Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Goldie's gold edge

For as long as folks can remember, I have been a weedpicker, starting as a small child who filled vases with Spring Beauties and Violets. However, ferns have always seemed too complex and befuddling for me to ID. It is such shame, as I work for a great fern-master, Steve McKee, and he has tried to lure me to the "dark side" of the forest.

Steve recently made a tremendous find in a shaded valley of the Mohican Forest, the elusive Goldie's Fern, Dryopteris goldiana. My idea of general impression of size and shape was that of the Osmunda genus of ferns, but the scales at the base of the plant place it firmly among the wood ferns.

Be still my heart! I think this may be my "spark-fern!" (Click on the photo to enlarge)
The gold-flecking makes this fern utterly distinct, look closely- the yellowing is not age, but rather beauty marks for ferns.

And the general scenery in this valley is breath-taking. Huge slabs of rock jut from the earth so uncharacteristic for the midst of Ohio's glaciated flat-lands. This is my Mohican country!

Another rarity found in the same area, Glade fern, Diplazium pycnocarpon waves its ripply fronds in the breeze. To learn more about ferns, you'll want to join Steve on the upcoming trip to Fern Valley. See the Gorman Nature Center website for details.

1 comment:

  1. If you visit Kingwood Center in Mansfield, be certain to look for the Goldie's Ferns planted in the woodland gardens! It is my new favorite-