Saturday, June 5, 2010

Cystopteris bulbifera

There's one area of Governor Dodge State Park where a trail leads through the woods to a large waterfall, and then follows the stream leading away from the falls through luxuriant, shady, rich forest. In the spray zone around the falls we found lots of Cystopteris bulbifera, the bulblet bladder fern. This is another neat fern I haven't blogged about before. It creates bulblets on the abaxial (underside) of its fronds, which can fall off and grow into new sporophytes, essentially clones of the parent plants. You can see one clearly in the top photo:

This is the type of environment where we found these guys. The walls of this gorge were just dripping with ferns. Lots of Dryopteris, some Osmunda, and a few boulders covered in Asplenium rhizophyllum, pictured at bottom.

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