• dogwood across creek

    Prince William Forest

    Park Virginia

Ferns

ferns along a trail
Ferns add an archaic beauty to the forest floor.
Eugene Kobayashi
 
hay scented fern
Hay-scented Fern, Dennstaedtia punctilobula
Hay Scented Fern is a species of fern native to eastern North America, it is most abundant in the east of its range, with only scattered populations in the west. The English name 'Hay-scented Fern' comes from the fact that crushing it has the aroma of fresh hay.
 
New York Fern, Thelpteris novaboracensis
These are an aggressive growing fern that requires moist, humus rich soil in sun or shade and is often found in drier areas of swamps. The New York Fern does resemble hay-scented fern and as well as its habit of covering forest floors, but the shape of the fronds distinguishes these ferns from one another.
 
christmas fern
Christmas Fern, Polystichum acrostichoides
Christmas Fern is an evergreen, native species that is attractive year-round. These ferns are used widely in Christmas decorations. It thrives in shade and in woodland soil, but is able to grow in the sunlight if grown in moist soils
 
fiddlehead ferns
Fiddleheads
The early stages of fern growth are called fiddleheads. They are highly nutritious for both humans and animals. These are fiddleheads of the Christmas Fern.

Did You Know?

View along Farms to Forest Trail.

At over 15,000 acres, Prince William Forest Park protects the largest example of eastern Piedmont forest ecosystem (one of the most heavily altered ecosystems in North America) in the National Park System.