Oak Fern

Oak Fern- Gymoncarpium dryopteris
Oak fern is a delicate perennial from slender, spreading, blackish rhizomes with brown, fibrous scales; stalks usually single, but often in masses, erect, 8 - 35 cm tall. The leafs arebroadly triangular in outline, 5 - 18 cm long, 5 - 25 cm wide, 2 - 3 times pinnate, hairless; 3 major, approximately equal divisions, each with 4 - 7 pairs of lobes or leaflets, smallest segments round-toothed; stalks very slender, shiny, straw-colored, sparsely scaly at base, usually longer than blades.  Oak Fern has small, circular dots on veins, near leaflet edges, no indusium.

The groundcover grows well in moist forests, thickets and rocky slopes; scattered across Northwestern Ontario's boreal forest north to Great Slave Lake and approximately 65 degrees N in Yukon and Alaska; circumpolar.