Native Ferns

The mission today is to attempt identifying the ferns found in the garden. As these were growing near together, I assumed they were the same but actually inspecting and comparing the specimens, this now appears incorrect, as one has a distinct ‘frilliness’ to the edges with what could be described as a twist or curl to the leaf (I’m sure that has a proper term but lets stay with something simple for now). In comparison, the other is far more uniform in growth and definitely flatter.

Both lack the ‘pointiness’ of many native ferns, which helped narrow the search from this list >>>

Native Ferns

The list also include Horsetails; my Norfolk garden was plagued with those and a neighbour informed me that he had seen the roots of these plants going down feet when digging cess pits and septic tanks. He also told me about making a liquid solution by steeping them in water but I forget what it was used for – something to research!

Horsetail solution can be used to treat mildew, amongst other fascinating uses plus recipe >>>

Apart from the obviously different, like the Horsetails, it seems like looking at sprigs of conifer after a while tbh.

Anyway, going by the photos, the possible candidates are Woodsia (frilly one) except the wiki entry suggests this is very unlikely, and Dryopteris cristata. Apparently Dryopteris hybridises easily, which might account for the frilly one but it seems too different to me; I am unconvinced.

Having wondered about the proper names for the leaf parts, somehow ended up at the following definitions of leaf morphology – fortunately there are graphics too. And in conclusion, thinking I’ll stick with the simple system of pointy, frilly and curly for the time being.


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