Pioneer Valley Fern Society

Winter Ferns

#3 Appalachian Polypody

I wanted to do this news article on Appalachian Polypody (Polypodium appalachianum) while the last article & photo on Common Polypody were still fresh in your minds. If you compare this photo with the last one you wll see the difference in overall shape. Ideally the Appalachian Polypody blade will have a wide base and narrow tip, like the ones in this photo. It is hard to find a patch of polypody around here where all the blades will look like this. Even this one is better to call an Appalachian Polypody hybrid since some of the other blades within the same group are more of a mix of forms. Generally the ends of the pinnae will be more pointed as well. Chaddee in Northeast Ferns describes Appalachian Polypody blades as "oblong to narrowly lanceolate, usually widest at base". Although he lists the Appalachian Polypody as occurring in our 4 western counties and Worcester and Norfolk counties, most of the time what you will find around here is Common Polypody. But it is worth keeping an eye open for this one! These are found at the 4H Forest in Leverett, next to a patch of Common Polypody.