Saturday, January 24, 2009

Chrystopteris and Cyrtomium

The rest of my ferns starting with 'C' today. This first is Cyrtomium, Holly Fern. They get their name fro the leathery, holly-like foliage. This one specifically is Cyrtomium fortunei. It is listed as semi-evergreen and is pretty evergreen here, though it often will just replace its winter-worn fronds in the spring. This is the hardiest one and is good down to zone 5. It is a native of Japan, Korea and China, but is naturalized in the U.S. in a number of places.
My other Cyrtomium is falcatum. This one is only hardy to zone 6 and often dies back in the winter here even though it is also listed as a semi-evergreen. Both are about 2 feet tall and upright. This one is also native to the orient and even in Hawaii. It is sometimes grown as a houseplant as it will tolerate as it is tolerant of dry air, much more than other ferns. I don't see an awful lot of difference between the two, though they were bought with different names from a nursery that would know the difference. Actually, the pictures in my fern book don't look all that different either.

The last one for today is Cystopteris, Fragile or Bladder Fern. Fragile because the fronds are very delicate and easily broken (though quickly replaced) so it might not be a good choice for someone with a large dog or a cat (like some of mine) who think that a fern is a lovely place to nap. This one is Cystopteris fragilis and is a small thing, rarely over a foot tall and good for a rock garden or the front of a shady border. For any of you in the far north, this might be a good choice since it is hardy to zone 2. Do people in zone 2 really get a chance to garden at all seriously? Just wondering. This fern is native in northern North America and also in Europe and can be found growing in moist woods and on cliffs, but it is also quite adaptable to general garden conditions. This is one of the ferns that will appreciate a little lime. We usually provide that with a scattering of limestone around the plant which will leach out over time, rather than useing a faster powdered lime.
We're back in the freezer today after a lovely, sunny day in the 50s yesterday. Almost felt like I should be out picking daffodils. Soon enough, I suppose that will happen. For now, now updating of the website and working on my quilt.

1 comment:

fons said...

Hi Jane,
The Cyrtomiuns are the same species on the pictures.
There must be really more difference for Cyrtomium falcatum and Cyrtomium fortunei.
Cyrtomium fortunei is growing more upward, is more lighter green, smaller pinnae and less tooted.
The falcate one, zone 7 in the Netherlands,more tooted pinnae, dark green. I hope this helps,
regards, Fons