Monday, January 7, 2013

Resurrection Fern

Resurrection fern (Polypodium polypodiodes) is a good example of adaptation in plants.  The fronds curl up in dry weather and look dead, but they uncurl in wet weather and turn dark green to photosynthesize.  Resurrection fern resurrects.  It grows all over Louisiana on the rough bark of trees like oaks.  It especially likes live oaks.  It is an epiphyte or "air" plant and does not harm the tree.  Find a fallen bough and peel off some of the bark with the fern on it.  Put it in a container.  Let the fern dry out, then spray water on it and watch it resurrect.
Photo of resurrection fern by Tammy Slocum

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