Asplenium x microdon Aspleniaceae Guernsey Fern

Picture 1 With its parents

Asplenophyllitis microdon 34kb

Description - This fern is a hybrid between Lanceolate Spleenwort, Asplenium obovatum and Hart's Tongue Fern, Asplenium scolopendrium, and in appearance is intermediate between the two. The plant is about the size of a large spleenwort, but the pinnules are more solid and similar to miniature Hart's Tongues.

Habitat - Grows mainly on shady banks, often protected by overhanging vegetation. All records are from the south of the island, the most northerly being near King's Mills. Our Guernsey banks with stone and earth base, and Elms on the top, were thought to give the perfect conditions for this fern to thrive. Now we have lost the Elms, of course, so we will have to see how the Guernsey Fern survives.

Comment - This is a very rare fern, and has only been recorded in Guernsey, with one doubtful record from Penzance. The first records were in the 1800s, the there is a gap until Peter Girard found one in Les Effards in 1965, and he went on to find several more. At present there are about 15 known plants.

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