Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Whisk Fern

Psilotum nudum. Say it a few times and it will start rolling off the tongue in a fun way.... nudum because the poor plant has no leaves - it is nakkid :-)

Some people call it whisk fern, or skeleton fork fern, I can see the whisk but not the fork. 
I found out it is not a fern but a fern ally resembling a vascular plant just as fossils from millions of years ago. No roots, no flowers, just the tiny yellow round spore cases. And the very few leaves are just as tiny, looking more like thorns than leaves.

This interesting fern showed up pretty much right when we started with our garden. It is not just native to Florida, but can also be found in Africa, Asia, Australia, Hawaii, Japan (looks like it is at home all over the world), and so unusual that I let it grow where ever it popped up, in my hypertufa pots, in shaded flowerbeds, between the rocks in the garden wall.

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