May 12, 2006

Ferns

My latest preoccupation has been identifying a number of native ferns given to me last year (thanks Bill!). As they emerge in the spring, their differences are more strikingly obvious.

Furns: Osmunda regalis, Dryopteris spinulosa, Osmunda cinnamomeaThis trio shows the kind of variety that you can get.

The brown one on the left is Osmunda regalis - royal fern.

The green one to the right is Dryopteris spinulosa - spinulose shield fern.

The chartreuse one in the back is Osmunda cinnamomea - cinnamon fern.

Senstive fern - Oncolea sensibilisOnoclea sensibilis - sensitive fern, is busy unfurling in an obscure spot behind my bleeding heart (hmm, I may have to move it) and adds a fourth colour to my fern palette with its decidedly reddish cast.

The sensitive fern gets its name from the fact that it is very sensitive to frost, unlike the semi-evergreen Dryopteris genus. Let us hope we get no late frosts this year!

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