Sunday, January 29, 2012

Green in Winter: Christmas Fern

Polystichum acrostichoides grows in a variety of woodlands and is especially at home on north and east facing slopes. The acrostic fertile portion of the blade normally withers away after sporulation, so it is only occasionally visible in winter (acrostic = densely fertile, as in Acrostichum, a tropical fern genus) .

This attractive, native fern has blades that are coriaceous (thick and leathery), stipes (lower stems) that are densely scaly, and pinnae (side branches) with auricles (ears) near their proximal end (nearest the point of attachment).

Photographed on December 24, 2011 at Potato Creek State Park, St. Joseph County, Indiana

"A beautiful form has as much life at one season as another."

Henry David Thoreau


Pete said...

Love the photos with the frosting of snow on the blades.

Keith said...

Thanks very much Pete! It's surprising what a challenge it is to find green plants with just a dusting. It seems that on the weekends they're either buried under snow or there is no snow at all.

Justin R. Thomas said...


Another great post. Thanks for keeping the GYBO ball rolling with your "Green in Winter" series. I'm really enjoying it.

Keith said...

Hey thanks Justin - much appreciated! Yesterday I was on a steep slope trying to photograph Dryopteris marginalis with a dusting of snow, but I kept sliding away from the plants as I would try to get photos! It was funny and frustrating at the same time.