Friday, 27 June 2014

Ferns

If you go through the overgrown hedge into the old tree nursery near post 17, you can find five different species of fern less than five metres apart.
 
 
This is the Soft Shield FernThe leaf of a fern is called the frond and each side branch is a pinna.  The small divisions of the pinna are called pinnules and on this fern they are shaped like little mittens with a tiny thumb. 

We also have the Male Fern, which is our biggest and boldest fern not counting bracken.

The Broad Buckler Fern has fronds that are divided three times so it is very 'ferny'.  It has pinnae, pinnules and pinnulets.

The Lady Fern is a more delicate species with frilly edges to the pinnules.  It used to be thought that it was the female version of the male fern but they are actually quite distinct species.

And Polypody, which grows on old trees and on walls.  It is singly pinnate with pinnae but no pinnules or pinnulets.  This one is growing at the base of the old hawthorn on the right of the picture below (taken in April).

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