Monday, May 19, 2008

Osmunda claytoniana



I am currently in Ithaca, New York visiting friends and family and collecting ferns, and today's post comes to you from the cool confines of Cornell University's L.H. Bailey Hortorium. I've seen a lot of this fern in the past few weeks: Osmunda claytoniana, or the Interrupted Fern. This is a very common fern at this time of year, and is easy to recognize because it looks, well, interrupted. The contracted, usually greenish-brownish, fertile pinnae are found in the middle of the frond, with leafy green sterile pinnae above and below them. This fern can get quite large, and can be found in backyards (the photos above were taken at my advisor's house, and my parents have some around their driveway in New York), along roadsides and streams, and in moist woods throughout the northeast and midwest. Its close relative, the Cinnamon Fern (Osmundastrum cinnamomea), looks very similar, has been the subject of recent taxonomic revision, and is a likely future post here at No Seeds.