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CommentsThis a lovely fern with tall arching leaves. It is relatively easy to identify because of the oblanceolate shape of its large leaves, which have very short leaflets (pinnae) toward the base of the blades. Very few species of ferns have such short leaflets. One of them, Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York Fern), has elliptic leaves that taper very gradually toward both their bottoms and their tips. The leaves of Ostrich Fern, in contrast, taper abruptly toward their tips. Another distinctive characteristic is the simple-pinnate venation on the undersides of the leaflet lobes, where the lateral veins are undivided and straight. Other similar ferns (e.g., Osmunda spp.), often have forked lateral veins on the undersides of their leaflet lobes. The small fertile leaves in the center of the rosette have a rather peculiar appearance, although they are often hidden by the larger sterile leaves.