Identification of fern found in N.GA. mountains

sheilaz8b(8b)June 14, 2008

We were camping in north Georgia around 3,000 ft where I saw this fern and have searched and can find nothing on it. It appears that a stalk comes up from the ground then there are 3 fern "leaves" then another stalk with what appears to be another "leaf" about to open up. Any ideas?

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Looks like Botrychium virginianum or Rattlesnake fern. There are about 30 species of what I call grape ferns in NA. They do not respond well to digging, but many of my friends have tried to rescue them on digs,with little success. I have one type naturally on my property, mostly in the grass, and it puts up the fertile frond in late summer, thus missing the lawn mower. Some are in the woods, which is probably where they usually occur. I really like them. Oh, I took the liberty of looking at some of your other photos. Nice, especially the dog. Labs are great!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 7:40PM
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Yes, I agree it is rattlesnake fern. Only one frond per plant and the part that is tallest is the part with the fertile parts. This one sends up a frond in the spring and goes dormant in winter.

ncrescue, the related one that sends up its new frond in fall is Botrychium biternatum, Southern Grapefern. In contrast to its "cousin", it stays green/bronze all winter and then goes dormant come spring.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 7:49PM
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Could be one of two species:
Thelypteris (Macrothelypteris) torresiana (Mariannas Maiden Fern)(Non-native) OR
Hypolepis repens (Bramble Fern)(Native)
Both are found in GA, but haven't seen any documentation of sightings, of either, north of Athens (Clarke County).
They look so similar in appearance and features, that experienced Botanists often misidentify them.

Here is a link that might be useful: Your Fern

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 8:08PM
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