Dryopteris goldiana (Hook. ex Goldie) Gray

Goldie's wood fern

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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

Goldie's wood fern is the largest of New England's wood ferns (Dryopteris). It was named for Scottish botanist John Goldie, who in 1817, at age 24, sailed from England for America. Three times he shipped back to Great Britain plants he collected, and three times these collections were lost during transport. Even some of his notes that he successfully carried back with him were destroyed later in a fire. He eventually returned to North America and lived in Ontario until he died at age 93.

Habitat

Forests

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
Leaf divisions
  • the leaf blade is compound (divided into leaflets)
  • the leaf blade is twice compound (divided into leaflets, which are further divided into leaflets)
Plant growth form
the leaves grow from a rhizome growing at or below the ground
Spore-bearing leaflets
the spore-bearing fronds are similar in size and shape to the sterile fronds
Sorus shape
the sori are circular or kidney-shaped
Leaf stalk scales
the leaf stalk has scales
Leaf stalk hairs
there are no hairs on the leaf stalk
Leaf blade length
25–65 cm
Leaf vein tips
the veins end in small round expanded areas, and do not reach the edge of the leaf blade
Show All Characteristics
  • Growth form
    Life form
    the plant is herbaceous and terrestrial
    Life stage
    the plant is visible as a typical leaf-bearing fern (sporophyte)
    Spore-bearing leaflets
    the spore-bearing fronds are similar in size and shape to the sterile fronds
  • Leaves
    Features of leaves
    there are no special features on the leaves
    Leaf blade length
    25–65 cm
    Leaf blade shape
    the leaf blades are widest above the base, then taper broadly towards the tip (ovate)
    Leaf blade width
    At least 20 cm
    Leaf divisions
    • the leaf blade is compound (divided into leaflets)
    • the leaf blade is twice compound (divided into leaflets, which are further divided into leaflets)
    Leaf lifespan
    the leaves drop off in winter
    Leaf stalk color
    yellow to brown
    Leaf stalk hairs
    there are no hairs on the leaf stalk
    Leaf stalk length
    Up to 400 mm
    Leaf stalk relative length
    the leaf stalk is more than a quarter, but less than three quarters as long as the blade
    Leaf stalk scale location
    the scales are present only on the lower half of the leaf stalk
    Leaf stalk scales
    the leaf stalk has scales
    Leaf stalk vessels
    3 to 9 bundles
    Leaf vein branching
    the secondary veins of the leaf blade branch dichotomously (two equal branches at each branch point)
    Leaf vein tips
    the veins end in small round expanded areas, and do not reach the edge of the leaf blade
    Leaflet relative size
    the bottom leaflets are about half as long as, to slightly longer than, the leaflets from the middle of the frond
    Leaflet stalks
    the leaflets are stalked
    Lobe or leaflet length
    104–210 mm
    Lobe or leaflet pairs
    10–25
    Lobe or leaflet shape
    • the lobe or leaflet is rectangular but with rounded ends (oblong)
    • the lobe or leaflet is widest below the middle and broadly tapering at both ends; egg-shaped
    • the lobe or leaflet is widest below the middle and tapering at both ends; lance-shaped
    Lobe or leaflet width
    30–45 mm
    Plant growth form
    the leaves grow from a rhizome growing at or below the ground
    final leaf segment margin
    the topmost lobe or leaflet of the leaf blade has an edge with teeth
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Rhode Island
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    forests
  • Spores or spore cones
    Sorus features
    there are no special features on the sorus
    Sorus shape
    the sori are circular or kidney-shaped
    Sporangia location
    the spores are clustered on sori on the lower surface of the leaf blade
    Sporangium type
    the sporangia are opaque without an annulus and usually without a stalk (leptosporangiate)
    Spore forms
    there is only one type of spore present

Wetland Status

Occurs in wetlands or non-wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: FAC)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

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

Conservation Status

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

Connecticut
uncommon (S-rank: S3), special concern (code: SC)
Maine
rare (S-rank: S2), special concern (code: SC)
Massachusetts
uncommon (S-rank: S3), #NAME? (code: #NAME?)
New Hampshire
uncommon (S-rank: S3), W (code: W)
Vermont
fairly widespread (S-rank: S4)

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Dryopteris marginalis:
sori positioned near margin of leaf segments and scales at base of leaf stalk pale brown (vs. D. goldiana, with sori positioned near midrib of leaf segments and scales at base of leaf stalk dark brown with a pale border)

Synonyms

  • Aspidium goldianum Hook. ex Goldie

Genus

Dryopteris

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

7.  Dryopteris goldiana (Hook. ex Goldie) Gray N

Goldie’s wood fern. Aspidium goldianum Hook. ex Goldie • CT, MA, ME, NH, VT; also reported from RI by Montgomery and Wagner (1993), but voucher specimens are unknown. Rich, mesic, often rocky, forests.

2×7. Dryopteris carthusiana × Dryopteris goldiana Dryopteris ×‌correllii W.H. Wagner is an extremely rare wood fern hybrid 
known from VT. It has an oblong leaf blade mostly divided 2.5 times near base with an abruptly tapered apex, dark brown scales on the petiole, no glands on the indusia, 
and sori positioned midway between the midvein and margin.

3×7. Dryopteris clintoniana × Dryopteris goldiana Dryopteris ×‌mickelii Peck is a rare, though sometimes locally frequent, 
wood fern hybrid known from ME, VT. It could be confused with a robust D. clintoniana. However, unlike that species, this hybrid has oblong lower leaflets, petiole scales with dark brown central regions, and often slightly curved leafules (rather than long-triangular to oblong-triangular lower leaflets, petiole scales commonly light brown, 
and ± straight leafules).

7×8. Dryopteris goldiana × Dryopteris intermedia This rare wood fern hybrid is known from CT, MA, VT. Overall, the nothospecies appears closer to Dryopteris intermedia on superficial examination. However, it has scales on the petiole that are dark chestnut-brown with broad, paler brown margins (rather than lacking a dark central area as in D. intermedia). The hybrid is further characterized by leaf blades that are 2.5- to 3-times pinnately compound and mostly 1.8–2.2 times as long as wide (rather than mostly 1.7–2.2 in D. goldiana and mostly 2.3–2.6 in D. intermedia), sori positioned in 1 or more rows along each side of the leafule or lobe (rather than 1 row on each side in D. goldiana and 2 or more rows on each side in D. intermedia), and indusia with stipitate-glands (glands lacking in D. goldiana and present in D. intermedia).

7×9. Dryopteris goldiana × Dryopteris marginalis Dryopteris ×‌neowherryi W.H. Wagner is a rare wood fern hybrid known from CT, MA, ME, VT. It shows sori positioned closer to the margin than the midrib of the ultimate segments and fairly dense scales at the base of the petiole (as with other D. marginalis hybrids). The petiole scales are dark brown, and the leaf blade tapers abruptly at the apex (rather than pale petiole scales and ± gradual taper to apex in D. marginalis).