Monday, December 7, 2015

Pine Rocklands fungi

We took another trip to southern Florida to visit the Pine Rocklands this weekend. While we saw many beautiful plants (which is of course the purpose of our collecting visits), I wanted to highlight some really beautiful fungi that we came across one morning. It had rained heavily the night before, and the palmetto trunks must be loaded with fungi spores that exploded with growth after the water came through.

And one of my favorite pine rockland ferns, Anemia adiantifolia:

Last but not least, two beautiful Gulf Fritillary butterflies mating.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Fern Springs Hammock

I finally took a field trip this weekend to a site I've long wanted to visit - Fern Hammock Springs, part of the Juniper Springs Recreation Area in Ocala National Forest, south of Gainesville. The site lived up to its name, with quite a few fern species, including several that are endemic to the southeastern US but that I don't see often.

Dryopteris ludoviciana is also known as the Southern Shield Fern. It has one of the narrowest ranges of ferns in the genus Dryopteris, and is endemic only to Florida and parts of other southeastern states.

Dryopteris ludoviciana
Dryopteris ludoviciana
Vittaria lineata
Lygodium japonicum is a vining fern that's invasive in the US. It was introduced from Asia several decades ago and there are places where it and another invasive Lygodium, L. microphyllum, can be extremely intrusive and damaging weeds.
Lygodium japonicum
Lygodium japonicum
Hole left behind by a tree (probably a palm)

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Proteaceae at Kirstenbosch

I'm back from my trip to South Africa, and while the purpose of our trip was to search for ferns, no visit to this region would be complete without expressing proper appreciation for the incredible members of Proteaceae that define much of the flora of the area. This flowering plant family occurs primarily in the southern hemisphere, with the greatest diversity in South Africa and also Australia. Here's an assortment of photos of these plants, all from Kirstenbosch...

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Hottentots region of South Africa

Today's field trip took us to the Hottentots region of South Africa, with many more exciting fern sightings. We saw lots of new taxa that we hadn't seen before, including an Elaphoglossum and a cool Asplenium. It was rather a grey day but that didn't dim our enthusiasm for fern finding...

Asplenium aethiopicum
Blechnum capense
Elaphoglossum acrostichoides
Elaphoglossum acrostichoides sori closeup
Hymenophyllum capense 
Hymenophyllum tunbrigense, a bit different looking than H. capense
Hymenophyllum tunbrigense sori
Rumohra adiantiformis
A damp little swale with a stream, where we found most of these ferns
And as at Table Mountain, a highlight of this trip was finding Schizaea - this time, a different species!

Schizaea pectinata
Schizaea pectinata

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Cederberg region of South Africa

Today's trip took us to yet another new region of South Africa, this time the Cederberg region, which is northeast of the Cape Town area. We didn't find many ferns, but it was a beautiful day and a lovely place nonetheless.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Visit to Table Mountain, South Africa

Our next field trip here was to the famous Table Mountain in the center of Cape Town. Because of high winds, the cable car that takes you to the top of the mountain wasn't running, and so we walked up a path that leads to the base of the vertical cliffs, and then took the Contour Path around to the southern tip of Table Mountain. The plants were incredible, both the ferns and flowering plants!

View of Cape Town from the contour path, looking west
Ferraria crispa, an incredible member of the Iris family
Cheilanthes multifida
Cheilanthes multifida
Cheilanthes hastata
Blechnum punctulatum
Mohria caffrorum (left) and Cheilanthes multifida (right)
Pellaea pteroides
When we got to the southern point we walked briefly around it and found a couple more ferns - including a very exciting find, Schizaea tenella. Schizaeaceae is a neat family whose members I don't often encounter, so it was very cool to find it here.
Schizaea tenella
Todea barbarea
And finally, some views from the point and the walk back down...