Asplenium trichomanes L.
maidenhair spleenwort (limestone maidenhair spleenwort)
Aspleniaceae (Spleenwort family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Jim Riley     (Photo ID #77)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Asplenium trichomanes
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Evergreen with clustered fronds.
Narrowly lanceolate, 10-25 cm long, 0.7-1.5 cm wide; rachis winged with two wax-papery lines, reddish-brown throughout (except the green tip on youngest leaves); pinnae in pairs, egg-shaped to oblong egg-shaped, 5-15 mm long, 3-8 mm wide.
A variable species. Two chromosome races (diploid ssp. trichomanes and tetraploid ssp. quadrivalens D.E. Meyer) were reported from North America (Moran 1982, Wagner et al. 1993), but their distribution in British Columbia is poorly known and requires further study.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.


Ecological Framework for Asplenium trichomanes

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)
267 20 820
Slope Gradient (%)
67 10 130

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

93 20 305
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
3 0 6
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

CWH(32), ICH(4), IDF(1)

Habitat and Range

Dry to mesic rocks in lowland and montane zones; frequent in coastal BC, infrequent east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains in S BC south of 51degreeN; circumpolar, N to S AK, E to AB and disjunct in ON to NF and S to GA, LA, TX, NM, AZ and CA; Eurasia.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Asplenium melanocaulon