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

Adiantum aleuticum (Rupr.) Paris
northern maiden-hair (Aleutian maidenhair)
Pteridaceae (Maidenhair Fern family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Kevin deBoer  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #9926)

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Distribution of Adiantum aleuticum
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Species Information

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Deciduous perennial, palmately branched, from a stout, scaly rhizome, 15-75 cm tall.
Broadly fan-shaped, 10-75 cm long; stalks reddish-brown to purplish-black; blades more or less palmately-pinnate, set at right angles to the stalks and more or less parallel to the ground, 10-40 cm long, 10-40 cm wide, rounded to kidney-shaped, forked at the bases into 2 recurved-spreading divisions which in turn bear 2-several shorter divisions, the larger divisions with 15-35, alternate, short-stalked
Small plants with small fronds (5 to 15 cm across) and strongly overlapping ultimate segments were described as A. pedatum L. var. subpumilum Wagner. They clearly belong to this species, but no formal nomenclatural transfer has been done yet. This variety is rare on coastal bluffs from northern Vancouver Island south to the Olympic Peninsula, WA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist forests, rocks, scree, cliffs, banks and waterfall spray zones in the lowland and montane zones; frequent throughout BC, mostly S of 55°N, infrequent in SC BC; amphiberingian, N to AK, E to SW AB and S to CO, AZ and CA; disjunct E to PQ and NF and S to PA, WV and MI; E Asia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Adiantum aleuticum

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) 0 270 2100
Slope Gradient (%) 0 26 150
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
5 293 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 4 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: CDF(3), CWH(394), ESSF(1), ICH(27), IDF(5), MH(4), SBS(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

Adiantum pedatum subsp. aleuticum (Rupr.) Calder & Roy L. Taylor
Adiantum pedatum subsp. calderi Cody
Adiantum pedatum subsp. subpumilum (W.H. Wagner) Lellinger
Adiantum pedatum var. aleuticum Rupr.
Adiantum pedatum var. subpumilum W.H. Wagner

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References