Walking Leaf, the common name for a North American fern, also called walking fern. It was formerly classed as aspleniwn rhizophyllum, which name it still retains in European catalogues, but it is now placed in a separate genus; the sori or fruit dots often come together in pairs and are confluent where they meet, appearing like one long fruit dot bent upon itself; on this account it is called camptosorus (Gr. Kafj.7tr6c, bent, and oopdg, a heap), retaining the same specific name. It is one of the rare, or rather local ferns, found from New England westward to Wisconsin, and southward along the mountains to Georgia, on moist, shady, and usually limestone rocks. The evergreen fronds grow in tufts and are from 4 to 9 in. long, with a long stipe (like a leaf stalk), lanceolate, with a heart-shaped, auricled, or halberd-shaped base, and tapering above into a very long, slender, almost filiform point; the upper surface dark green and smooth, the under side netted with veins, to which are attached the long fruit dots, either singly or together in the manner already described.
The tips of the attenuate fronds often strike root where they touch the ground, and new fronds are formed at some little distance from the old plant, and these in turn form other plants; hence the common name, and the specific name, rhizopltyllus; the plant often forms dense tangled masses. It may be cultivated if its natural locality is imitated.
Walking Leaf (Camptosorus rhizophyllus).