Sunday, June 13, 2010

Resurrection fern

Resurrection fern, originally uploaded by Elizabeth Smith.

A captivating little fern found throughout Florida, resurrection fern is named for its ability to transform withered brown tangles into vibrant green fronds after a rain. The small fronds are variable – these are about 4 to 6 inches long, including the stem.

These fronds were found on the ground, I’m not sure if they were dropped there by birds, squirrels, or a landscaping crew. Normally they grow on the rough bark of trees such as oaks or cypress, either on the sides of the trunk or higher up in the canopy.

Below is a watercolor sketch of a patch of resurrection fern I did two years ago, showing how thick it can grow. The fern does not hurt the tree it lives on, but gets nutrients from the air, much like other epiphytyes.

You can read more about resurrection fern here from the University of Florida.

You can click on the images above to view them larger on my Flickr photostream.