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The World of Ferns


palmsOrl

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As many have noticed, I have recently developed an interest in tree ferns.  This has led me to take notice of ferns in general and I noticed that there isn't a thread (recently at least) devoted to sharing our non-arborescent ferns.  

Palmtalk members, please share and discuss your ferns and all topics related to ferns and their cultivation, habitat, preservation, scientific and taxonomic matters, etc.

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I will get the ball rolling by sharing an interesting fern in my collection with a potential identity crisis.

Many years ago (at least 10) I purchased a Microsorum thailandicum, commonly known as the "blue oil fern" for its somewhat stiff strap-like leaves with an irridescent, oily-appearing, glaucous upper leaf surface.  A definite curiosity for plant enthusiasts of all tastes, Microsorum thailandicum was all the rage in the 2000s and could commonly be found for sale at venues ranging from orchid shows to farmer's market vendor booths to terrarium supply websites.  While this species can still be occasionally found for sale, it does not enjoy the popularity that it once saw and this interesting jewel of a plant has seemingly faded into obscurity.

Microsrum-thailandicum.gif.ad2a881cf7b43bc8a411054abde4c467.gif

https://www.exoticrainforest.com/Microsorum thailandicum pc.html

I managed to hang onto my plant over the years, not paying it much attention or giving it any special care above and beyond the occasional watering along with whichever plants were nearby.  My dad cared for the potted fern during my recent two-year absence and when I retrieved my plant collection that he had spent countless hours caring for in my absence, it was still in its pot clinging to life with a couple characteristic shiny blue straps sticking out of the badly compacted Florida soil it was potted in.

After this point, the fern was situated in a location where I gave it more nutrients, sunlight and water.  As a result, my "Microsorum thailandicum" really came into its own, gaining vigor and size and generally looking much healthier.  The thing is, in the past year, it appears to have become a different type of fern altogether.

The below photo is a recent picture of my fern.  I am thinking that either, the species Microsorum thailandicum can outgrow its distinctive blue, shiny leaves form and take on a more mature form, appearing like my plant pictured below, or my Microsorum thailandicum itself died and some other type of exotic fern species (perhaps the spores remained in the soil the whole time I had the plant?) grew up in its place.  My plant certainly does not look like any fern I am aware of that is native to Central Florida that might have volunteered from a local plant.  Maybe it even came from a nearby cultivated plant.  I am not sure, but I have to say that I like the look of the plant I now have.

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This little Florida native fern, the shoestring fern (Vittaria lineage) seems to grow so easily atrached to the trunks of Sabal palmetto, where it makes the forest looks so tropical, but I have difficulty keeping the species in cultivation.

This specimen is just barely clinging to life and I recently removed some of the orchid bark in its clear plastic pot because it was staying too wet.  My issue before with these is that they would outright die the second the rootmass dried out, yet I have seen them attached to dry Sabal palmetto trunks for extended periods of time with no rain.

If this one doesn't make it, I think my next attempt will involve attaching or slightly embedding the rootmass into the coconut coir of one of those coconut coir lined baskets and watering daily with purified water.  

Maybe the water quality is actually the issue.  I will experiment and find out.

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This one is just your basic everyday houseplant, the Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata).  Practically every homeowner I know in the area has some of this species growing wild in some part of their yards, but I figured I would still pot up a clump to keep as part of my collection.

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This lovely native fern, the cinnamon fern (Osmundastrum cinnamomeum) is frequently found in moist habitat throughout the state of Florida, where it is deciduous in North Florida and evergreen in the southern two-thirds of the state.

I frequently find this fern volunteering in areas where water seepage occurs on my grandparent's property (and on the house itself) and this attractive little specimen caught my eye, so I decided to make it a part of my small collection of ferns.

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This Florida native fern species, Phlebodium aureum, is a showy tropical fern species that manages to thrive even in the warmer subtropical regions pf Florida.  Found mainly on the trunks of Sabal palmetto in the southern two-thirds of the state, a few isolated populations may even exist in Southernmost Alabama and Southern Georgia.

I collected this piece from a local Sabal palmetto years back and kept it in a small pot, where it produced a frond or two per year for quite some time.  After I started watering and fertilizing this fern regularly last year, it really took off and it became apparent in the past couple of months that it was ready for much more room to spread out. 

I repotted the plant into a good general substrate mix for ferns (identical to my tree fern mix I believe) a couple weeks ago and it is already looking much happier, though at some point in the past couple months I think the snails have been having a hayday with it.  Note the generally ratty appearance of the mature leaves/fronds.

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  • 1 month later...

The shoestring fern, Vittaria lineata, is a tropical fern species which ranges north through most of the Florida Peninsula.  An epiphyte commonly found growing in moist forests and other areas, I only recall seeing this species growing on Sabal palmetto.  

In my attempts to grow this interesting species before, I have found it to be wholly intolerant of the root system drying out and I am also guessing the roots are sensitive to disturbance and I would also bet that it is somewhat sensitive to water quality.

I haven't had any luck growing this species before so this time I decided to look closely at how the plant and especially the roots grow on host trees in the wild.  I found this specimen growing with the root system tucked into a moist crevice between the boots of a Sabal palmetto in my grandma's yard.

To mimic these conditions, I removed an old boot from a Sabal palmetto and secured the plant to one side with garden twine.  I then sprinkled a thin layer of peat moss over the entire side of the boot as shown (including over the roots) then covered this in a thin layer of sphagnum moss followed by crumbled up moss that I found growing on rocks locally.  The final step was to cut and secure a layer of hardware cloth over the entire side of the Sabal palmetto boot to hold all of the substrate in place.

I plan to use only rainwater or purified water and to keep the substrate moist.  I was careful not to cover the leaves/fronds with substrate as the plant also seems prone to rot if the leaves stay wet.

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In terms of ferns native to my area, I cannot forgot about understated beauty of the resurrection fern (Pleopeltis polypodioides), nearly ubiquitis on the branches of large oaks in much of FL and the Deep South.  This humble fern forms a lovely carpet of green on large tree branches during the rainy season and is also accompanied by bromeliads and even orchids in the southern parts of its range within the Southern States, mainly Florida.

It has an interesting adaptive strategy to surviving seasonal dry periods by desiccating and appearing lifeless in the absence of available moisture and swelling back to life within hours after a good rain.

Naturally, I had to include this interesting epiphytic fern species in my collection and it has done quite well filling out a hanging orchid basket for a number of years now, never outgrowing the space provided. 

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I water once or twice per week in winter and about every other day in the hot season in the absence of daily rains.  I have never fertilized the plant, but I think it gets all the nutrients it needs from rain, runoff from the tree from which it hangs and from the decomposing piece of wood it was originally attached to that it has now encapsulated.

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Greysrigging, there are actually many ferns worldwide that look almost identical to Phlebodium aureum (and the fern species in your photo) to my novice eyes.  There are even a couple other rarer lookalike species native to Florida (South Florida in the latter cases).

The ferns you posted photos of are gorgeous in habitat.  Do you know which species these are?  I would not be surprised if the fern in the third photo is a different species than the rest.

My dad brought this one (Phlebodium aureum) home from one of his walks last week.  He also brought some resurrection ferns (Pleopeltis polypodioides) which I included in the somewhat strange looking arrangement.  It looks prettier and less mangey with better color in the daylight than at night in a photo taken with a flash.  Very difficult to see the ressurection ferns closer to the bonsai pot in the photo.

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I used to have ~0.5 acres of generic Boston Fern-looking things, they covered the entire backyard up to about 3 feet tall.  They now grow mostly along the back fenceline, though there have been a few popping up around a Sylvester and a Philodendron.  I also let loose a $5 "clearance special" "Macho Fern" Nephrolepis Biserrata in the SW semi-shady corner of the lot.  It's done well in the ground with no irrigation.  My neighbor has a massive cluster of them, about 15' diameter and easily 6' tall.  Other than that I've killed several "Australian Tree Ferns" due to drying out.  I may try some others some day...  :D

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Todd, I have also killed like 4 Australian tree ferns to drying out.  I had basically given up on them, but I am so far having good luck with the one I bought a few months ago.  They can just never have the soil dry out at all.

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15 hours ago, greysrigging said:

A native fern growing in Litchfield Park, south west of Darwin, Australia.
 

 

11 hours ago, palmsOrl said:

Greysrigging, there are actually many ferns worldwide that look almost identical to Phlebodium aureum (and the fern species in your photo) to my novice eyes.  There are even a couple other rarer lookalike species native to Florida (South Florida in the latter cases).

The ferns you posted photos of are gorgeous in habitat.  Do you know which species these are?  I would not be surprised if the fern in the third photo is a different species than the rest.

My dad brought this one (Phlebodium aureum) home from one of his walks last week.  He also brought some resurrection ferns (Pleopeltis polypodioides) which I included in the somewhat strange looking arrangement.  It looks prettier and less mangey with better color in the daylight than at night in a photo taken with a flash.  Very difficult to see the ressurection ferns closer to the bonsai pot in the photo.

These are Drynaria quercifolia. They are very widespread, occurring naturally right up into China. Here they're adapted to our long hot dry season and die back to the nest fronds. I have a lot of them at home. There's some from Queensland which stay evergreen, the same species.

gwn14013107.jpg.f8b7fa1ec008954c0805ca397aa12ecd.jpg

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I know that I have seen Phlebodium aureum suffer the affects of drought here as well, but I assume the rhizome survives, allowing the plant to regrow when the rains return.

I also recall seeing the plant freeze back in habitat (habitat in this case includes Orlando and the surrounding areas), back in the late 90s and early 2000s when it still used to freeze regularly here.  It is definitely a tropical fern species.   The species apparently ranges up the Peninsula to southernmost North Florida, but I never remember seeing it growing there.

I will be checking popular auction sites and Google periodically for the rarer Florida native species and perhaps some interesting exotic ones as well.  My first acquisition priority as far as native ferns go is the Florida native tree fern, Ctenitis sloanei, but I will discuss that more in the tree fern thread.

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This weedy fern species is a real pest in my yard.....literally takes over in the wet season, and looks dry and tatty/ratty in the dry season. I've pretty well given up trying to eradicate it
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Now, this one I like, dug them up from around the ablutions sheds and under dripping office air conditioners out at the Gas Plant construction site. The ones pictured have started coming up naturally at home from the transplanted parent ferns
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Edited by greysrigging
addition to post.
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This native one I often see around lakes and as a weed on seepage sites looks kind of similar to the second one you posted (not so much my specimen in the below photo, but the ones I see growing wild in the yard).

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7 hours ago, greysrigging said:

This weedy fern species is a real pest in my yard.....literally takes over in the wet season, and looks dry and tatty/ratty in the dry season. I've pretty well given up trying to eradicate it
118199216_305284757401255_9110098272691095648_n.jpg.f89cd4d2af43d9bcf27de6ef89499915.jpg

Now, this one I like, dug them up from around the ablutions sheds and under dripping office air conditioners out at the Gas Plant construction site. The ones pictured have started coming up naturally at home from the transplanted parent ferns
118246974_614808669175443_3334172439610521194_n.jpg.54bf8f6cdab2b07a10e9add356148fee.jpg
 

That's a Microsorum, I think M. scolopendria (in some places renamed Phymatosorus scolopendria). It's not native in the NT but is all over Darwin, with a lot of locals complaining they can't get rid of it (including me). There's a similar looking native one, Microsorum  grossum, the pinnae of which are more pointier. They can be a bit difficult to differentiate. I've found the native one out bush mainly around permanent springs and monsoon forests.

The second fern looks like another non native, I've forgotten the name. It turns up in potted plants in nurseries and is probably spread around from that. Although, there are some natives which do look like that as well. Probably need to check the sori for better identification.

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18 minutes ago, tropicbreeze said:

 

The second fern looks like another non native, I've forgotten the name. It turns up in potted plants in nurseries and is probably spread around from that. Although, there are some natives which do look like that as well. Probably need to check the sori for better identification.
 

Very common on long term construction sites ( both Gas Plants ) as long as there was/is permanent moisture ie under air cons, toilet blocks, smoko huts etc. Also saw it literally growimg on concrete cracks and walls at the old Stokes Hill Power Station during the demolition job.
The similar native one grows on the rocks on and near that Riparian patch of jungle, just off the highway at the 47 mile ( Marrakai Road )

Edited by greysrigging
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Here's my D. Antarctica.  You can't tell because of all of the Tradescantia but the trunk has a heavy bend.  It was supposed to be part of a mass planting somewhere but had fallen over in it's pot so it started growing on an angle and was rejected by the customer so I was able to buy it.  I have the trunk shimmed with a boulder and plan to slowly work it over months/years an inch or so at a time to see if I can get it back upright because it isn't self supporting in its current state.  Love the plant though, one of my favorites.  Looks a little rough now because the sprinklers are getting overgrown, but puts out about a frond or more a week.  I'm new to this area and I'm zoned 9a but it looks to have averaged out to a 9b over the past 10 years per online temperature data.  At what temperature do I need to think about protecting this guy?

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19 hours ago, Keys6505 said:

Here's my D. Antarctica.  You can't tell because of all of the Tradescantia but the trunk has a heavy bend.  It was supposed to be part of a mass planting somewhere but had fallen over in it's pot so it started growing on an angle and was rejected by the customer so I was able to buy it.  I have the trunk shimmed with a boulder and plan to slowly work it over months/years an inch or so at a time to see if I can get it back upright because it isn't self supporting in its current state.  Love the plant though, one of my favorites.  Looks a little rough now because the sprinklers are getting overgrown, but puts out about a frond or more a week.  I'm new to this area and I'm zoned 9a but it looks to have averaged out to a 9b over the past 10 years per online temperature data.  At what temperature do I need to think about protecting this guy?

This Australian Treefern occurs over a very wide area including colder and higher altitude locations. It should be able to cope with some periods of cold weather. Although it prefers constantly moist but well drained soil, it can also cope with a bit of drying out. Filtered sun and good layer of mulch helps.

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I saw this cute little bird's nest fern (Aspenium nidus) cultivar with ruffled fronds at Home Depot today and had to have it.  Should make a nice addition to my slowly growing fern collection.  I wonder if these form a "trunk" with age.

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I know from one past experience, that like most other subtropical/tropical rainforest ferns, they cannot tolerate drying out and do poorly in low humidity.  I will get it potted into my special soil mix tonight and that should be half the battle to growing this plant successfully.

-Michael

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How has the Dicksonia antarctica handled the Texas heat? Ive been coveting this species for awhile, but have never purchased one because I don't know if it can handle the summers here.

 

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4 hours ago, palmsOrl said:

I saw this cute little bird's nest fern (Aspenium nidus) cultivar with ruffled fronds at Home Depot today and had to have it.  Should make a nice addition to my slowly growing fern collection.  I wonder if these form a "trunk" with age.

I know from one past experience, that like most other subtropical/tropical rainforest ferns, they cannot tolerate drying out and do poorly in low humidity.  I will get it potted into my special soil mix tonight and that should be half the battle to growing this plant successfully.

-Michael

They don't form trunks. Normally they grow on trees or on rocks with roots spreading out through mosses and lichens, not in soil. They can get quite large, but not treefern size.

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23 hours ago, amh said:

How has the Dicksonia antarctica handled the Texas heat? Ive been coveting this species for awhile, but have never purchased one because I don't know if it can handle the summers here.

 

I plan on trying a Dicksonia antarctica at some point and keeping it inside when the high temperatures here are 90F +.  I think with proper soil and perhaps a terrarium while the plant is small and inside, it should do fine and be more adaptable when older, though it will likely still require being inside when it is hot, even when the plant gets larger.

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My grandma liked the appearance of my Oceanopteris gibba so much that she went ahead and ordered one (from then same vendor) for her porch.  See my plant in the below photo.

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She received her plant yesterday and while I believe it to be the same species, Oceanopteris gibba, the little tree fern is clearly a mutant/mutation of the normal form.  See the below photos of her new plant including the different looking fronds and mutated looking leaflets.  Any thoughts on this?

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Well, I was doing a little research into Florida native ferns, when I happened across a photo of a plant that I had found in a disturbed site under some Sabal palmetto.  Not sure what it was, I inquired on here a couple months back, but nobody was certain as to the strange-looking plant's true identity.  The consensus had been that is was likely some sort of clubmoss or spikemoss.

The photo I came across was a definite match for the plant in question and apparently, it is actually a fern (in a broad sense according to Wikipedia) in the genus Psilotum.  Psilotum nudum, or "whisk fern" to be exact.  Both members of this primitive genus have populations on several continents worldwide.  Further, these are apparently some of the most primitive vascular plants surviving today.

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Psilotum reproduce via spore borne within tiny spherical structures called synangia.  These can be clearly seen in the photo along the branch like structures of my plant.

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These are apparently quite common in Central Florida and are hardy to zone 8b.

-Michael

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 7/6/2020 at 9:24 AM, palmsOrl said:

I will get the ball rolling by sharing an interesting fern in my collection with a potential identity crisis.

Many years ago (at least 10) I purchased a Microsorum thailandicum, commonly known as the "blue oil fern" for its somewhat stiff strap-like leaves with an irridescent, oily-appearing, glaucous upper leaf surface.  A definite curiosity for plant enthusiasts of all tastes, Microsorum thailandicum was all the rage in the 2000s and could commonly be found for sale at venues ranging from orchid shows to farmer's market vendor booths to terrarium supply websites.  While this species can still be occasionally found for sale, it does not enjoy the popularity that it once saw and this interesting jewel of a plant has seemingly faded into obscurity.

Microsrum-thailandicum.gif.ad2a881cf7b43bc8a411054abde4c467.gif

https://www.exoticrainforest.com/Microsorum thailandicum pc.html

I managed to hang onto my plant over the years, not paying it much attention or giving it any special care above and beyond the occasional watering along with whichever plants were nearby.  My dad cared for the potted fern during my recent two-year absence and when I retrieved my plant collection that he had spent countless hours caring for in my absence, it was still in its pot clinging to life with a couple characteristic shiny blue straps sticking out of the badly compacted Florida soil it was potted in.

After this point, the fern was situated in a location where I gave it more nutrients, sunlight and water.  As a result, my "Microsorum thailandicum" really came into its own, gaining vigor and size and generally looking much healthier.  The thing is, in the past year, it appears to have become a different type of fern altogether.

The below photo is a recent picture of my fern.  I am thinking that either, the species Microsorum thailandicum can outgrow its distinctive blue, shiny leaves form and take on a more mature form, appearing like my plant pictured below, or my Microsorum thailandicum itself died and some other type of exotic fern species (perhaps the spores remained in the soil the whole time I had the plant?) grew up in its place.  My plant certainly does not look like any fern I am aware of that is native to Central Florida that might have volunteered from a local plant.  Maybe it even came from a nearby cultivated plant.  I am not sure, but I have to say that I like the look of the plant I now have.

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I figured out what's what with this one.  My Microsorum thailandicum obviously died at some point last year and the Florida native tropical epiphytic fern species Campyloneurum phyllitidis just so happened to pop up in its place.  C. phyllitidis is one of those Florida native tropical species that ranges north to roughly the middle of Central Florida, but this particular species is not officially vouchered as being present in Orange or Seminole Counties, but a spore made it to my garden nonetheless and I am happy to have yet another Florida native fern.

Based on a number of photos for comparison, including the following one from Wikipedia, I am pretty certain my fern is indeed Campyloneurum phyllitidis.

1200px-Matthaei_Botanical_Gardens_-_IMG_8985.thumb.jpeg.2577e5872a894509e4882c008efdb06e.jpeg

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I found this cute little Asplenium nidus, a bird's nest fern at a local nursery in Winter Park yesterday.  I decided to go ahead and put it in a nice decorative pot with lots of room to grow since the soil mixture I have come up with is so light and airy.

I think this one is the standard variety of the species.  There was a lady next to me looking through the tiny potted plants who was also looking for ferns.

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Palmer's Nursery in Winter Park, north of Orlando is a great local garden center to support.  They do tend to have a selection of a few palms (usually a few Cocos), as well as seasonal flowers, landscape plants, foliage plants, specialty plants (especially caudiciforms, succulents and cacti) and gardening tools and supplies.  The prices are reasonable for what they offer and everything is healthy and well-grown.  I once saw a Licuala grandis for sale there.

-Michael

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On 10/2/2020 at 7:02 PM, palmsOrl said:

I found this cute little Asplenium nidus, a bird's nest fern at a local nursery in Winter Park yesterday.  I decided to go ahead and put it in a nice decorative pot with lots of room to grow since the soil mixture I have come up with is so light and airy.

I think this one is the standard variety of the species.

They are surprisingly forgiving of a bit of neglect ( providing they've happily established themselves in a good spot )
My large one is in full shade for 6 months of the year, then the other 6 months ( during the 'Wet' ) gets post noon sun. It does scorch a bit initially, but certainly doesn't stop the growth.

This one sometimes gets a tad sunburnt in December with heat and not a great deal of cloud cover, but it is in shade until about 1.00pm.Bright shade/dappled sunlight is fine. This one has produced heaps of babies on my rock borders in the surrounding garden.... all in full shade.My mother has a couple double the size of this one in Camden NSW that is in a sunnier position than mine. Struggles on the +44c days but is big and mature enough to bounce back with cooler weather. My father had them growing in the shade of a Camphor Laurel tree... I had to leave some behind when they moved to to the Retirement Village.
During the shaded part of the year...
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New pups appearing on the rocks nearby.....
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A bit scorched as the plant gets some of sun from about mid September until Mid March.
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  • 2 months later...

I picked up a "Wart Fern" aka Microsorum scolopendria at a local Lowe's yesterday, it has runners reaching out of the pot in all different directions.  Some people have said that this one isn't an aggressive spreader, but tropicbreeze said above that this one is impossible to eradicate.  If my old collection of generic Boston ferns grows out into places I don't want it, I just yank it out of the ground and most of the time it takes a while to try and spread back in.  I introduced the "Macho Fern" into the SW corner and it's growing pretty well so far.  It seems about as aggressive as the Boston fern, so not too tough to keep under control.  Does anyone have experience with planting M. Scolopendria in Central Florida?

On my local bike path I spotted another fern, which to me looks a lot like the Phlebodium aureum.  Leaves are about 1 foot wide and 2-3 feet long, not including the stem.  Any idea if that's what it is?  There are 3 clumps, I was thinking about stopping by with a shovel and grabbing one of them...  :D

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And the last one I really liked is the "Giant Leather Fern" Acrostichum danaeifolium.  At least I think that's what it is.  I saw a bunch at the Sanford Zoo over Thanksgiving and now I really want to grow them.  I read they need continuously swampy conditions, so it might be difficult.  The ones at the zoo were growing directly in the alligator ponds, so clearly they love water!

 

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On 9/2/2020 at 11:27 PM, amh said:

How has the Dicksonia antarctica handled the Texas heat? Ive been coveting this species for awhile, but have never purchased one because I don't know if it can handle the summers here.

 

Sorry I hadn't noticed your question earlier.  The Antarctica came through the summer fine, although it admittedly does look a little worse now than it did in the spring.  It was noticably more sensitive to being underwatered when it was hot out, though.  It also suffered when the Crape Myrtle supplying some of the shade started dropping leaves while there were still some days with strong sun.  My tweaks for next year are going to be to try to lightly amend the soil with some peat/humus for a little more water retention, more mulch, and adjusting the sprinklers so they don't get overgrown with a supplemental drip line on the crown.  It saw one night of 29.8 so far, although the frost didn't affect it because of the oak canopy, but no cold damage.  It's still slowly pushing new fronds even now, so at this point I'd chalk them up as TX friendly.

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5 hours ago, Keys6505 said:

Sorry I hadn't noticed your question earlier.  The Antarctica came through the summer fine, although it admittedly does look a little worse now than it did in the spring.  It was noticably more sensitive to being underwatered when it was hot out, though.  It also suffered when the Crape Myrtle supplying some of the shade started dropping leaves while there were still some days with strong sun.  My tweaks for next year are going to be to try to lightly amend the soil with some peat/humus for a little more water retention, more mulch, and adjusting the sprinklers so they don't get overgrown with a supplemental drip line on the crown.  It saw one night of 29.8 so far, although the frost didn't affect it because of the oak canopy, but no cold damage.  It's still slowly pushing new fronds even now, so at this point I'd chalk them up as TX friendly.

Its good to know it can handle heat, my main problem now would be cold. I guess container growing is my only option.

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15 hours ago, Keys6505 said:

My tweaks for next year are going to be to try to lightly amend the soil with some peat/humus for a little more water retention, more mulch, and adjusting the sprinklers so they don't get overgrown with a supplemental drip line on the crown. 

I've failed a couple of times with regular "Australian Tree Ferns" here in Central Floriduh, but it seems the main reason is that the root area dried out for a day or two in the summer.  At some point I'll have some shade here and will try again.  I use dripline for almost all of my plants, do you actually put a 0.5gph or 1gph (or more?) dripper directly into the top of the crown?  I'd read somewhere that they don't like overhead watering, but that didn't make sense to me. 

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While doing some digging regarding propagating Ferns via Spores, specifically using Petri Dishes,  came across this article and thought i'd share.. Particularly for anyone interested in growing Xeric-type Ferns, ie: ( Astrolepis = Cloak Fern; Myriopteris = Star/ Lip Ferns; Pellaea = Brake/ Coffee Ferns,  etc.. ) which are relatively uncommon in cultivation, don't establish well ( if at all ) when collected  **may also be illegal to do so in many cases/places**  but are great additions for hot/ dry locations.  Spore- germinated specimens adapt to the garden far easier..

While the focus of the article is on a couple species in the Genus Myriopteris, pretty sure this technique will work with pretty much any other fern sp./genera as well. Note the fertilizer -to -germinating substrate ratio.. Might be variable for other Genera..

https://www.amerfernsoc.org/xeric-ferns

Definitely want to explore this in the future..

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31 minutes ago, Silas_Sancona said:

While doing some digging regarding propagating Ferns via Spores, specifically using Petri Dishes,  came across this article and thought i'd share.. Particularly for anyone interested in growing Xeric-type Ferns, ie: ( Astrolepis = Cloak Fern; Myriopteris = Star/ Lip Ferns; Pellaea = Brake/ Coffee Ferns,  etc.. ) which are relatively uncommon in cultivation, don't establish well ( if at all ) when collected  **may also be illegal to do so in many cases/places**  but are great additions for hot/ dry locations.  Spore- germinated specimens adapt to the garden far easier..

While the focus of the article is on a couple species in the Genus Myriopteris, pretty sure this technique will work with pretty much any other fern sp./genera as well. Note the fertilizer -to -germinating substrate ratio.. Might be variable for other Genera..

https://www.amerfernsoc.org/xeric-ferns

Definitely want to explore this in the future..

Almost forgot, for those interested, the American Fern Society has a Spore inventory to purchase from.. Current list is as of Dec. 3rd.

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7 hours ago, Merlyn said:

I've failed a couple of times with regular "Australian Tree Ferns" here in Central Floriduh, but it seems the main reason is that the root area dried out for a day or two in the summer.  At some point I'll have some shade here and will try again.  I use dripline for almost all of my plants, do you actually put a 0.5gph or 1gph (or more?) dripper directly into the top of the crown?  I'd read somewhere that they don't like overhead watering, but that didn't make sense to me. 

This is my first go-round with the tree ferns so it's entirely trial and error at this point, but if I'm remembering correctly I've read articles that stated that keeping the trunk wet was more important that ensuring the fronds get direct moisture.  I can't remember where it was but one collector claimed he had drip lines on all his tree ferns and he had a bunch.  I had assumed it was applied directly to the crown but now that you bring it up I'll definitely research it more before drowning them.  Hoping to add a C. Cooperi to the collection this year so Id like to figure it out sooner rather than later.

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I am thinking about adding a couple of other ferns to the yard this spring.  Cyrtomium falcatum (holly fern), Adiantum Hispidulum (Rosy Maidenhair), Dryopteris erythrosora (Autumn Brilliance),  Arachniodes simplicior 'Variegata' (Variegated Holly Fern), Osmunda cinnamomea (Cinnamon Fern), Osmundia Regalis (Royal Fern).  I already have generic Boston fern widespread, Macho fern in the SW corner, and Monarch/Wart fern in a big 3G pot.  And I can collect a clump of the previously pictured fern, which kind of looks like a Phlebodium aureum.

Any thoughts on the above options?  I don't have a lot of interest in anything that's just basic green, which is why most of the above have some interesting coloring.  I don't want to let loose anything more invasive than a Boston fern, so I'd like to avoid super-aggressive growers.

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