Cheryl Harner's Flora and Butterfly Blog
Weedpicker's Journal: Discover the native plants of Ohio and the butterflies that utilize them.
Resurrection Fern March 23, 2008
photo

Many interesting ferns are to be found in the south. We encountered one in the cemeteries of New Orleans where it sprouted in any available crack or crevice holding moisture. Giving life and greenery to otherwise stark above-ground crypts, lush tentacles of growth softened these somber ruins.

Easter would be an apropos time to study another fern, the Resurrection Fern, Pleopeltis polypodioides. (Check the March 26th blog for the correct photo) A native fern, known in southern states, seems to be a prolific opportunist.

Found in a natural setting, the trunks and limbs of trees along the southern most stops of the Natchez Trace appeared coated in wooly blankets of green ferns. A park ranger pointed out their interesting ability to turn brown and go dormant during dry periods, only to rehydrate and unfold lush fern foliage shortly after a rain. Amazingly, these plants are more adept at water conservation than a camel, as they can endure several years of drought and still survive. Hence, the moniker resurrection fern is an apt descriptor of this plant’s unusual behavior.

Travel provides opportunities to appreciate all manner of unusual plants, animals and adaptive behaviors. The world is never dull if you look around and admire nature's abilities and the creative tricks some plants and animals employ for survival.

2008-03-24 01:23:14 GMT
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