Cyrtomium caryotideum

A bona fide native of Japan is featured today, with the photograph courtesy of Eric in SF@Flickr: Cyrtomium caryotideum. Thanks once again!

Cyrtomium caryotideum has a number of common names: dwarf holly fern, dwarf netvein hollyfern, and fishtail holly fern, to name a few in English. Though fronds can reach approximately 70 cm, the “dwarf” part of the common names refers to how this species compares to others in its genus (Cyrtomium falcatum is about twice the height). Holly and fishtail are both allusions to how the pinnae resemble such things.

In today’s photograph, dozens of sori, or clusters of spore-producing structures, are obvious beneath each pinna. Fern spores when homosporous (all spores are roughly the same size and type), as they are in Cyrtomium, can permit long-distance dispersal. Light and very easily airborne, the spores of Cyrtomium caryotideum have likely helped this species disperse across a wide range: not only is the species native to Japan, but also China, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Philippines and Hawaii (link contains many photographs of the species).

Cyrtomium caryotideum

2 responses to “Cyrtomium caryotideum”

  1. Dawn in Vancouver

    Ferns can be so difficult to photograph in a way that truly does them justice. This one captures some of the finer details of a lovely fern that most people would pass by without a second thought. Beautiful!

  2. elizabeth a airhart

    thank you eric for another fine photo of the day
    it would seem in the bygone days people thought that ferns
    had seeds even shakespere in henry the iv- nay by my faith, i think
    you are more beholding to the night then to fern-seed for your walk
    thank you daniel i do like this series on plants native to japan

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