Medium to large, upright, usually coarse-textured, deciduous ferns with rich green fronds. Common name comes from the chainlike pattern of spore cases beneath frond segments. Shade beneath canopy of tall trees is an ideal site. Deer aren't fond of these ferns.
netted chain fern
- Native to eastern, southeastern U.S. To 2 feet high and wider than tall, with deeply lobed fronds, the lobes finely toothed.
- Spore-bearing fronds are narrower.
- Can take considerable sun if roots are kept wet.
virginia chain fern
- Native to eastern, southern U.S. To 12 feet tall, 1 feet wide, with twice-cut fronds that are bronzy green when they emerge.
- Likes wet soil and can even grow with roots submerged.