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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Divisio: Tracheophyta
Divisio: Pteridophyta
Classis: Polypodiopsida
Ordo: Polypodiales

Familia: Blechnaceae
Subfamilia: Woodwardioideae
Genus: Woodwardia
Species: W. auriculata – W. fimbriata – W. harlandii – W. intermedia – W. izuensis – W. japonica – W. kempii – W. magnifica – W. martinezii – W. orientalis – W. prolifera – W. radicans – W. semicordata – W. spinulosa – W. unigemmata

Source(s) of checklist:

Hassler, M. 2019. Woodwardia – World Ferns: Checklist of Ferns and Lycophytes of the World . In: Roskov Y., Orrell T., Nicolson D., Bailly N., Kirk P.M., Bourgoin T., DeWalt R.E., Decock W., De Wever A., Nieukerken E. van, Zarucchi J. & Penev L. (eds.) 2019. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2019 May 06.

Fossil: †W. aurora – †W. clarus

Woodwardia Sm. (1793)

Type species: Lectotype: Woodwardia radicans (L.) Sm.
Lectotype designated by J. Smith, Hist. Fil. 310 (1875)
named for Thomas Jenkinson Woodward, (1745–1820), English botanist and phycologist


Anchistea C. Presl
Chieniopteris Ching
Lorinseria C. Presl


Smith, J.E. 1793. Tentamen botanicum de filicum generibus dorsiferarum. Mémoires de l'Academie Royale des Sciences (Turin) 5: 401–422 .:411, pl.9, fig.3.
Pabst, M.B. 1968. The flora of the Chuckanut Formation: the Equisetales, Filicales, and Coniferales. University of California Publications in Geological Sciences 76: i–v, 1–85. Reference page.
Pigg, K. B. & Rothwell, G. W. 2001. Anatomically preserved Woodwardia virginica (Blechnaceae) and a new Filicalean fern from the Middle Miocene Yakima Canyon Flora of central Washington, USA. American Journal of Botany 88 (5): 777–787.


International Plant Names Index. 2017. Woodwardia. Published online. Accessed: Dec. 4 2017. 4. Woodwardia. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 2017 December 4.
Hassler, M. 2017. Woodwardia. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2017. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published online. Accessed: 2017 Dec 4. Reference page.

Woodwardia is a genus of ferns in the family Blechnaceae, in the suborder Aspleniineae (eupolypods II) of the order Polypodiales.[1][2] Species are known as chain ferns. The genus is native to warm temperate and subtropical regions of the Northern Hemisphere. They are large ferns, with fronds growing to 50–300 cm long depending on the species. The fossil record of the genus extends to the Paleocene.[3]


Woodwardia was first described by James Edward Smith in 1793.[4] It was named after Thomas Jenkinson Woodward.[5] When broadly circumscribed, the genus contains about 15 species (plus some hybrids). In the Pteridophyte Phylogeny Group classification of 2016 (PPG I), the genera Anchistea and Lorinseria (each with one species) are kept separate.[1]

As of August 2019, Plants of the World Online accepts the following species,[6] excluding those placed in other genera in the PPG I system.[1]

Woodwardia auriculata Blume
Woodwardia fimbriata Sm.
Woodwardia harlandii Hook.
Woodwardia intermedia Christ
Woodwardia japonica (L.f.) Sm.
Woodwardia kempii Copel.
Woodwardia magnifica Ching & P.S.Chiu
Woodwardia martinezii Maxon ex Weath.
Woodwardia orientalis (Sw.) Sw.
Woodwardia prolifera Hook. & Arn.
Woodwardia radicans (L.) Sm.
Woodwardia spinulosa M.Martens & Galeotti
Woodwardia unigemmata (Makino) Nakai

Species placed elsewhere in PPG I are:[1]

Woodwardia areolata (L.) T.Moore = Lorinseria areolata (L.) C.Presl
Woodwardia virginica (L.) Sm. = Anchistea virginica (L.) C.Presl

Some species have large leaves, such as W. orientalis. Leaves are deeply bipinnatifid. Young leaves of W. orientalis are red and the young adventitious buds on the leaf surface are also red.

Some species have large leaves, such as W. orientalis. Leaves are deeply bipinnatifid. Young leaves of W. orientalis are red and the young adventitious buds on the leaf surface are also red.


PPG I (2016). "A community-derived classification for extant lycophytes and ferns". Journal of Systematics and Evolution. 54 (6): 563–603. doi:10.1111/jse.12229. S2CID 39980610.
Maarten J. M. Christenhusz; Xian-Chun Zhang & Harald Schneider (2011). "A linear sequence of extant families and genera of lycophytes and ferns" (PDF). Phytotaxa. 19: 7–54. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.19.1.2.
Song, Han-Zhang; Naugolnykh, Serge V.; Wu, Xin-Kai; Liu, Xiao-Yan; Jin, Jian-Hua (September 2021). "Fertile Woodwardia from the middle Eocene of South China and its implications for palaeogeography and palaeoclimate". Plant Diversity: S246826592100113X. doi:10.1016/j.pld.2021.09.003. S2CID 240534497.
"Woodwardia Sm". The International Plant Names Index. Retrieved 2019-08-09.
McConnell, Anita. "Woodward, Thomas Jenkinson". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/26073. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)

"Woodwardia Sm". Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 2019-08-09.

External links

Germplasm Resources Information Network: Woodwardia
Flora of North America: Woodwardia
Flora of China: Woodwardia species list
Smith's original description of the genus online at Project Gutenberg
Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan.

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