Glade Fern Ravine, A Rich Fern Site in the Blue Ridge Province of South Carolina


L. L. Gaddy

Additional Authors:


December – 1990


Ravine, Fern, Blue Ridge, South Carolina, Asplenium monanthes, Trichomanes petersii, Athyrium pycnocarpon

Glade Fern Ravine, a ravine about 10 hectares in size in northern Oconee County, South Carolina, harbors 16 species of ferns. The spleenwort <em>Asplenium monanthes</em> L. and the filmy fern <em>Trichomanes petersii</em> Gray, both rare in the southern Appalachians, are common here. Plants of <em>Athyrium pycnocarpon</em> (Sprengel) Tidestrom cover the lower slopes of the ravine, the fern’s second reported locality from South Carolina. Noteworthy species of trees, mosses, and liverworts are also found in the ravine. Many of the rare species found in Glade Fern Ravine are calciophilous species. The ravine is located in the Brevard geologic belt, rocks of which have weathered into a rich calcareous soil. The ravine’s rich circumneutral soil and its northeasterly orientation combine to make Glade Fern Ravine an ideal refuge for moist-site calciophiles.