Saturday, May 3, 2008


We hiked several mid to long-range trails while in the Smokies, and all had something in common: in cooler areas, either at higher elevations or in valleys cooled by rushing streams, the Appalachian polypody (Polypodium appalachianum) was widespread. This small fern is common on rocky sediments and cliffs, as well as on dead logs and occasional standing trees. It is similar in appearance to several other Polypodium species, at least one of which it will hybridize with, but it was the only one we saw while in the Smokies. 

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