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

Woodsia scopulina D.C. Eaton
mountain cliff fern (Rocky Mountain woodsia)
Dryopteridaceae (Wood Fern family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Adolf Ceska  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #5554)

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Distribution of Woodsia scopulina
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Species Information

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Deciduous perennial in large clusters arising from a short rhizome.
Broadly lanceolate, 8-35 cm long, 2-7 cm wide with non-jointed stipes and 2-pinnate blades; rachis and segments with multicellular glandular and non-glandular hairs.
Two subspecies are reported from BC by Windham (1993b) but the differences are minor and few botanists would be able to separate the ssp. scopulina from ssp. laurentiana in the field.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry to mesic rocky crevices and scree slopes, from the lowland and steppe to subalpine zones; frequent in W BC and in SC BC, mostly south of 55degreeN; N to AK and YT, E to PQ and S to SD, WY, CO, NM, AZ and CA, disjunct in VA, TN and AR.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Woodsia scopulina

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) 230 982 2354
Slope Gradient (%) 0 51 160
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 193 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 1 5
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: AT(1), BAFA(1), BG(17), CWH(3), ESSF(19), ICH(73), IDF(98), MS(48), PP(56), SBPS(2), SBS(7), SWB(2)


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 not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Woodsia scopulina var. scopulina

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References