Monday, April 16, 2007

Fern Magic

An exuberant patch of Sword Ferns--Polystichum (many rows) munitum(armed)--wonderfully Medusa-ish in all that un-whirling.
I've wondered where the idea for a treble clef design came from, and I have to say it's from a fern. Has to be.
Here is the frond of a Lady Fern--Athyrium (no sheild) filix-femina(fern woman) with an interesting contrast to latin name above. Ferns never fail to amaze me in how they pack their frond into a such a tight little package--the entire form is there, ready to expand as it unrolls. First the main stem, then each blade-leaf uncurls. Lady Ferns prefer wet ground, and since this patch is growing on a dry hillside, I think there must be a spring under it's feet.
How did they learn to do this??? Ferns are a very old primeval plant. I don't know anything about how ferns evolved, but its modern frond launching system is pretty cool!

2 comments:

cyndy said...

Beautiful photos of the unwhirling fronds...like butterfly tongues!

Larry said...

Great photos of unwinding fronds, Celeste; also one of my favorite photo subjects!