|A spore print made by a lady fern frond. The spores are so small they look like dust.|
|Lady fern is identified in part by the shape of its sori. They are usually curved or |
horseshoe-shaped. They appear in late summer and early fall.
|Fertile fronds of ostrich fern.|
Both reproductive and vegetative characteristics are helpful to identify a fern. Here are some resources to learn more about fern anatomy, biology and identification.
- Ferns. U.S. Forest Service. This site may take a few tries to load.
- Dichotomous Key to Ferns of Wisconsin, by Tim Gerber, UW-La Crosse.
- Key to Fern Traits, by Areca Treon. This is a key to ferns in Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve near Bethel, MN.
- Ferns of Minnesota, by Rolla Tryon. Illustrated by Wilma Monserud. University of Minnesota Press, 1980. ISBN 0-8166-0932-2.
- Ferns and Lycophytes of Minnesota: The Complete Guide to Species Identification, by Welby R. Smith (author) and Richard Haug (photographer). University of Minnesota Press, 2023. ISBN 1517914663.