Fern Fiddles

The first fern fiddles are emerging from the ground.

The Japanese Holly fern, Cyrtomium falcatum, is always first.

Fronds are specialized leaves growing from underground stems.

They roll out from the base to protect the tiny new leaflets.

Other protection involves scales which drop off after the young fronds emerge.

IMG_1260

They are also covered by hairs for defense.

IMG_1264

Once these fronds mature, they will be tough enough not to need scales and hairs.

IMG_1261

Mature fronds produce spores on their undersides for reproduction.

IMG_1262

Here are spots where sporangia were last season. The spores have been released.

IMG_1258

I find fern fronds fascinating.

FLOW

Close Fronds

All the ferns are happy that it is raining.

IMG_1037
Autumn Fern / Dryopteris erythrosoroa
IMG_1031
Korean Rock fern/ Polystichum tsus-simense
IMG_1028
Japanese Holly fern / Crytomium falcatum
wild Chain fern/ Woodwardia areolata
Buckler fern / Dryopteris erythrosora ‘Brilliance’

My little fronds look refreshed.   I’m happy they’re happy.

FLOWER

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.

img_5715

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

img_5705

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

img_5709

Its fronds do not produce spores either.

img_5698

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

img_5710

Its fronds are evergreen.

img_5701

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

20161106_135337.jpg

Stay tuned for seeds.

FLOWER