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

Polypodium scouleri Hook. & Grev.
leathery polypody
Polypodiaceae (Polypody family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Ryan Batten  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #23926)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Polypodium scouleri
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Species Information

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Evergreen perennial arising from a thick, smooth, naked, white rhizome.
Oblong or triangular, 5-60 cm long, 2-15 cm wide, leathery, irregularly pinnately cleft with wide sinuses; leaf margins entire or sparsely finely toothed.
In the Barkley Sound area this species hybridizes with P. glycyrrhiza.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to moist oceanside rock cliffs and trunks and branches of trees (in the salt spray zone) in the lowland zone; frequent on outer coast of Vancouver Island, rare northward to the southern tip of the Queen Charlotte Islands; S to CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Polypodium scouleri

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) 2 353 1814
Slope Gradient (%) 0 26 150
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
56 174 352
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 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(17), ESSF(3), SBS(2)

Ecological Indicator Information

A shade-intolerant, submontane to montane. Pacific North American fem. Occurs in hypermaritime to maritime wet cool mesothermal climates on very shallow soils; its occurrence decreases with increasing elevation and continentality. Common in ocean spray­affected (littoral), open-canopy forests in the proximity of the Pacific Ocean. As does P. glycyrrhiza. P. scouleri inhabits exposed mineral soils, coarse fragments (boulders), and cliffs affected by temporary surface flow of water and fine organic materials. Common on stems and branches of trees, typically on Picea sitchensis. Characteristic of hypermaritime mesothermal forests.

SourceIndicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (Information applies to coastal locations only)


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 cool mesothermal.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References