7 responses to “Asplenium scolopendrium”

  1. Connie Hoge

    Gorgeous! You must love your job.

  2. ClementKent

    Hart’s Tongue fern grows abundantly along the limestone rocks of the Niagara Escarpment and is wonderful to see in midwinter growing alongside Christmas Fern in the snow. Although it should not be collected from the wild, as the picture beautifully shows spores can be gently harvested from the ripe sori (a tiny bit goes a long way – press a damp paper towel to a small part of a leaf). I’ve grown them in sterilized peat moss or soil with some crushed limestone added. I used a petri dish but a shallow pot covered with plastic wrap would work. Never let it dry and keep it in a north window or under lights. After some time you’ll see a faint sheen of what looks tiny liverworts on the surface. These are the gametophytes, tiny plants that produce the fern equivalent of pollen and eggs. When they get reasonably big, open the cover and drop distilled water on the gametophytes from high enough up to make little splashes, then cover back up. After another while, tiny ferns begin to grow. When they are a centimeter or so you can very slowly expose them to less humid air, and finally transplant them to pots of limy medium.
    Over all, the process took me the better part of a year, but was fascinating to observe and is totally suited to indoor gardeners.

  3. MulchMaid

    I’m coming to realize that Asplenium are some of my favorite ferns. This shot beautifully shows their appeal. Thanks for the interesting write-up regarding their reproductive options!

  4. Lance Wright

    I have in more recent years started growing more of the ferns not native to the PNW as well as a couple Chelianthes. Not having studied ferns, only grown plants others have propagated, I imagine ferns success must be attributable to the shear number of spore produced. Their two stage reproduction process, with gametophytes intermediate, would seem to be a hinderance, as both gametophytes and the ‘adult’ forms must find suitable conditions to survive. Obviously their long history proves their ‘strategy’ to be a successful one, but on the face of it, it would seem to be a more difficult path.

  5. MichaelF

    Is the UBC specimen here A. s. scolopendrium or A. s. americanum?
    If they are diploid and polyploid respectively, there’s a good case to be made for splitting them as separate species; they can’t produce fertile hybrid offspring.

  6. Peony Fan

    Great photo! So interesting to hear about the reproductive process.

  7. Therese Romer

    Thanks for the beautiful photo and the fascinating write-up & comments.
    I enjoy the excitement of opening each of your new posts : what will today’s bring ??
    Therese in Montreal

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