Woodwardia radicans – European Chain Fern

Woodwardia radicans, perhaps the cleverest fern on the block?  This may seem a bizarre shot of this sumptuous evergreen fern with impressive, and extremely photogenic, bipinnate fronds that can reach 6ft in length.  There is however a little method in my madness, as my purpose in this instance is to demonstrate this fern’s cunning plan for world domination which is tempered only by the fact it is a little on the tender side. It is a native of south west europe and according to the “books” can tolerate down to approximately -5.  It came through last winter in our garden, which easily got below that mark, a little dishevelled but has recovered sufficiently to continue its romp through the shadier parts of the garden.  It enjoys moist but not stagnant conditions so our wet but sloping terrain is pretty near ideal territory and a happy healthy plant is far more likely to recover from severe conditions than a stressed out one.  Now here is the clever bit; towards the end of each frond appear small furry plantlets, usually one but sometimes more.  As these weigh down and eventually touch the soil they will fully establish their new roots.  You could encourage this by pinning down a frond but to be honest I would just let nature take its course, it usually is more successful.  You can see the root clearly in this photo searching for the earth and soon it will form a new plant and the chain will be unbroken.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Woodwardia radicans – European Chain Fern

  1. mum

    Is this a one off or are you back to the daily Blogging. I hope the latter.

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