I've been remiss in blogging during the past few weeks due to lots of time spent in the car, crossing large swaths of the country. But it was worth it for the ferns! I saw a lot of beautiful things down in Virginia and the Carolinas, and I think it's time I do a post (or several) on the group I actually study: Dryopteris, or the Wood Ferns. There are approximately 250 species of Dryopteris worldwide, with 14 or so here in North America. They are exceptionally beautiful ferns, and I decided to start with some of their loveliest features: their sori. The fern pictured above is Dryopteris intermedia, grown in the gardens at Crow Dog Native Ferns from wild-collected spores. The indusia are the whitish clamshells, and the shiny black sporangia peeking out from beneath them indicate that the spores are ripe and ready to dehisce. This would be the perfect time to collect spores from this plant to sow and grow.