Adiantum pedatum - L.
Northern Maidenhair Fern
Other English Common Names: Northern Maidenhair
Other Common Names: northern maidenhair
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Adiantum pedatum L. (TSN 17311)
French Common Names: adiante du Canada
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.135425
Element Code: PPADI030B0
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Ferns and relatives
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Filicinophyta Filicopsida Filicales Pteridaceae Adiantum
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Adiantum pedatum
Taxonomic Comments: As treated here, excludes Adiantum aleuticum, formerly treated as various varieties of A. pedatum, incl. vars. aleuticum and calderi. See treatment by C.A. Paris in Flora North America (vol. 2, 1993); Kartesz (checklist, 1994; floristic synthesis, 1999) treats the complex similarly. A. pedatum is now considered a species of deciduous woodlands in eastern North American only. A. aleuticum is primarily western, but occurs rarely in the East on serpentine. A. viridimontanum is a fertile allotetraploid derived from hybridization of these two species, and known only from Vermont and Quebec.

This was once believed to be a single species that occurred with taxonomic variation in a wide range of natural community types, and occurred in eastern Asia and throughout much of North America. Now these populations are viewed as three species in North America alone: A. aleuticum which occurs from Alaska down into Mexico, with a few disjunct populations scattered from Newfoundland to Maryland (primarily or exclusively on serpentine); A. pedatum which occurs in forests in the approximate eastern half of the U.S.; and A. viridimontanum, an allopolyploid species arising from A. aleuticum and A. pedatum (Flora of North America Editorial Committee 1993, Gleason and Cronquist 1963), which is confined to Vermont and Quebec according to Kartesz (1999).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 16May2016
Global Status Last Changed: 03Nov1983
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: This species is common to ubiquitous in mesophytic forest communities throughout the eastern U.S. and Canada. Collection of this species from wild populations and other threats do not seem to pose a significant danger to this species at this time.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5
Nation: Canada
National Status: N5 (25Oct2017)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (SNR), Arizona (S5), Arkansas (SNR), Connecticut (SNR), Delaware (S3), District of Columbia (SNR), Georgia (S5), Illinois (S5), Indiana (SNR), Iowa (S4), Kansas (SNR), Kentucky (S4), Louisiana (S3S4), Maine (SNR), Maryland (SNR), Massachusetts (SNR), Michigan (SNR), Minnesota (SNR), Mississippi (SNR), Missouri (SNR), Nebraska (SNR), New Hampshire (SNR), New Jersey (S5), New York (S4), North Carolina (S5), Ohio (SNR), Oklahoma (SNR), Pennsylvania (S4), Rhode Island (S2), South Carolina (SNR), South Dakota (SH), Tennessee (SNR), Vermont (S5), Virginia (S5), Washington (SNR), West Virginia (S5), Wisconsin (SNR)
Canada New Brunswick (S3), Nova Scotia (S1), Ontario (S5), Quebec (S4)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Adiantum pedatum is found in roughly the eastern half of the United States, occurring from Minnesota to Maine and Nova Scotia, and south to Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Georgia (Flora of North America Editorial Committee 1993, Kartesz 1999).

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300
Number of Occurrences Comments: Many thousands of populations are extant rangewide. Indiana: common in mesic forests throughout the state, encountered routinely in appropriate habitats (Indiana Natural Heritage Data Center); Michigan: common in mesic forests throughout the state (Michigan Natural Features Inventory); New York: very common, thousands of occurrences (New York Natural Heritage Program); British Columbia: common (British Columbia Conservation Data Centre); Kentucky: common in a variety of mesophytic woodland communities throughout the state (Nick Drozda pers. comm.); Georgia: secure (Georgia Natural Heritage Program); Mississippi: widespread in north, documented in 17 counties (Mississippi Natural Heritage Program); Missouri: common and widespread (Missouri Department of Conservation); Maine: uncommon but not rare, known from 15 of 16 counties (Maine Natural Areas Program); Delaware: 55 extant populations documented (Delaware Natural Heritage Program); New Hampshire: not rare (New Hampshire Natural Heritage Inventory).

Overall Threat Impact Comments: An individual with the U.S. herbal medicinal industry states that trade in the plant is minor, on the order of 150-300 pounds per year, and that it is probably the aboveground parts that are utilized (McGuffin pers. comm.).

In Michigan, it is likely that there is at least casual collection for personal gardens and the like, because of the attractiveness of this fern (Michigan Natural Features Inventory). There are currently no reports that individual populations have been negatively impacted or extirpated due to collection for the plant trade.

This species is on the United Plant Savers "To Watch List" (United Plant Savers 2000).

In Kansas, the primary threat to this species is habitat fragmentation of the maple-basswood and mesic oak-hickory forests, and habitat degradation (Craig Freeman pers. comm.). In Michigan, there are probably some threats due to logging, however, this species is still quite common and is unlikely to become seriously threatened in the future (Mike Penskar pers. comm.).

Short-term Trend Comments: Specific information is not available, but a few major landscape trends are worth considering in regard to A. pedatum. This fern is reportedly confined to rich forested habitats (Flora of North America Editorial Committee 1993, Swink and Wilhelm 1994), which decreased under intensive logging efforts during European settlement of eastern North America-this may have diminished A. pedatum populations. However, on many formerly logged lands trees have re-grown within the last century, and this may be presenting A. pedatum with an opportunity to spread, depending on this species' colonizing capabilities and tolerance of disturbed habitats. Also, in selected but often large locations, suburban sprawl is diminishing forested lands in size and in connectivity, thus lowering their capacity to harbor A. pedatum.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Adiantum pedatum is found in roughly the eastern half of the United States, occurring from Minnesota to Maine and Nova Scotia, and south to Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Georgia (Flora of North America Editorial Committee 1993, Kartesz 1999).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, AZ, CT, DC, DE, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV
Canada NB, NS, ON, QC

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AZ Cochise (04003)*, Coconino (04005), Gila (04007), Yavapai (04025)*
DE Kent (10001), New Castle (10003)
SD Lawrence (46081)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
02 Brandywine-Christina (02040205)+, Chester-Sassafras (02060002)+
10 Lower Belle Fourche (10120202)+*, Redwater (10120203)+*
15 Canyon Diablo (15020015)+, San Simon (15040006)+*, Upper Verde (15060202)+, Lower Verde (15060203)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A fern of rich forest soils with wide, compound, horizontally held leaf blades that emerge off a vertical stalk. Elegant sections of each large frond extend outward in a form that is roughly reminiscent of fingers extending from a palm (Cronquist et al. 1972).
Habitat Comments: A. pedatum is found to an elevation of 700m in rich, deciduous forests and woodlands, and is often associated with moist lime soils or humus-covered talus slopes (Flora of North America Editorial Committee 1993).
Economic Attributes
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Economically Important Genus: Y
Economic Uses: FOOD, MEDICINE/DRUG
Production Method: Cultivated
Economic Comments: This species has a history of medicinal use by Native Americans (Weiner 1980). Europeans utilized an apparently similar or related species (Fernald and Kinsey 1943).
Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: In the eastern parts of its range, in zones where rich forest were often predominant, destroyed habitat may now provide major separations of contemporary populations. In western parts of its range where rich forests naturally occur in separate groves, populations may be separated predominantly by unsuitable habitat.


Date: 21Jan2000
Author: Spackman, S.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 21Jan2000
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Susan Spackman, David Anderson, and Steve Thomas (1/00); rev. Eric Nielsen (1/00)

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • BROOKS, R.E. 1969. THE FERNS OF THE BLACK HILLS OF SOUTH DAKOTA. TRANS. KANS. ACAD. SCI. 72:109-136.

  • Cody, W.J. and D.M. Britton. 1989. Ferns and Fern Allies of Canada. Publication 1829/E, Agriculture Canada, Research Branch, Ottawa. 430 pp.

  • Cronquist, A., A.H. Holmgren, N.H. Holmgren, and J.L. Reveal. 1972. Intermountain flora: vascular plants of the intermountain West, U.S.A. Volume One. Hafner Publishing Company, New York. 270 pp.

  • Cronquist, A., et al. 1986. Intermountain Flora. Vol. one. pp200-201.

  • Crook, Reed W. and Darcie J. Bacon. 2002. Region 2 Sensitive Species Evaluation Forms for 30 Vascular Plants in the Black Hills National Forest. Unpublished file documents.  USDA Forest Service, Custer, SD.

  • Deam, C. C. 1940. Flora of Indiana. Division of Forestry, Dept. of Conservation, Indianapolis, Indiana. 1236 pp.

  • Fernald, M.L. and A.C. Kinsey. 1958. Edible wild plants of eastern North America. Harper and Row. NY. NY.

  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 1993. Flora of North America North of Mexico: Vol. 2. Oxford University Press, NY.

  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 1993a. Flora of North America north of Mexico. Vol. 2. Pteridophytes and gymnosperms. Oxford Univ. Press, New York. xvi + 475 pp.

  • Gleason, H.A., and A. Cronquist. 1963. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. D. Van Nostrand Company, New York, NY. 810 pp.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1996. Species distribution data at state and province level for vascular plant taxa of the United States, Canada, and Greenland (accepted records), from unpublished data files at the North Carolina Botanical Garden, December, 1996.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • Lellinger, D. B. 1985. A Field Manual of the Ferns and Fern-allies of the United States and Canada. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C.

  • Lellinger, D.B. 1985. A field manual of the ferns and fern-allies of the U.S. and Canada. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC. 389 pp.

  • Swink, F., and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region. Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.

  • Swink, F., and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region. The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, Illinois. 922 pp.

  • Weiner, M.A. 1980. Earth Medicine Earth Food. Ballantine Books, New York. 230 pp.

  • Weiner, M.A. 1980. Earth Medicine Earth Food. Ballantine Books, New York. 230 pp.

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