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Sensitive Fern - Onoclea sensibilis This fern was so dirty! It was growing in very sandy soil along the edge of a river/meadow<br />
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Spores are produced on erect, fertile fronds, which are green in the summer and then turn brown in the autumn. The fertile fronds persist throughout the winter, releasing their spores to the wind the following spring before any new leaves form. <br />
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Commonly called sensitive fern because the green vegetative fronds are sensitive to and suffer almost immediate damage from the first fall frost.<br />
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Habitat: Meadow Fall,Geotagged,Onoclea sensibilis,Sensitive fern,United States,fern Click/tap to enlarge Promoted

Sensitive Fern - Onoclea sensibilis

This fern was so dirty! It was growing in very sandy soil along the edge of a river/meadow

Spores are produced on erect, fertile fronds, which are green in the summer and then turn brown in the autumn. The fertile fronds persist throughout the winter, releasing their spores to the wind the following spring before any new leaves form.

Commonly called sensitive fern because the green vegetative fronds are sensitive to and suffer almost immediate damage from the first fall frost.

Habitat: Meadow

    comments (8)

  1. Late one winter about 10 years ago I collected a few dozen spore fronds of the Sensitive Fern and scattered them over the ice in a low spot in an old hayfield. Now I have many of these ferns growing there. Posted one year ago
    1. What a good idea! Posted one year ago
      1. I'm going to try this with some other species when their spores ripen. Since scattering the spore fronds I have added willows along with some red osier and other bushes. These are suppressing the hay grasses very nicely. Posted one year ago
        1. Fantastic! And, it must look beautiful too. Posted one year ago
          1. More of a work in progress. This area (~4,500 sq. ft) in the field is lower in elevation than the rest and has no outlet. But add about 100 years of cultivation following the logging in the late 1880s and there is a lot of damage to soil structure and the complete obliteration of native plants and it is a challenge to restore some semblance of a native plant community. But some interesting things have shown up on their own under and around the willows I planted. I found two Purple Fringed Orchids and a Bluebottle Gentian in the last five years. And Marsh Fern (Thelypteris palustris) has come in completely on its own. Posted one year ago
            1. So, you're restoring the land? I have wondered before how easy it is to restore native plants, especially after years of cultivation, non-natives, etc. As you said, the soil changes, etc. My mother is in the process of transforming her yard into a natural/native state without grass, non-natives, etc. It's definitely a challenging process.

              That's wonderful that things are returning. Purple fringed orchids are a fantastic find and should be a good sign of the land healing. I've never found them, but have read that they rely on specific mycorrhizal associations in the soil and can't be transplanted, etc.
              Posted one year ago
              1. In bits and pieces I'm trying to bring things back. I've planted pines and oaks in a scattered formation in some parts of the field that are better-drained. I tried tamarack and black spruce in the low spot but a flood in 2012 that took almost a month to drain away killed them. I might plant a few next year. I've worked on a number of large-scale wetland restoration projects and it is not easy to get things to go the way you imagined.

                You should be able to find purple fringed orchid in CT in any county but it is probably scarce. It isn't that common here, either, but not rare. Sometimes I've come across dozens of them under black ash.
                Posted one year ago
                1. Your efforts are definitely admirable. Hopefully more people will go this route with their land - and do it correctly. Posted one year ago

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''Onoclea sensibilis'', the sensitive fern, also known as the bead fern, is a coarse-textured, medium to large-sized deciduous perennial fern. The name comes from the observation by early American settlers that it was very sensitive to frost, the fronds dying quickly when first touched by it. It is sometimes treated as the only species in ''Onoclea'', but some authors do not consider the genus monotypic.

Similar species: Polypodiales
Species identified by Christine Young
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By Christine Young

All rights reserved
Uploaded Mar 21, 2019. Captured Nov 24, 2018 13:09 in 5 East St, New Milford, CT 06776, USA.
  • Canon EOS 80D
  • f/7.1
  • 1/99s
  • ISO400
  • 100mm