Fern, lady

Athyrium filix-femina
An up to 3’ tall, thrice-cut, lacy fern with lance-shaped leaves. The smooth, green stalk has no leaves on the lowest foot or so of its length. The 24 or so leaflets vary from alternate to opposite and the sub-leaflets are cut into narrow lobes. The fruit dots are crescent- or horseshoe-shaped and are arranged in 2 rows down the center of each leaflet. Grows in clumps in moist woods.

The similar Hay scented fern (Dennstaedia punctilobula) has brown or black stems and round fruit dots, while the Woodferns (Dryopteris) have very scaly stalks.