of Central California's Sierra Nevada Foothills
TWO COMMON FERNS
Gold Fern, Pityrogramma triangularis
This fern specializes in rocky areas and often growns in rock crevices. The "gold" part of the fern isn't apparent until you turn over the frond and see the yellow to white, powdery surface, as shown below.
The fronds are up to a foot long, triangular, and the stalk is slender, stiff and black.
Male Fern, Dryopteris filix-mas
Living in moist, sheltered, usually shady spots, this Dryopteris produces fronds a yard or more long, often cascading prettiily down steep slopes. In the Foothills the Male Fern may be less common than the Shield Fern of the same genus, and sometimes it appears with that species.
As the above picture shows, the male fern's longest frond-subdivisions arise near the middle of the frond. The Shield Fern's longest subdivisions arise near the frond's base.