Asplenium platyneuron

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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: Asplenium platyneuron var. platyneuron; A. platyneuron var. bacculum-rubrum (Featherman) Fernald; A. platyneuron var. incisum (Howe ex Peck) B.L.


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.[1]


It is one of the most common and widespread of the eastern North American spleenwort.[2] Listed as critically imperiled in Arizona and Colorado.[3]



Habitats include rocks, rotting logs, swamps, marshes, crotches of hardwood trees, and savannas.[4][5] It also grows in disturbed areas such as fallow fields and near field edges. It does well in moist, loamy sand in fully shaded environments to areas with full sun.[5]

Associated species include cypress, moss, magnolia, oak, and beech.[5]


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.[6]

Fire ecology

It does well in fire dependent environments.[5]

Use by animals

Is fed on by two aphids: Amphorophora ampullata and Idiopterus nephrelepidis.[7]

Conservation and management

Cultivation and restoration

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. [[1]]Minnesota wildflowers. Accessed: April 1, 2016
  2. Taylor, W. C., R. H. Mohlenbrock, et al. (1976). "Variation in North American Asplenium platyneuron." American Fern Journal 66(2): 63-68.
  3. [[2]]NatureServe. Accessed: April 1, 2016
  4. [[3]]Daily Press. Accessed: April 1, 2016
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 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.
  6. [[4]]inaturalist.Accessed: April 1, 2016
  7. [[5]]Illinois Wildflowers. Accessed: April 1, 2016