Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dryopteris campyloptera

The first species I visited in the field on this last trip was Dryopteris campyloptera, which is a tetraploid hybrid between D. intermedia and D. expansa, and which grows at higher elevations in the eastern US. It actually has a disjunct distribution between the Great Smoky mountains and mountains farther north, like the Adirondacks. The southern population is likely a relict that retreated up into the mountains following the last ice ages in the northern hemisphere

I've visited this population before, and it grows in a hemlock dominated forest at Bear Pen Gap turnout on the Blue Ridge Parkway. One of the benefits of working along the Blue Ridge is being treated to views like this:

Another neat thing we saw, quite unexpectedly, was this.

What's neat about this, you ask? Look closer...

No comments: