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Actinostachys pennula (Swartz) Hooker
Actinostachys penicillata; Schizaea pennula

Life   Plantae   Pteridophyta   Schizaeaceae   Actinostachys

Actinostachys pennula, entire
© George Yatskievych, 2006-2011 · 1
Actinostachys pennula, entire

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Actinostachys pennula, fertile
© George Yatskievych, 2006-2011 · 1
Actinostachys pennula, fertile
Actinostachys pennula, pinnae
© George Yatskievych, 2006-2011 · 1
Actinostachys pennula, pinnae

Actinostachys pennula, rhiz
© George Yatskievych, 2006-2011 · 1
Actinostachys pennula, rhiz
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Schizaea pennula Sw.
ray fern

General Information
Symbol: SCPE7
Group: Fern
Family: Schizaeaceae
Duration: Perennial
Growth Habit : Forb/herb
Native Status : L48   N
PR   N
Data Source and Documentation
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Native Status:
lower 48 status L48    Alaska status AK    Hawaii status HI    Puerto Rico status PR    Virgin Islands status VI    Navassa Island NAV    Canada status CAN    Greenland status GL    Saint Pierre and Michelon status SPM    North America NA   




Symbol Scientific Name Other Common Names
ACGE2 Actinostachys germanii Fée
ACPE2 Actinostachys pennula (Sw.) Hook. ray fern
MIPE10 Microschizaea pennula (Sw.) C.F. Reed
SCGE3 Schizaea germanii (Fée) Prantl


Click on a scientific name below to expand it in the PLANTS Classification Report.
Rank Scientific Name and Common Name
Kingdom Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Division Pteridophyta – Ferns
Class Filicopsida
Order Polypodiales
Family Schizaeaceae – Curly-grass family
Genus Schizaea Sm. – curlygrass fern
Species Schizaea pennula Sw. – ray fern

Subordinate Taxa

This plant has no children

Legal Status

Threatened and Endangered Information:
This plant is listed by the U.S. federal government or a state. Common names are from state and federal lists. Click on a place name to get a complete protected plant list for that location.
Florida Schizaea germanii
ray fern Endangered

Wetland Status

Interpreting Wetland Status


ACPE2   Actinostachys pennula (Sw.) Hook.

Top Level Regions
Caribbean FAC
North America
Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain FAC

Related Links

More Accounts and Images
ARS Germplasm Resources Information Network (ACPE2)
Flora of North America (ACPE2)
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ACGE2)
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ACPE2)
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (MIPE10)
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (SCGE3)
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (SCPE7)
USF Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants (ACPE2)



Source Large Mammals Small Mammals Water Birds Terrestrial Birds


Source Large Mammals Small Mammals Water Birds Terrestrial Birds

Description of Values

Value Class Food Cover

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Following modified from Flora of North America
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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 2 | Schizaeaceae | Actinostachys

1. Actinostachys pennula (Swartz) Hooker, Gen. Fil. plate 111A. 1842.

Ray spiked fern

Schizaea pennula Swartz, Syn. Fil., 150, 379. 1806; Actinostachys germanii Fée; Schizaea germanii (Fée) Prantl

Plants extremely variable in size, 5--50 cm, those in leaf mold (only form known in flora) usually small, those in open sunny areas much larger. Leaves 1--60; rays 1--12, 4--40 mm; petioles 0.5--2 cm. 2 n = 168 (Trinidad).

Small individuals of Actinostachys pennula have sometimes been called A . germanii , but plants conforming to A . germanii are merely at the end of a morphological series; they are probably juvenile. Each juvenile has a large bulbous gametophyte remaining attached (a so-called "tuber") that is sometimes mistaken for the stem. Not only is the persistent gametophyte mistaken for a stem, but in the large forms of typical A . pennula the stem is not a solitary structure. Instead it resembles a compact, intergrown bush, made up of numerous tiny, narrow stems, usually less than 1 mm diam., that proliferate from old leaf bases---a type of cauline organization apparently unknown in any other living fern but possibly found in the fossil genus Tempskya . Measurements for plants in the North American flora are all in the lower parts of the range for the species. Actinostachys pennula is among North America's most unusual ferns, a highly treasured species, sought by field botanists who must, however, respect its rarity.

Updated: 2018-11-20 15:55:27 gmt
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