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Asplenium septentrionale
Asplenium septentrionale
Asplenium septentrionale (Grassfern)
Aspleniaceae.  (Spleenwort Family).
Synonym: Polypodiaceae.

Montane. Rocks. Summer.
Near Pagosa Springs, August 20, 2005.

Asplenium septentrionale is found in scattered populations in a number of western states.  In the Four Corners, it is found in the Abajo Mountains in Utah and near Pagosa Springs in Colorado.  It is, according to Weber, "widely scattered in the mountains of the Northern Hemisphere, including Altai, the Alps, Pyrenees, Caucasus, and Scandinavia". 

The bright green narrow fronds of Asplenium septentrionale are often forked at the tips.  Overall the plant appears to be a small clump of grass tucked into a crevice.

As the range map below indicates, Asplenium septentrionale is considered a rare plant in Colorado, Wyoming, California, and Oregon, half of the states it occurs in.

The genus was named by Linnaeus in 1753, but in the same year Linnaeus named this species Acrostichum septentrionale. It was renamed Asplenium septentrionale in 1796 by George Hoffman. 

"Asplenon", from the Greek "a" ("without") and "splen" ("spleen") was the name given by Dioscorides to a Fern which he believed had the power to cure spleen diseases. "Septentrionale" is Latin for "northern".

Asplenium septentrionale
Asplenium septentrionale (Grassfern)
Aspleniaceae.  (Spleenwort Family)
. Synonym: Polypodiaceae.

Montane. Rocks. Summer.
Near Pagosa Springs, August 20, 2005.

Spore-bearing clusters line the under-side of the fronds.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Asplenium septentrionale