Polypodiaceae (Polypody Family)
General - medium to large-sized fern; large, deeply pinnatifid fronds and spherical spore-bearing bodies borne on a separate stalk.
Leaves - large, deeply pinnatifid, the stalk winged, each segment of the leaf lanceolate to oblong, with or without teeth or with a few undulations, up to 1.3 m long.
Spore Clusters - borne in globose bodies at the tip of a stalk separate from the leaves.
Wet woods, along streams, riverbanks, swamps and bogs throughout Northwestern Ontario's boreal region; uncommon in forested environments.
The fronds die quickly with the first autumn frosts, which is why the plant has gained its common name of the sensitive fern. This species is reported to be poisonous to livestock and rarely, if ever, is troubled by browsing deer.
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