This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol1", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Coarse swamp ferns with wide-creeping prostrate or underground rootstocks, the leaves scattered and rigidly erect, the blades long-stalked and deeply bipinnatifid, the fertile ones similar in outline to the sterile. Veins united in a single series of elongate areoles next to the secondary rachis and midveins of the segments, the veinlets arising from these simple or once-forked, extending to the margin, almost invariably free. Sori superficial, borne on the inner side of the transverse vein forming the outer side of the areole, elongate-linear to oval, covered by convex indusia attached at the outer margin. [Name from the Greek, in allusion to the alliance with Woodwardia.]
A monotypic genus of eastern North America.
Turin 5: 412. 1793-Anchistea virginica Presl, Epim. Bot. 71. 1851.
Rootstock rather slender, creeping, sparingly branched, chaffy at the apex. Stipes stout, 1°-3° long, toward the base purphsn brown and polished; blades 1°-2° long, 6'-9' broad, oblong-lanceolate, acute, subcoriaceous, bipinnatifid; pinnae linear-lanceolate, usually alternate, oblique, glabrous, sessile, acuminate, 3'-6' long, deeply pinnatifid into numerous and usually close ovate or oblong obtuse segments, their margins serrulate; sori along the secondary rachis elongate-linear, those of the segments shorter, elliptical; indusia subentire or erose, extrorse, obscured at maturity.
In swamps, often in deep water, Nova Scotia to Ontario and Michigan, south to Florida, Louisiana and Arkansas. Ascends to 1300 ft. in Pennsylvania. Also in Bermuda. June-July.