Asplenium trichomanes L. ssp. quadrivalens D.E. Meyer

Locations ofAsplenium trichomanes L. ssp. quadrivalens D.E. Meyer in Virginia

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Botanical Name
Asplenium trichomanes L. ssp. quadrivalens D.E. Meyer
Common Name
Northern Maidenhair Spleenwort
Asplenium quadrivalens (D.E. Meyer) Landolt
Flora of Virginia Name/Status
Asplenium quadrivalens (D.E. Meyer) Landolt
This subspecies is restricted to calcareous rock outcrops at northern latitudes and is potentially more widespread in western Virginia. However, it is a far northern-ranging taxon and may be infrequent or rare at the lower elevations of our latitudes. It has been lumped with A. trichomanes ssp. trichomanes in previous Virginia studies, and herbarium specimens, especially from limestone or dolostone outcrops, merit re-evaluation. The two subspecies have different ploidy levels, and some specialists argue for recognizing them at species level (followed by Flora of Virginia). However, most molecular work has been done on European populations of the two cytotypes, and the majority of specialists continue to treat them as subspecies pending more wide-ranging geographic studies. Morphological differences between the two subspecies are very subtle and difficult to apply.
Recent work by Jordan Metzgar at VPI has verified the presence of this subspecies in seven western Virginia counties, on both carbonate rocks of the Ridge and Valley and calcareous metamorphic rocks of the Blue Ridge. Similar habitats are common in western Virginia, and this fern is potentially much more widespread.
Native Status

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