Asplenium scolopendrium Aspleniaceae Hart's Tongue Fern

In a wood On a wall Variety

Asplenium scolopendrium 18kb

Description - The long, narrow, uncut fronds of this fern are unlikely to be mistaken for any other. Small plants with one or two fronds a few centimetres long can be found in cracks in old walls, or large luxuriant plants with 20 or more fronds, reaching 40-50 cm in length, can grow in shady patches of humus-rich soil . The spore-producing bodies, or sori, occur in short rows on the underside of the frond.

Habitat - As with most ferns, some degree of shade is preferred, but it can survive on a sunny wall, albeit in a somewhat stunted form, as mentioned above. The plant is frequent island-wide on hedgebanks and under trees.

Comments - As the "parent" of two of our unique rare hybrids (see Guernsey Fern, Asplenium x microdon) this species is important, as well as for its aesthetic value in our lanes and hedges. Many people give it a place in their garden, and it was widely collected by the Victorians at the time of the "Fern Craze", particularly when they could find variations with very crisped margins or forked tips.

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