Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Abraham's Woods Ferns

And finally, a return to ferns! In addition to all the beautiful early spring flowering plants at Abraham's Woods, there are a number of ferns as well. Last time I went there we only found Dryopteris goldiana and what looked like a small Cystopteris, but this time we found an abundance of ferns in the richest, moistest corner of the woods. Some of the most striking were the Maidenhair ferns (Adiantum pedatum) pictured above and below. I've mentioned before that this species tends to have reddish stipes, which turn a dark red to almost black when the plants are mature. You can certainly see the red color in these young plants, as well as the whitish hairs and small scales they bear.

No woodland would be complete without Lady fern, Athyrium filix-femina, and Abraham's Woods is no exception. Their stipes can be bright green to brown to red, while the blade is usually always a bright green color.

Other than Dryopteris goldiana, which I'll devote a future post to, the final fern we saw was Deparia acrostichoides, the Silvery Glade Fern or Silvery Spleenwort. The second common name is a relict from when this fern was placed in the Asplenium genus. This species actually isn't on the list for Abraham's Woods, so it was an exciting find. This fern is distinguished by the bluntness of the pinnule lobes, and by having a dense white fuzz of hairs all along the stipe and rachis, which you might just be able to make out in these photos...

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