FERTILE AND STERILE FRONDS LEAF-LIKE AND SIMILAR;
The Brake turns brown in autumn, but does not wither away till the following year.
Nova Scotia to British Columbia, south to Georgia and Arkansas, in moist woods. Ten to eighteen inches high.
Fronds.—Forked at the summit of the slender black and polished stalk, the recurved branches bearing on one side several slender, spreading pinnate divisions; pinnules obliquely triangular-oblong; sporangia in short fruit-dots on the under margin of a lobe of the frond; indusium formed by the reflexed lobe or tooth of the frond.
For purposes of identification it would seem almost superfluous to describe the Maidenhair, a plant which probably is more generally appreciated than all the rest of the ferns together. Yet, strangely enough, it is confused constantly with other plants and with plants which are not ferns.
Perhaps the early meadow rue is the plant most commonly mistaken for the Maidenhair. While it does not suggest strikingly our eastern fern, its lobed and rounded leaflets bear a likeness to certain species native to other parts of the country, notably to A. Capillus-Veneris, the Venus-hair Fern of the southern States.