1. Phegopteris hexagonoptera (Michaux) Fée, 5: 242. 1852.
Broad beech fern, southern beech fern, phégoptère à hexagones
Polypodium hexagonopterum Michaux, Fl. Bor.-Amer. 2: 271. 1803; Dryopteris hexagonoptera (Michaux) C. Christensen; Thelypteris hexagonoptera (Michaux) Nieuwland
Stems long-creeping, 2--4 mm diam. Leaves monomorphic, dying back in winter, often 1--2 cm apart, ca. 25--75 cm. Petiole straw-colored, (7--)20--45 cm × 1.5--3 mm, at base with scales tan, lanceolate, glabrous or marginally hairy. Blade broadly deltate, about as broad as long, (8--)15--33 cm, proximal pinnae longest and narrowed at base, usually spreading or slightly ascending. Pinnae 7--20 × 2--6(--8) cm, all connected by wing along rachis, deeply pinnatifid; segments entire or largest pinnatifid about halfway to costule; proximal pair of veins from adjacent segments meeting margin above sinus, veins often forked. Indument abaxially of moderately to densely set hairs mostly 0.1--0.25 mm along costae and veins, also of yellowish stalked glands 0.1 mm on veins and blade tissue, costae with whitish to light tan, narrowly lanceolate, spreading, marginally hairy scales to ca. 1.5 mm. Sori subterminal on veins. 2 n = 60.
In moist woods, usually in full shade, often in moderately acid soils; 0--1000 m; Ont., Que.; Ala., Ark., Conn., Del., D.C., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., La., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Miss., Mo., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Okla., Pa., R.I., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Vt., Va., W.Va., Wis.
G. A. Mulligan and W. J. Cody (1979) reported hybrids between Phegopteris hexagonoptera and P. connectilis from a few localities in Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. These hybrids are apogamous and have a chromosome number of 2 n = 120.