Thursday, June 19, 2008

Dryopteris sori IV: D. carthusiana

The last post in this mini-series (for now at least) on Dryopteris sori: D. carthusiana, the Spinulose or Toothed Wood Fern. It is a close relative of D. intermedia, which is one of its parents. D. carthusiana's other parent, however, is unknown, but is posited to be a mythical beast known as "Dryopteris semicristata", always written in quotations because it has never been seen and is therefore only hypothetical. This fabled fern, which many pteridologists have hunted but none have found, is also a parent of D. cristata, the Crested Wood Fern. I think The Quest for Semicristata would be a good subtitle for the next Indiana Jones installation, or perhaps just a chapter heading in my thesis one day.

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