Friday, May 24, 2013

Sensitive Fern

In a wet place in a back corner of our property there is a bog full of siberian iris, spearmint, apple mint, a large swamp rose and these ferns.   Also a lot of jewelweed and a purple perilla, but more on those later.

The ferns are coming up.

We only have 4 kinds of ferns in the woods and you'd think it would be easy to Google ID them, but I had to do a bit of chasing around to figure out exactly what these were.   I started here for general ID purposes.  Those pics gave me the family I was looking for.

Usually I like to use the Latin name, because sites that use the Latin generally have more complete information.

Generally.   In this case, I didn't get very far until I used the common name.   That got me another Latin name - the right one - which got me a lot more information and a firmer ID. 

This is the Sensitive Fern.   Onoclea sensibilis.   It loves the creek - especially where it floods a lot.   I like it because it gets tall enough to hide other, less attractive weeds.  [You know who you are.] and it looks like it's there on purpose instead of just a happy accident.

This fern shoots up a seed stalk that's about 30 inches tall and turns brown and lasts through the winter.  Very distinctive.   If you think you have these, look for the stalk.   It's a great way to ID these through the winter.

1 comment:

  1. Oh! Those seed stalks are quite striking. I've never run across any of these before but I'll be on the lookout for them now!


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