Monday, January 16, 2012

What's That in The Tree?

tree chickens and moved shrubs 001 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! 

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Isn't this fern great? 
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It grows up the limb...covering all the bark.
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See how green and lush the ferns were on Tuesday? 

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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? 

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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.

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©Copyright 2012 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.

14 comments:

  1. How pretty and amazing. I love how nature finds a way to keep on going. Glad it wasn't poison ivy. LOL!

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  2. I especially love the last photograph. Seems appropriate; a cemetery and a ressurection plant. I never knew how they grew although my mother always had one in a bowl when I was growing up.

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    1. NCmountainwoman, I thought it was appropriate too! I bet you have it around your place.

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  3. How totally cool is that?? That tree is one awesome ecosystem!

    They have the registration form up and itinerary for the Spring Fling-going?

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    1. Tina, I thought it was cool too. I will go over and check out the itinerary....still thinking about how long to stay.

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  4. Wow--that is gorgeous and amazing. Nature just blows me away. Thanks for sharing--now, I'm going to take a walk through our forest today and see if I can find a resurrection fern! Crossing my fingers...

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    1. Julie, I bet you will find some! It is in many places in our area. Nature is pretty cool.

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  5. I love discovering symbiotic relationships in nature. It always amazes me!
    A terrific discovery on your part.

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    1. Rosey, it is a great relationship. Nature finds a way doesn't it?

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  7. What a fantastic fern and what good eyes you have to spot it! The fronds aren't very big and with the changing back and forth between green and brown I imagine this would be hard to spot for what it is.

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    1. Marguerite, I am always looking for 'something' as we drive from home. It is always fun to find something new.

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  8. Hi Janet, I am a sucker for all ferns. They are usually just so pretty and delicate. This one is particularly interesting with its method of conserving energy until conditions are more favourable.

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