phegopteris hexagonoptera'', commonly called the broad beech fern, is a common forest fern in the eastern United States and adjacent Ontario. It grows from a creeping rootstock, sending up individual fronds that more or less clump.

The fronds are broadly triangular. The specific name ''hexagonoptera'' refers to the winging of leaf tissue along the rachis between the basal pinnae.

Sori are small, round and naked. This aspect of the plant has caused it in the past to be placed, at first, in the genus ''Polypodium'', then grouped with genus ''Dryopteris'', then with the genus ''Thelypteris''. Genetic analysis has shown the ''Phegopteris'' genus to be a sister clade to the rest of the thelypteroid ferns.

Rare hybrids with ''Phegopteris connectilis'' are known.

This fern makes an excellent garden plant, gradually filling in a bed.
Status: Unknown
EX EW CR EN VU NT LC
Taxonomy
KingdomPlantae
DivisionPolypodiophyta
ClassPolypodiopsida
OrderPolypodiales
FamilyThelypteridaceae
GenusPhegopteris
SpeciesP. hexagonoptera