Time Flies while Watching Ferns

This post is a follow-up to to a post from November of 2016.

I am shocked that it has been almost two years!

That fall I reported on a disappearing fern.

One of my favorite babies was disappearing.

Further inspection showed that caterpillar was eating my coveted

Dragon’s tail fern, Aspleniaceae x Ebenoides.

After attempts to save what was left of the little fern,

I decided my best hope for a future for the fern was for future offspring.

I placed the remaining fronds face down on sterile seed-starting mix in a sealed glass jar.

Green slowly appeared months later. This tiny green growth was the gametophyte stage of the fern.

This week, while trapped inside during Hurricane Florence, I notice the first tiny frond.

A fern is born!  In only two short years!

If you are into gardening for the long game, try starting ferns.

It will make watching grass grow seem fast-paced and exciting.


S’more Spores

It’s the time of year when plants get ready to go dormant here in North Carolina.

This means in addition to losing leaves, plants set seed or form spores.  This hopefully ensures another generation of plants.

This November is a little unusual because it has been so warm that we still have flowers blooming and bees buzzing.  I have even had second generation seeds germinate and flower this season.

I will take you on a tour of s’more spores.  Seeds will follow in another post.

Sensitive fern/Onoclea sensibilis sends up its own spores on a stick.  These are referred to as beads.


Its fronds are sterile, i.e. do not produce spores.


Chain fern/ Woodwardia areolata has a separate spore bearing structure, also.


Its fronds do not produce spores either.


The Japanese Holly fern/Cyrtomium falcatum has a sporadic spore arrangement.  No pun intended.


Its fronds are evergreen.


Here is one sorus from the Japanese Holly fern under the microscope.


Stay tuned for seeds.