Near the wonderful oak tree I shared in the posting 'Just For Fun' is this tree. It sits along the ridge right next to the road. This summer I saw something green, growing on the trunk and its limb. At one point we stopped the truck and I made the initial identification of a large vine of poison ivy. Well, after all these freezing nights the poison ivy has long since lost its leaves. Driving by on Tuesday I noticed it still had something green up in the crotches and along the trunk.
I stopped the car (though I didn't get out) and started taking pictures. I was amazed to see it was the Resurrection Fern! I first encountered this fern on one of our trips through the countryside. It was when I found the Burr Oak. Resurrection Fern, Polypodium polypodioides is a hardy fern. This is a native fern, hardy from Delaware to Southern Florida. It is an epiphyte, using the host plant for an anchor and grows in the cracks of the bark of trees. All the water and nutrients come from the rain and dust in the air. When there is no rain the fronds curl up and are scaly and grey. When moisture is reintroduced, the fern resurrects!
Isn't this fern great?
It grows up the limb...covering all the bark.
See how green and lush the ferns were on Tuesday?
Now on Sunday we went out and Charlie stopped the truck and I was able to get out and take more pictures. We had some really cold nights between Tuesday and Sunday, with no rain. See how dry and brownish grey the ferns are?
I will have to go back after a rainfall and see if, even in this mild but winter time, it will resurrect again!
It is easy to propagate, take a piece of the fern, making sure you have some root material and place it in a tree of your choice. You can read more about the Resurrection Fern at Floridata.
The best thing about this Resurrection Fern? The tree it is growing on is in a family cemetery that has been there for ages. One of these days I will check out some of the old headstones.
©Copyright 2012 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford.
words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.