Parathelypteris simulata (Davenport) Holttum

Massachusetts fern

Copyright: various copyright holders. To reuse an image, please click it to see who you will need to contact.

New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

Found this plant? Take a photo and post a sighting.

North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

enlarge

Facts About

Massachusetts fern usually occurs in acid soils of swamps and wetlands, often with sphagnum moss or other bryophytes.

Habitat

Bogs, fens, marshes, swamps, wetland margins (edges of wetlands)

Characteristics

Habitat
wetlands
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
  • there are no scales on the leaf stalk
Leaf stalk hairs
  • the leaf stalk has hairs
  • there are no hairs on the leaf stalk
Leaf blade length
10–40 cm
Leaf vein tips
the veins go all the way to 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
    10–40 cm
    Leaf blade shape
    the leaf blades are widest above the base, then taper narrowly towards the tip (lanceolate)
    Leaf blade tip shape
    the tip of the leaf blade is rounded
    Leaf blade width
    At least 15 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
    • the leaf stalk has hairs
    • there are no hairs on the leaf stalk
    Leaf stalk length
    120–450 mm
    Leaf stalk relative length
    the leaf stalk is more than three quarters as long as the blade
    Leaf stalk scale location
    • the scales are present on both the lower and upper halves of the leaf stalk
    • the scales are present only on the lower half of the leaf stalk
    • there are no scales on the leaf stalk
    Leaf stalk scales
    • the leaf stalk has scales
    • there are no scales on the leaf stalk
    Leaf stalk vessels
    2 bundles
    Leaf vein branching
    the secondary veins of the leaf blade are not branched
    Leaf vein tips
    the veins go all the way to 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 do not have stalks
    Lobe or leaflet length
    30–100 mm
    Lobe or leaflet pairs
    16–34
    Lobe or leaflet shape
    the lobe or leaflet is rectangular but with rounded ends (oblong)
    Lobe or leaflet width
    10–20 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 a smooth or lobed edge
  • Place
    Habitat
    wetlands
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Rhode Island
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • bogs
    • edges of wetlands
    • fens
    • marshes
    • swamps
  • 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

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

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.

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)
Vermont
rare (S-rank: S2)

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Parathelypteris noveboracensis:
lower leaflets gradually reduced so that the lower ones are much shorter than the middle ones and leaf blade lacking resin glands (vs. P. simulata, with lower leaflets only somewhat reduced in size and leaf blade with minute red to orange resin glands).

Synonyms

  • Dryopteris simulata Davenport
  • Thelypteris simulata (Davenport) Nieuwl.

Need Help?

Get Help

Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

2.  Parathelypteris simulata (Davenport) Holttum N

Massachusetts fern. Dryopteris simulata Davenport; Thelypteris simulata (Davenport) Nieuwl. 
• CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT. Low-pH soil of swamps, peatlands, and mixed shrub-graminoid wetlands, often found in areas with high proportion of bryophyte cover (especially Sphagnum).