Asplenium platyneuron

From Coastal Plain Plants Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Asplenium platyneuron
Asplenium platyneuron Gil.jpg
photo by Gil Nelson
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta - Ferns
Class: Filicopsida
Order: Polypodiales
Family: Acanthaceae
Genus: Asplenium
Species: A. platyneuron
Binomial name
Asplenium platyneuron
(L.) Britton, Sterns & Poggenb.
ASPL PLAT dist.jpg
Natural range of Asplenium platyneuron from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common name: Ebony Spleenwort

Taxonomic notes

Synonyms: none[1]

Varieties: Asplenium platyneuron var. bacculum-rubrum (Featherman) Fernald; A. platyneuron var. incisum (Howe ex Peck) B>L> Robinson; A. platyneuron var. platyneuron[1]


A description of Asplenium platyneuron is provided in The Flora of North America.

It can be easily confused with Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides); however, the stem of Christmas fern is green and scaly and the spores cover a back of a leaflet.[2]


It is one of the most common and widespread of the eastern North American spleenwort.[3] Listed as critically imperiled in Arizona and Colorado.[4]



Habitats include rocks, rotting logs, swamps, marshes, crotches of hardwood trees, and savannas.[5][6] It also grows in disturbed areas such as fallow fields and near field edges, and does well in moist, loamy sand in fully shaded environments to areas with full sun.[6]

Associated species include cypress, moss, magnolia, oak, and beech.[6]


Reproduces with proliferating buds that form near the base of the stipe and when covered with soil, can grow into new individuals as the frond that bore them dies. Also propagates by spores and can hybridize with other spleenworts.[7] It has been observed flowering in February.[8]

Fire ecology

It does well in fire dependent environments.[6] However, one study found that A. platyneuron had little to no change in frequency in response to prescribed fire.[9]

Herbivory and toxicology

Asplenium platyneuron is fed on by two aphids: Amphorophora ampullata and Idiopterus nephrelepidis.[10]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

It is listed as a species of special concern by the Maine Department of Conservation, and listed as exploitably vulnerable by the Division of Land and Forests in New York.[11]

Cultural use

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Weakley, A.S. 2020. Flora of the Southeastern United States. Edition of 20 October 2020. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  2. [[1]]Minnesota wildflowers. Accessed: April 1, 2016
  3. Taylor, W. C., R. H. Mohlenbrock, et al. (1976). "Variation in North American Asplenium platyneuron." American Fern Journal 66(2): 63-68.
  4. [[2]]NatureServe. Accessed: April 1, 2016
  5. [[3]]Daily Press. Accessed: April 1, 2016
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: Last accessed: June 2014. Collectors: Loran C. Anderson, Karen MacClendon, R.K. Godfrey, Wilson Baker, R. F. Doren, Roy Komarek, and Jeffrey M. Kane. States and Counties: Florida: Wakulla, Calhoun, Franklin, Leon, and Gadsden. Georgia: Grady and Thomas.
  7. [[4]]inaturalist.Accessed: April 1, 2016
  8. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. Accessed: 25 MAR 2019
  9. Taft, J. B. (2003). "Fire effects on community structure, composition, and diversity in a dry sandstone barrens." Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 130: 170-192.
  10. [[5]]Illinois Wildflowers. Accessed: April 1, 2016
  11. USDA, NRCS. (2016). The PLANTS Database (, 25 March 2019). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.