Thelypteris reptans

Thelypteris reptans (J. F. Gmel.) C. V. Morton

Common Names: Walking Wood Fern

Family: Thelypteridaceae (formerly Polypodiaceae)

Habit: Thelypteris reptans grows decumbently from a rhizome that is up to 1 cm thick and 50 cm in length. The rhizome is covered with stellate pubescence. The fronds are arranged in clumps with sterile fronds decumbent and fertile fronds more erect. The pinnately compound fronds are oblong, up to 30 cm in length, and to 10 cm in width. There are 15-30 pinnae oppositely or alternately arranged, oblong with an acute apex, and shallow lobed to crenate margins.

On the abaxial surface of the fertile fronds the sporangia occur in “C” sori along the center of the pinnae lobes on the mid vein. The fertile fronds are sparsely pubescent along the rachis.

Habitat: Thelypteris reptans grows in the walls of sink holes, road cuts, and old stone walls.

Distribution: Thelypteris reptans occurs in the central and northern island groupings of the Lucayan Archipelago, the Greater Antilles, Central America and parts of northern South America.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Thelypteris reptans is not known to be used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago.