Monday, 9 November 2015

Frilly Fern


At Filnore Woods we have a lot of Hart's Tongue Fern (Asplenium scolopendrium).  It has flat undivided leaves with slightly wavy edges.  I should say 'fronds' for a fern -  they're not strictly leaves from a botanical point of view.  It's the only British fern with undivided fronds.

A hart is a male red deer and the specific name 'scolopendrium' according to wikipedia, is the latin word for centipede.  This is because the brown spore cases on the back of the leaves once reminded somebody of centipede's legs.

photo:bbc gardening plantfinder

Hart's tongue is a woodland fern and prefers alkaline or limey soils, or rocks including walls.  So if you see it you can be fairly confident the soil is over limestone and therefore alkaline. 


But in the photo below, this particular specimen, growing in the old tree nursery, has extraordinarily frilly fronds.


Oh the wondrous variety of nature!

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