Tuesday, June 03, 2008
My Next Door Fern
See how this fern is draped along the crack of this boulder? That’s one of the ways to identify it. The fern is a common polypody, and they make a living out of inserting themselves into places where other plants aren’t interested in growing. Their name means "many footed." Other names for them are rock polypody, rock cap fern, Virginia polypode and in Quebec tripes-de-roches. A newly described polypody that’s very similar to the common polypode is now called Appalachian polypode. This does not seem to be that species, which is described as having the middle of the frond slightly wider than the base.
This fern is also evergreen, a fact to which I can attest, as I see this particular fern every day and have for at least a few years. In winter, it’s one of the few spots of green in my otherwise brown (or white) landscape so I always make a point of looking for it. I have tried to photograph it many times, and so far I haven’t been satisfied with a single photo, including this one. It’s a small fern, and when I’m far enough away so you can see the interesting rock around it, the fern doesn’t show up very well. When I’m close enough to get a decent photo of the fern, the rock isn’t visible.