New York Natural Heritage Program
Alpine Cliff Fern
Woodsia alpina (Bolton) S.F. Gray
Family: Wood-fern Family (Dryopteridaceae)

State Protection: Endangered
listed species are those with: 1) 5 or fewer extant sites, or 2) fewer than 1,000 individuals, or 3) restricted to fewer than 4 U.S.G.S. 7 minute topographical maps, or 4) species listed as endangered by U.S. Department of Interior.

Federal Protection: Not Listed

State Rarity Rank: S1
A State Rarity Rank of S1 means: This plant is endangered/critically imperiled in New York because of extreme rarity (typically 5 or fewer populations or very few remaining individuals) or is extremely vulnerable to extirpation from New York due to biological factors.

Global Rarity Rank: G4G5
A Global Rarity Rank of G4G5 means: Apparently or Demonstrably Secure globally - Uncommon to common in the world, but not rare; usually widespread, but may be rare in some parts of its range; possibly some cause for long-term concern due to declines or other factors. More information is needed to assign a single conservation status.

Did you know?
Like other rare ferns of the Adirondacks, this species was not discovered until the early 20th century, with the earliest record in 1917 from Avalanche Lake. Woodsia alpina along with Woodsia glabella are two of the smallest ferns in our flora. The genus Woodsia is named after Joseph Woods, a 19th century English architect, botanist and geologist (Joseph Woods in Wikipedia, web site accessed 21 November 2007).

State Ranking Justification [-]
There are five existing populations but all of them consist of five or fewer plants, making them extremely vulnerable although they have persisted for many decades. There are four additional historical records which are not very exact, so locating such small plants will be difficult.

Short-term Trends [-]

Long-term Trends [-]