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All Shades of Green—-A Plant Perspective


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Four Feisty Ferns

I’m studying plants for the CPH exam (certified professional horticulturist) and am fearful of the ferns.  They are long on Latin and difficult to memorize…so many syllables!  Here are some of the meanings of these four feisty ferns.  (From Dictionary of Plant Names by Timber Press)

Blechnum spicant or Deer Fern.  This is an evergreen native fern.     Blechnum is a Greek name for fern.  Spicant is tufted or hard fern.

Polystichum munitum  or Sword Fern.  Another evergreen native.  Polystichum means many rows, referring to the arrangement of sori.  Munitum is armed with teeth (leaf edges are toothed).

Dryopteris erythrosora or Autumn Fern has evergreen foliage.  Dryopteris means oak fern (growing beneath oaks?) and erythrosora is with red sori.

Athyrium niponicum ‘pictum’ is the Japanese painted fern, a deciduous plant.  Athyrium means without a door, for the enclosed sori, and nipponicum  is ‘from Japan’, pictum means painted.

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