The Fern Lover's Companion eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 98 pages of information about The Fern Lover's Companion.

[Illustration:  The Spleenworts 1.  Narrow-leaved 2.  Ebony 3.  Rue 4.  Scott’s 5.  Maidenhair 6.  Green 7.  Mountain]



Small, evergreen ferns.  Fruit-dots oblong or linear, oblique, separate when young.  Indusium straight or rarely curved, fixed lengthwise on the upper side of a fertile veinlet, opening toward the midrib.  Veins free.  Scales of rhizome and stipes narrow, of firm texture and with thick-walled cells.

(1) PINNATIFID SPLEENWORT. Asplenium pinnatifidum

Fronds four to six inches long, lanceolate, pinnatifid or pinnate near the base, tapering above into a slender prolongation.  Lobes roundish-ovate, or the lower pair acuminate.  Fruit-dots irregular, numerous.  Stipes tufted, two to four inches long, brownish beneath, green above.

Although this fern, like all the small spleenworts, is heavily fruited, it is extremely rare.  It is found as far north as Sharon, Conn., thence southward to Georgia, to Arkansas and Missouri.  On cliffs and rocks.  Resembles the walking fern, and its tip sometimes takes root.

(2) SCOTT’S SPLEENWORT. Asplenium ebenoides

Fronds four to ten inches long, broadly lanceolate, pinnatifid or pinnate below, tapering to a prolonged and slender apex.  Divisions lanceolate from a broad base.  Fruit-dots straight or slightly curved.  Stipe and rachis brown.

[Illustration:  Pinnatifid Spleenwort. Asplenium pinnatifidum a, Small Plants from Harper’s Ferry; b, Sori on Young Fronds (From Waters’s “Ferns,” Henry Holt & Co.)]

[Illustration:  Scott’s Spleenwort. Asplenium ebenoides a, from Virginia; b, from Alabama; c, from Maryland (From Waters’s “Ferns,” Henry Holt & Co.)]

Resembles the last, and like that has been known to root at the tip.  It is a hybrid between the walking fern and the ebony spleenwort, as proved by Miss Margaret Slosson, and may be looked for in the immediate vicinity of its parents.  It was discovered by R.R.  Scott, in 1862, at Manayunk, Pa., a suburb of Philadelphia, and described by him in the Gardener’s Monthly of September, 1865.  Vermont to Alabama, Missouri, and southward.  Rare, but said to be plentiful in a deep ravine near Havana, Ala.

[Illustration:  Green Spleenwort. Asplenium viride]

(3) GREEN SPLEENWORT. Asplenium viride

Fronds two to ten inches long, linear, pinnate, pale green.  Pinnae roundish-ovate, crenate, with indistinct and forking midveins.  Stalks tufted, short, brownish below, green above.  Rachis green.

Discovered at Smuggler’s Notch, Mt.  Mansfield, Vt., by C.G.  Pringle in 1876.  Found sparingly at Willoughby Lake, high on the cliffs of Mt.  Horr.  This rare and delicate little plant bears a rather close resemblance to the maidenhair spleenwort, which, however, has dark stipes instead of green.

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The Fern Lover's Companion from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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