I've been having real trouble identifying this fern. Anyone with good knowledge of ferns out there know what it is? I would very much like to know.

Photographed in Yamaguchi, Japan.

Unidentified fern


  • Do you have other pictures? These are obviously young fern leaves, not the mature form. Where in Japan?
    – stormy
    Sep 23, 2018 at 0:53
  • This is on the outskirts of Mine, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan. It's in the far west of the main island of Honshu. In a thinly forested area next to a stream at the foot of the mountains, elevation 84 m (34°13'39" N 131°18'15" E). Photo taken in late August.
    – Biscut
    Sep 23, 2018 at 3:33
  • I only took a couple of photos, they're at the same angle. None of the underside or base. But I'll include one here from further back—as soon as I figure out how to add another photo.
    – Biscut
    Sep 23, 2018 at 3:44
  • I see. I went back and added to the original post to get the photo in.
    – Biscut
    Sep 23, 2018 at 3:46
  • Only the single larger fern seen at the top/rear of the second bottom photo may be the same plant as the frond from the original close-up photo (top photo). The other somewhat smaller ferns (in the foreground of the bottom photo) look much like Dryopteris filix-mas which is a common Wood fern found in Japan. The other (top photo) fern could be the same genus though, but not enough detail/characteristics in the photos to say for sure.
    – user22542
    Sep 24, 2018 at 11:24

2 Answers 2


Cinnamon Fern This is one possibility. The Cinnamon fern. Were you in North or South Japan? High elevations or sea level?


Cinnamon Fern This is one possibility. The Cinnamon fern. Were you in North or South Japan? High elevations or sea level?

These are actually older fronds of the Cinnamon Fern. cinnamon fern

closer image of mature Cinnamon Fern

I've also looked at Deer and Hard Fern as possibilities...

  • 1
    Good point about the maturity of the frond. I wasn't aware that they might change (just getting into learning about ferns here). This frond seems very distinctive, with large spaces between the alternating pinnae and curved, dagger-like pinnules. This fern would be 1-pinnate-pinnatifid? Perhaps in the more mature form, the pinnules become rounder and less like curved daggers? I think we can rule out deer fern because of the differing frond structure.
    – Biscut
    Sep 23, 2018 at 4:07
  • Very nice, Biscut. You are able to 'see'! We'll be back, soon or someone on our team shall be! Ferns and grasses are tough to ID/
    – stormy
    Sep 23, 2018 at 4:11

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