Common Names: Sensitive fern, bead fern
The name comes from the observation by early American settlers that it was very sensitive to frost, the fronds dying quickly when first touched by it. The bright, yellow-green sterile fronds are deeply pinnatifid and are typically borne at intervals along a creeping rhizome. They grow to about 90 cm long, with a long, smooth stipe. The fertile fronds are much smaller, non-green, and have very narrow pinnae. The sori are clustered like beads or grapes on the upright fertile fronds, hence the common name bead fern. The fiddleheads are a pale red color.
Found near a variety of wet swamp and wood habitats: wet meadows, thickets and bogs, as well as stream and riverbanks and roadside ditches.
Primary Flower Color: None
Secondary Flower Color: None