Presented by The Friends of the Wildflower Garden

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Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden


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Which ferns to plant where

This is a listing of most of the ferns represented in the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden today and historically.
Nomenclature has changed over the last 100 years from that which the early curators (Eloise Butler and Martha Crone) used and we have provided the more current classification as used by the major listings in use today, particularly Flora of North America, and in Minnesota the Checklist of the Vascular Flora of Minnesota, published by the University of Minnesota Herbarium; both reflect the work by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (APG III classification system)

Fern names with active links will bring up an information sheet with plant information and photos. Ferns are listed in Scientific Name order. First photo is spore location, second photo is frond shape.
Number after description refers to photo credit and copyright listing at page bottom

Ferns present in the Wildflower Garden

Maidenhair soriThumbnail
Northern Maidenhair Fern
Adiantum pedatum
Native (3)
Lady Fern SoriLady Fern
Lady Fern
Athyrium filix-femina
Native (3)
Bulblet fern soribulblet fern frond
Bulblet Bladder Fern (Berry Bladder Fern)
Cystopteris bulbifera
Native (3)
Silvery false Spleenwort soriThumbnail
Silvery False Spleenwort
Deparia acrostichoides
Native (3)
Goldie's Fern soriThumbnail
Goldie's Wood Fern
Dryopteris goldiana
Native (3)
Marginal Fern soriMarginal Fern thumbnail
Marginal Wood Fern
Dryopteris marginalis
Native (3)
Ostrich Fern SoriThumbnail
Ostrich Fern
Matteuccia struthiopteris
Native (3)
Sensitive Fern soriThumbnail
Sensitive Fern
Onoclea sensibilis
Native (3)
Cinnamon Fern SoriuThumbnail
Cinnamon Fern
Osmundastrum cinnamomeum
Older name - Osmunda cinnamomea
Native (3)
Interrupted Fern soriThumbnail
Interrupted Fern
Osmunda claytoniana
Native (3)
Christmas Fern soriThumbnail
Christmas Fern
Polystichum acrostichoides
native (3)
Bracken fern soriThumbnail
Bracken Fern
Pteridium aquilinum var. latiusculum
Native (3)

Ferns once present in the Garden but no longer extant.

Ebony spleenwort sori Ebony Spleenwort frond
Ebony Spleenwort
Asplenium platyneuron
Native (both 11)
Walking Fern sori Walking Fern fronds
Walking Fern
Asplenium rhizophyllum
Native (11 sori) (2 frond)
Maidenhair spleenwort sori Maidenhair spleenwort frond
Maidenhair Spleenwort
Asplenium trichomanes
Native (sori 4) (frond 11)
Rattlesnake Fern soriRattlesnake Fern frond
Rattlesnake Fern (Grape Fern)
Botrychium virginianum
Native (4 sori) (12 frond)
sori of brittle bladder fern frond of brittle bladder fern
Brittle Bladder Fern (Fragile Bladder Fern)
Cystopteris fragilis
Native (3)
Hay-scented FErn soriHay-scented Fern frond
Hay-scented Fern
Dennstaedtia punctilobula
Not Native (6 sori) (7 frond)
Glade Fern sori Glade Fern
Glade Fern (Narrow-leaved Spleenwort)
Diplazium pycnocarpon
Native (3)
Spinulose Wood Fern soriThumbnail
Spinulose Wood Fern (Toothed Wood Fern)
Dryopteris carthusiana
Native (3)
Clinton Fern sori Clinton Fern Frond
Clinton Fern
Dryopteris clintoniana
Native (4 sori) (7 frond)
Crested Wood Fern soricrested wood fern
Crested Wood Fern (Crested Shield Fern)
Dryopteris cristata
Native (3)
Sori Spreading Wood Fern frond
Spreading Wood Fern
Dryopteris expansa
Native (4 sori) (7 frond)
male fern sorimale fern thumbnail
Male Fern
Dryopteris filix-mas
Native (3)
Western Oak FErn soriWestern Oak Fern frond
Western Oak Fern
Gymnocarpium dryopteris
Native (11)
Royal Fern soriRoyal Fern Frond
Royal Fern
Osmunda regalis var. spectabilis
Native (3)
Purple Cliff Brake sori Purple Cliff Brake frond
Purple Cliff Brake
Pellaea atropurpurea
Native (sori 4) (frond 11)
Long Beech Fern soriLong Beech Fern Frond
Long Beech Fern (Narrow Beech Fern)
Phegopteris connectilis
Native (11 sori) (13 frond)
Broad beech fern sori Broad Beech Fern frond
Broad Beech Fern
Phegopteris hexagonoptera
Native (both 11)
Common Polypody sori common Polypody frond
Common Polypody
Polypodium virginianum
Native (both 11)
Braun's Holly Fern soriBraun's Holly Fern frond
Braun's Holly Fern
Polystichum braunii
Native (9 sori) (5 frond)
New York Fern soriNew York Fern frond
New York Fern
Thelypteris noveboracensis
Not Native (4 sori) (10 frond)
marsh fern soriMarsh Fern
Marsh Fern
Thelypteris palustris var. pubescens
Native (3)
rusty woodsia soriRusty Woodsia frond
Rusty Woodsia
Woodsia ilvensis
Native (4 sori) (3 frond)
Blunt-lobe cliff fern sori Blunt lobe cliff fern frond
Blunt-lobe Cliff Fern
Woodsia obtusa
Native (sori 4) (frond 11)

Photo credits and Copyright

(1) Aaron Carlson, Wisconsin Flora
(2) Martha Crone, Friends of the Wild Flower Garden
(3) G D Bebeau, Friends of the Wild Flower Garden
(4) Drawings from Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. (Public Domain)
(5) Eric Epstein, Wisconsin Flora,
(6) Gary Fewless, Wisconsin Flora,
(7) Emmett J. Judziewicz, Wisconsin Flora
(8) not used
(9) Eric Kronig, Wisconsin Flora
(10) Robert H. Mohlenbrock, USDA-NRCS PLants Database
(11) Christopher Noll, Wisconsin Flora
(12) Janice Stiefel, Wisconsin Flora
(13) Stephen L. Solheim, Wisconsin Flora

Fern Talk: An illustrated glossary of the most common nomenclature

Eloise Butler wrote two essays about ferns in the early Wild Botanic Garden, as it was then called.
(1) 1915 essay "Ferns in the Wild Garden." This work was sent to The Gray Memorial Botanical Chapter, (Division D ) of the Agassiz Association for publication in the chapters circular bulletin.
(2) 1919 essay with the same title "Ferns in the Wild Garden." Based on her text we believe this was also sent to the Gray Memorial Chapter.

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graphic Garden Plant Photo Identification Booklet