Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Evergreen Ferns

While most ferns go dormant in the winter, we do have some here that persist and provide a welcome respite from the mostly brown ground underfoot.  I took 4 photos show you just what laughs at winter, at least most of the time.  Christmas Ferns, for sure.  I've rarely seen these bothered by cold weather.  Their somewhat leathery fronds do lay down, hugging the ground and avoiding the wind, but they are still green.  Their proper Latin name is Polystichum acrostichoides and you'll fine them in abundance in the woods, rarely, if ever, eaten by critters.

Another fern that makes it through all but the worst of winters is Cyrtomium.  Not sure if this one is falcatum or fortunei.  They look very much alike.  It also has leathery fronds and stays upright unless heavy snow brings it down.  Even on cold winters when it does go dormant, it will be right back up in the spring.

Number 3 of the evergreen ferns is Dryopteris sieboldii.  This is a fairly recent addition to the gardens.  It will go dormant on yucky winters, but this winter, so far, is looking good.  I kept my fingers crossed the first winter since it didn't much look like something that would laugh at the cold and just keep going.

Last, but not least, is a sweet little fern that expands over time, a pretty quickly if it's happy, to form a nice feathery, ferny ground cover.  It is Adiantum capillis-veneris.  I learned it as Southern Maidenhair, but it is certainly at home in this Yankee garden and most winters it just gets a little tip burn, as in the photo.  Only about 6-8 inches tall.

As I write about the ferns from yesterday's walk in the garden, I'm watching the snow outside.  Heading out now to take some photos for today's entry.

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