It’s a good time of year to be watching for emerging fiddleheads, also called croziers. Here’s a random assortment of some I’ve found, including several that I haven’t identified; that will probably have to wait for fertile fronds to emerge later in the year.
I just love this one; it looks like a dragon or alien monster or something. This fern is all over the place at Sugarloaf Mountain and Rachel Carson Conservation Park; I expect it’s one of the Dryopteras. It is not one of the evergreen ferns.
Christmas fern (Polystichumacrostichoides), below, is easily identified because it’s so hairy.
Another unknown (right and below); I’ve been seeing it in wet areas in parts of Montgomery County other than the Potomac Gorge.
Right, one of my favorites: ebony spleenwort (Aspleniumplatyneuron). Below, a forefinger held up to the same plant.
And this one (right) was a good find. It’s the fertile frond of a rattlesnake fern (Botrypusvirginianus), which I’ve only seen once before. You can see the spherical sori contained within. This plant was in Rachel Carson Conservation Park, where I went to see the pinxter azaleas in bloom. (More on that in a few days.) Below is a picture from last year, showing the fully developed fertile frond.
Happy 2nd Birthday to my blog! I’m celebrating by changing the look. Also by upgrading the account. OK, actually it’s not celebrating; I’ve uploaded so many pictures that I ran out of space, so I had to upgrade.
young fronds of ebony spleenwort
I’m also celebrating by re-posting some favorite photos. Enjoy.
right: a not typical looking ebony spleenwort
(note the circinate vernation)
below: a fairly typical looking ebony spleenwort
The spleenworts are known to hybridize freely, making field identification difficult. In this case, the stipe and lower part of the rachis were black, suggesting ebony spleenwort
but it’s impossible to know for sure.
At any rate I wanted to post this because the plant looks neat and I love the pictures. Also to get the earworm “ebony spleenwort” out of my head. Note that I got the phrase “circinate vernation” out, too.