Sunday, August 23, 2020

Fern Adoration


I adore ferns! It started with a small start of an Elkhorn fern back when we lived in South Florida. I quickly added Boston fern and a stag horn to the garden (soon regretting planting the invasive Boston fern) and from then on, I can not resist adding new ferns to Myrtle Glen.


Elkhorn Fern




I love the mystery and ancient feeling of a plant that survived through time. Ferns grew already on our world three hundred forty five million years ago according to fossil records. Millions of years. Millions! Try to let that sink in!


Dwarf Brazilian Tree Fern

Most ferns are soft and feathery, inviting us to touch them, others don't look like ferns at all to me such as the Adder's-tongue Fern. It doesn't look as impressive as the Brazilian Tree Fern above, more like a weed, but this little native fern is welcome to grow in Myrtle Glen.

Adder's-tongue Fern

Here are two of my tongue ferns, the variegated and the flying dragon

variegated Tongue fern and Flying Dragon Tongue Fern


Different ferns have different very specific needs, such as bracken ferns grows fine in dry and poor soil, while the maidenhair fern prefers moist and rich soil. The means one can find ferns for any and all gardens.

This fern grows with little to no soil, in cracked stonework, even on rough surfaces. I know it as Huguenot Fern but Wiki says its common name is Chinese Ladder Brake.

Pteris vittata
Aren't fiddleheads just so unique and beautiful?


Ferns have no flowers, they don't have to rely on insects, just the air, a light breeze is enough for their tiny spores to travel and find a good spot to grow.

Spore cases here arranged in lines on the underside of the fronds of asplenium antiquum victoria (ruffled Birds Nest fern)

There are clump ferns and single-leaf ferns, the latter spreading via rhizomes in perfect condition quite aggressively, but they can easily be controlled by pulling them out where not wanted.

Here is the clumping Alligator (or Crocodile) fern and the Serpent fern (Microsorum grossum), its rhizomes 'snaking' along the ground throughout the flowerbed.



Books about ferns I have in my library and can recommend:

Encyclopedia of Garden Ferns by Sue Olsen and
a Field Guide to southern ferns, The Ferns of Florida by Gil Nelson


Cordyline 'Mocha Latte' surrounded by Silver Brake fern

Website of the American Fern Society it says this club exists over 120 years.

The Tropical Fern & Exotic Plant Society is located in South Florida and
in Central Florida there is the Cuplet Fern Chapter under the Florida native plant society
in Sarasota The Sarasota Fern Society




And one last picture, above is a beautiful variegated Brake fern (Pteris ensiformis 'Evergemiensis') growing here at the base of a blue Ginger.



2 comments: