Southern maidenhair fern
Plants epipetric. Rhizomes creeping; scales entire or, occasionally, with a single broad tooth near base, concolored, iridescent. Leaves lax-arching or pendent; petioles 5-30 x 0.05-0.15 cm, with scales at and near the base, like those of the rhizomes, glabrous; blades 8-45 x 2.5-15 cm, lanceolate to narrowly elliptic, (1)2(3)-pinnate, glabrous; proximal pinnae 3(4)-pinnate; rachises straight to flexuous, glabrous; pinnule stalks 0.5-3.5 mm, with dark color extending into pinnule bases; pinnules various, usually about as long as broad, mostly irregular rhombic, broadly to narrowly cuneate, rounded to acute, shallowly to deeply lobed marginally, with incisions of 0.5-7 mm, occasionaly with or without laciniate, sharply denticulate in sterile segments. PHENOLOGY: June-July. HABITAT: Moist calcareous rocks.
Northern maidenhair fern
Plants terrestrial to epipetric. Rhizomes creeping; scales entire, deep yellow, concolored. Leaves lax-arching; petioles 10-60 x 0.1-0.2 cm, glabrous; blades 15-35 cm x 15-40cm, fan-shaped, subequally forked at the top of the petiole into 2(3) widely divergent and arched-recurved branches that bear several spreading, progressively smaller pinnae, glabrous; branches glabrous, occasionally glaucous; pinnule stalks 0.5-1.7mm, dark color extending into pinnule bases; pinnules about 3 x as long as broad, oblong, obtuse, crenulate or crenate-denticulate; basiscopic margins straight; acroscopic margins lobed, the lobes separated by narrow incisions to 1.1 mm wide; apices divided into shallow, rounded lobes separated by sinuses 0.1-3.7mm deep. False indusia 1-4 mm, transversely oblong, glabrous; spores mostly 34-40 micrometers diameter. PHENOLOGY: June to August. HABITAT: Base-rich soils of cove forests, mesic and dry-mesic slope forests, well-drained floodplain forests, and calcareous ravines in the Coastal Plain; occasionally on mesic of periodically wet calcareous or mafic boulder fields. STATUS: Common in the mountains; frequent in the Piedmont; infrequent in the Coastal Plain.