E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Polypodium hesperium Maxon
western polypody
Polypodiaceae (Polypody family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Rosemary Taylor  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #40620)

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Distribution of Polypodium hesperium
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Species Information

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Evergreen perennial from a long creeping scaly rhizome.
Lanceolate, 5-25 cm long, 1-5 cm wide, pinnately cleft with elongated segments, the segments entire or slightly toothed; rachis with a few scattered hairs at the upper side, close to the leaf tip.
This is an allotetraploid species that originated from a hybrid of P. amorphum and P. glycyrrhiza.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry to mesic rocks from the lowland and steppe to subalpine zones; infrequent throughout BC south of 56degreeN; E to W AB and S to CO, NM, AZ and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Polypodium hesperium

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 5 551 1360
Slope Gradient (%) 0 52 170
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 184 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 2 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: CWH(24), ESSF(1), ICH(28), IDF(12), MH(1), MS(2), PP(3)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is montane boreal & cool temperate.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Polypodium vulgare subsp. columbianum (Gilbert) HultTn
Polypodium vulgare var. columbianum Gilbert
Polypodium vulgare var. hesperium (Maxon) A. Nels. & J.F. Macbr.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References