- Location on Property:
All around property
Gardens: All around property
- Scientific Name: Leptosporangiate fern
- Region of Origin: It is one of the most widely distributed ferns of the wet Old World tropics and adjacent regions, including Polynesia and the Pacific
- Type: Beautiful
- General History:The fern is a keystone species in Hawaiian ecosystems, and dominates many areas in Hawaiian rain forests. It occurs on all the main Hawaiian islands. As a pioneer species in ecological succession, it can colonize bare sites such as lava flows, talus, and abandoned roads. Leptosporangiate ferns are the largest group of living ferns, including some 11000 species worldwide. They constitute the subclass Polypodiidae, but are often considered to be the class Pteridopsida or Polypodiopsida, although other classifications assign them a different rank. The leptosporangiate ferns are one of the four major groups of ferns, with the other three being the Eusporangiate ferns comprising the marattioid ferns (Marattiidae, Marattiaceae), the horsetails (Equisetiidae,Equisetaceae), and whisk ferns and moonworts.There are approximately 8465 species of living leptosporangiate ferns, compared with about 2070 for all other ferns, totalling 10535 species of ferns. Almost a third of leptosporangiate fern species are epiphytes.These ferns are called leptosporangiate because their sporangia arise from a single epidermal cell and not from a group of cells as in eusporangiate ferns (a polyphyletic lineage). The sporangia are typically covered with a scale called the indusium, which can cover the whole sorus, forming a ring or cup around the sorus, or can also be strongly reduced to completely absent. Many leptosporangiate ferns have an annulus around the sporangium, which ejects the spores.
2) Plant Uses:
- As Food: NA
- As Medicine: NA
- Other Uses: The fiddleheads and leaves of the fern are used in floral arrangements
3) Growing Instructions
- Growing: When the fern grows onto a new site it produces layers of stems and leaves repeatedly until there is a network of vegetation. The leaves die and the stems are very slow to decompose, so the network persists. The network then fills with organic forest detritus, forming a litter layer which can be a meter thick. The network is penetrated by the fern’s rhizomes and roots, such that the fern serves as its own substrate. Where the fern is eliminated, invasive species of plants can move in, so “one important function” of the fern is to prevent these plants from encroaching on the rainforest. The fern may have allelopathic effects, preventing the growth of other plants. Also, the fern is a very productive member of the forest ecosystem; despite being a relatively small amount of the biomass in the forest it accounts for over half of the primary productivity in some areas..
- Best time to Harvest: NA
- Sunlight Requirements: Full sun It does not tolerate shade, so once established it will eventually be shaded out by taller vegetation unless it climbs above it. There are four particular types of habitats that ferns are found in moist, shady forests; crevices in rock faces, especially when sheltered from the full sun; acid wetlands including bogs and swamps; and tropical trees, where many species are epiphytes (something like a quarter to a third of all fern species)
- Soil Requirements: The fern grows easily on poorly drained, nutrient-poor soils and in disturbed habitat and steep slopes
- Propagation: This rhizomatous fern spreads via cloning, spreading along the ground and climbing on other vegetation, often forming thickets 3 meters deep or more. The stem grows from the rhizome, branches at a 45° angle, and forms fronds that continue to bud and branch. In this way, the growth can continue for a long distance as the plant forms a mat, grows over itself in layers, and spreads. It can also reproduce via spores.
- Controlling Spread: Keep weeded to control
- Difficulties with this plant: It may suppress the growth of new stands of trees, especially when it becomes a dense thicket.
- History of this Plant at Hedonisia: /