Thelypteris palustris Marsh fern

Synonym Thelypteris thelypteroides Epithet means "swamp."

Deciduous, 11/2 to 2V2 ft. (45 to 75 cm). Zones 3 to 8.

description: The rhizome is long- and wide-creeping, sending up fronds at sporadic intervals. Bronze-green stipes are up to one-half of the frond length. Lanceolate blades tending towards a soft blue-green are pinnate-pinnatifid with 12 to 18 pairs of widely separated pinnae. Veins are forked. Sori are medial with a slightly inrolled margin giving the fertile pinnae a narrow outline relative to the sterile pinnae.

range and habitat: Mainly found tangled among weeds along the margins of lakes and swamps, and in meadows and marshes, this species needs its moisture. it is native to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

culture and comments: This is not a particularly decorative nor, for that matter, unattractive fern for the garden and can be used effectively (on a space-available basis) to soften the contours adjacent to bogs where it will expand at will in sun or shade. The forking veins separate this species from The-lypteris simulata, which, significantly, has undivided veins but enjoys a similar swampy habitat.

The fleetingly hairy American native var. pubescens settles and spreads on the borders of wetlands in the eastern half of the continent.

Thelypteris quelpaertensis Mountain fern, lemon scented fern Synonyms Thelypteris limbosperma, Oreopteris limbosperma, T. oreopteris

Epithet means "from Quelpart," an old name for Cheju Island, Korea.

description: The rhizome is short-creeping. Tan stipes with matching scales are one-fourth of the frond length. Oblanceolate, pinnate-pinnatifid blades, which are widest just above the middle, taper at the base. The soft foliage is downy and carries small, fragrant glands on the undersurface. Round, submarginal sori are briefly covered with indusia. (See Oreopteris for the European counterpart.)

range and habitat: While once, under one or another of its former names, considered quite extensive in distribution including Europe and western North America, this has been split and is now exclusively assigned to the Pacific Rim coun

Thelypteris Palustris Pond
Thelypteris palustris in its preferred habitat of moisture-saturated, boggy pond margins.
Fall color on Thelypteris quelpaertensis in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State.

tries including China, Korea, Siberia, and the west coast of North America from Alaska on south. It prefers strictly acid soil and a constant source of moisture.

culture and comments: Though not often seen in cultivation, as plants are rarely, if ever, available, this is an attractive species, which I particularly enjoy in its autumnal golden colors. Give it an acidic site with a consistent supply of summer irrigation.

Thelypteris simulata Massachusetts fern, bog fern Epithet means "resembling lady fern." Deciduous, IV2 to 2V2 ft. (45 to 75 cm).Zones 4 to 6.

description: The rhizome is long-creeping. Greenish stipes are one-third of the slightly shorter sterile fronds and one-half

Thelypteris simulata, among a grouping of ferns that prefer wet habitats, thrives on a log in a New Jersey swamp.

of the somewhat longer fertile fronds. Lanceolate blades are pinnate-pinnatifid with an undercoating of burnt orange to golden glands and a sparse smattering of hairs. There are 14 to 18 pairs of pinnae with the lowest pair flaring downwards. The veins are unbranched. Sori are small, round, and medial with a kidney-shaped indusia.

range and habitat: The Massachusetts fern enjoys the typical Thelypteris surroundings of moist, boggy, and in this case, sphagnum, substrates. Its natural spread, however, is more localized than fellow native thelypteris with the range confined to eastern Canadian provinces, New England, and disjunct sites in Virginia and Wisconsin.

culture and comments: The simple, unforked veins are a readily observable difference between the pinnae composition of this species and Thelypteris palustris. It is also a better mannered garden subject without the inclination to dominate the landscape. Give it a wet, peaty, and winter chilly site where it will slowly establish and behave. While it can be tested in cultivation in Zones 7 and 8, it is best in colder zones.

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