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

Woodsia ilvensis (L.) R. Br.
rusty cliff fern (rusty woodsia)
Dryopteridaceae (Wood Fern family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #19758)

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Distribution of Woodsia ilvensis
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Species Information

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Deciduous perennial arising in clusters from a short rhizome.
Narrowly lanceolate, 3-20 cm long, 1.5-4 cm wide, with jointed stipes and 2-pinnate blades; rachis with abundant hairs and scales, but without glands; segments entire or shallowly lobed.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry rocks and scree slopes in the montane to alpine zones; infrequent in N, SC and E BC; circumpolar, N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to NC, IL and MN; Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Woodsia ilvensis

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) 1085 1488 1891
Slope Gradient (%) 10 17 25
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
110 120 130
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 2 4
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: ESSF(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 ilvensis var. gracilis G. Lawson

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References