Asplenium platyneuron (L.) Britton

ebony spleenwort

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Ebony spleenwort is a common species of rocky slopes on thin soil, sometimes on nearly bare rock or mortar. This species is unique among ferns for its anomalous distribution that includes both eastern North America and southern Africa. Unlike other spleenworts, ebony spleenwort has dimorphic leaf blades, with the fertile (spore-bearing) leaves being tall and erect, while the sterile leaves are short and prostrate or arching.

Habitat

Cliffs, balds, or ledges, talus and rocky slopes, woodlands

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
Leaf divisions
the leaf blade is compound (divided into leaflets)
Show All Characteristics
  • Leaves
    Features of leaves
    there are no special features on the leaves
    Leaf divisions
    the leaf blade is compound (divided into leaflets)
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Rhode Island
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • cliffs, balds, or ledges
    • talus or rocky slopes
    • woodlands

Wetland Status

Usually occurs in non-wetlands, but occasionally in wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: FACU)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
present
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
present
Rhode Island
present
Vermont
present

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Maine
rare (S-rank: S2), special concern (code: SC)
Massachusetts
widespread (S-rank: S5)

var. incisum

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

var. platyneuron

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

Native to North America?

Yes

Synonyms

  • Asplenium platyneuron (L.) Britton var. incisum (Howe ex Peck) B.L. Robins.

Family

Aspleniaceae

Genus

Asplenium

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

2.  Asplenium platyneuron (L.) Britton N

ebony spleenwort. Asplenium platyneuron (L.) Britton var. incisum (Howe ex Peck) B.L. Robins. • CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT; in ME only the southwestern portion of state. Rocky, circumneutral slopes, usually growing on thin soil, occasionally on rock or mortar.

2×3. Asplenium platyneuron × Asplenium rhizophyllum Asplenium ×‌ebenoides R.R. Scott is a rare spleenwort hybrid known primarily from western New England ( CT, MA, NH, VT). Given that Asplenium ×‌ebenoides is chiefly sterile (i.e., produces abortive spores) and occurs with both parental species, it is appropriate to refer to our material as a nothospecies. The Hale County, Alabama, populations that are fertile tetraploids have appropriately (and finally) been provided 
a separate name— A. tutwilerae B.R. Keener & R.J. Davenport—because those populations represent an allotetraploid species.