Phegopteris connectilis

Phegopteris connectilis narrow beach fern

Plant grows in the wild/spontaneouslyPlant is native to PA

This spreading, light green fern has narrow triangular fronds and blades beginning about halfway up the stipe.  The two lowest pinnae are very distinctive - they point diagonally down towards the ground and are separated from the next upper pair.  Narrow beech fern likes moisture and often grows along streams in shaded areas.

Wet, rocky pockets near cool, running water; often under small waterfalls.  Also in acid soils on shaded stream banks, in ravines, and on cliffs.  Sometimes grows in colonies in the semi-shade of rich, moist woodlands.  

Range is throughout Canada and the northern states of US above 40th parallel.

Wetland code: FACU

Fronds  sterile and fertile fronds have the same shape and size.  From 6 to 14 in. long.

Blade  4 to 8 in. wide. Sometimes tilts backward; bright green, narrowly triangular with rapidly tapering tip; can be hairy above and beneath.  Cut into 12 or more pairs of nearly opposite, sessile pinnae.  

Pinnae  quite narrow, with long, pointed tips. All except the lowest pair semi-tapered to the rachis.  Lowest pair of pinnae is characteristically angled downward and distinctly spaced from the next upper pair of pinnae.  Lowest pinnae tapered at both ends; not much longer than the other pinnae.  Cut almost to costa into 18 or so rounded lobes with hairy margins.  Costa and veins hairy, with tan to brown scales. Veins are also forked.

Rachis  green, scaly, hairy above and beneath; not winged adjacent to lowest pinnae.

Stipe  6 to 14 in. long.  Straw-colored; slender, scaly, hairy; variable in length, but usually about 1/2 longer than the blade. 

Rhizome  slender, black, scaly, branching, and creeping.

Sori small, round, near margins at ends of veins. No indusium.


The rachis is winged everywhere but between the lowest pair of pinnae.

Phegopteris connectilis narrow beach fern

Plant grows in the wild/spontaneouslyPlant is native to PA

Phegopteris connectilis gallery
Common Names
narrow beach fern