Fiddleheads

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.

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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.

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Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides), below, is easily identified because it’s so hairy.

 

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Another unknown (right and below); I’ve been seeing it in wet areas in parts of Montgomery County other than the Potomac Gorge.

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Right, one of my favorites: ebony spleenwort (Asplenium platyneuron). Below, a forefinger held up to the same plant.20160405-_DSC0163

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And this one (right) was a good find. It’s the fertile frond of a rattlesnake fern (Botrypus virginianus), 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.

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Two Years Old

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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.

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wild stonecrop

 

 

 

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partridgeberry

 

 

 

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flowering dogwood

 

 

 

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enchanter’s nightshade

 

 

 

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miterwort

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lopseed

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cranefly orchid

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purple-headed sneezeweed

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bee leaving goldenrod

 

 

Back to regular blog posts tomorrow!

Fern of the Day: Ebony Spleenwort

Asplenium platyneuron

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right: a not typical looking ebony spleenwort
(note the circinate vernation)

 

 

 

 

below: a fairly typical looking ebony spleenwort

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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

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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.