Asplenium viride
Green spleenwort
Image of Asplenium viride

Photo by Bradford S. Slaughter 

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Key Characteristics

Small fern (5-15 cm) of calcareous cliffs and crevices; fronds pinnate with small (1 cm), opposite, oval pinnae; rachis green except at base.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: SC
  • State Rank: S3
  • Global Rank: G4


County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Distribution map for Asplenium viride

Updated 5/15/2018. Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.


Found in northern hardwoods as well as on limestone cliffs, dolomite boulders and outcrops, mainly in the Niagaran Escarpment region in the eastern Upper Peninsula. Less commonly occurs on dolomite boulders within conifer-dominated uplands and swamp forests. It is frequently found with walking fern and often with Hart's tongue fern.

Natural Community Types


For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.

Associated Plants

Walking fern, polypody, maidenhair spleenwort, northern holly fern, Hart's tongue fern, Braun's Christmas fern.


Generally requires shade and moist, moss-covered limestone or dolomite boulders. Species may be sensitive to drying and scorching from overexposure to sunlight. Maintain overstory and minimize development and fragmentation. When possible, leave large tracts of unharvested forests and allow natural processes (growth, senescence, wind throw, fire, disease, insect infestation, etc) to operate unhindered. If forest is being managed for timber, minimize fragmentation, leave long periods of recuperation between harvests (50-70 yrs.), preserve as much area as possible in a forested matrix, and maintain a range of canopy closure comparable to pre-harvest closure.

General Survey Guidelines

Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgement of the investigator. A systematic survey follows transects as a guide to provide the greatest coverage possible of the area. Greatest coverage occurs with parallel transects spaced equidistant over the area.

Survey Methods

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at [Accessed Aug 18, 2018]


Survey References

Technical References

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