Welcome to my world.
Walking along my favorite trail on Saturday I stopped to take a photo of the Christmas Fern (Polystichum acrostichoides) next to the last bit of snow. It just looked so pretty I couldn’t resist. I think they are called Christmas ferns because they stay green all year long and in the past were used as part of Christmas time greenery. It was the first fern that I learned the name of and still remember it to this day. You see the pinnae (little individual leaf like parts) have a lobe on the base that makes them look like a mitten, a Christmas mitten and that is how I remember.
The spores are produced on the small pinnae near the end of the fern frond and are called fertile pinnae. They are smaller than those at the base and once the spores are spread into the wind they shrivel up and turn brown but I don't see any here.
This same meadow is surrounded by Virginia Pine (see previous blog) and I found a good example of cones showing one closed, one partly open and one fully open.