New York Natural Heritage Program
Curlygrass Fern
Schizaea pusilla Pursh
Schizaea pusilla Troy Weldy
Family: Curly-grass Family (Schizaeaceae)

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: G3G4
A Global Rarity Rank of G3G4 means: Vulnerable globally, or Apparently Secure -- At moderate risk of extinction, with relatively few populations or locations in the world, few individuals, and/or restricted range; or uncommon but not rare globally; 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?
It's almost impossible to find this tiny fern without getting down on one's hands and knees, but be careful not to crush it! The genus Schizaea is from the Greek word schizo, to cut, and refers to the fertile frond that is delicately cut and divided (Meehan 1879).

State Ranking Justification [-]
There is only one existing population which is very small and has not been seen in recent years. There are two records, one from 1927 and one from 1929, that need to be rechecked to see if they still exist. One subpopulation of the existing population was destroyed by flooding in the 1980s.

Short-term Trends [-]

Long-term Trends [-]