Thursday, April 26, 2012

A study in croziers (fiddleheads)

Intermediate wood fernIntermediate wood fern

Ostrich fernOstrich fern

Cinnamon fernCinnamon fern

Cinnamon fern + Intermediate fernHay-scented fern

Sensitive fern

What: 1) The wood fern had totally colonized an old stump (possibly white pine, as much of the pine had been logged in that area in recent history). 2) Ostrich fern is past its peak with just a few scattered fiddleheads - or croziers - still furled enough to harvest. The rest were almost entirely unfurled, but still only about 1-2' tall. 3) Someone had harvested some of the cinnamon fern and its sap had congealed into this hard jelly type crust on the broken stem. I think I might have mis-labeled an interrupted fern as cinnamon fern in a previous post. The two next to each other shows a pretty clear contrast in the color of fuzz coating each species. Cinnamon fern is the oranger of the two. Ryan showed me a photo of a white fuzzed fiddlehead with clear sporangia on the middle pinnae of one of the fiddleheads (Cathy Paris pointed this out to him). 4) The hay-scented fern reminded me of comedy and tragedy. These grow in a pretty dense patch under the powerlines. 5) Sensitive fern seems to be awfully red. I forgot to take note if there was more red on ones in the open than ones in shade. Next time I'm out...

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