Back to the Species at Risk main page.

Broad Beech Fern

Phegopteris hexagonoptera

COSEWIC Status: Special Concern

COSSARO Status: Special Concern

Broad Beech Fern Credit: S.Brinker

Broad Beech Fern Credit: S.Brinker


  • Attractive fern with delicate, triangular-shaped fronds which can grow to a height of 50 cm or more.
  • Leaflet stems are not always opposite. The underside of the frond is faintly downy; short, scaly hairs can sometimes be found on the veins.
  • Has a creeping, scaly, slightly pulpy root.
  • Fronds appear towards the end of May.


  • One known site in Muskoka – it prefers to grow in rich, moderately acidic soils, in deciduous forest such as maple-beech forests, where the soil is moist or wet.
  • Northern limit of range.


  • Logging operations and the mechanization of maple sugar operations can have negative effects.

Range Map

Broad Reach Fern Range map

For more information about the Broad Beech Fern in the Georgian Bay area, contact:

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
SAR Biologist
7 Bay Street
Parry Sound, Ontario
P2A 1S4
Phone: 705-746-4201