Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Life Cycle of Interrupted Ferns: Part 2: The Interruption Appears

This is the second of a three part series on the life cycle of interrupted ferns from May 4 - June 15. In this installment you will see the fiddleheads growing larger, the ferns growing taller and the spore appear. The first two photos, above and below, are from May 14 — 10 days after the tiny fiddleheads appeared on the bank of my brook in the woods. The way the fronds grow is so mathematically rich that I focused on them entirely.

The photograph below is from May 17. You can see how tall the ferns have grown.

This is the only Vermont fern that has the spore in the middle of the frond — which is why it is called "interrupted." In this photo you can see this clearly. Click on any of the photographs to see them full-size in a new window. I first spotted the spore on May 17. The last two photos are from May 24 — seven days later. The spore are more pronounced. Please click here and here to see macros of the spore itself.

I will continue this series with one more post for summer growth. In the fall and winter I will pick it up again to see what happens to interrupted ferns then.

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  1. Your fern rests in the winter, here in Florida ours grow all year round. In a day or two I will post a picture of a fern in my garden. It is not a tree fern but it is big.

  2. Great post.. your pictures are awesome and just get getting each time I visit.


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