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!


cyndy said...

Beautiful photos of the unwhirling butterfly tongues!

Larry said...

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