Taking A Turn With Ferns
In The Garden
Ferns are cool in both the vernacular sense and the thermal. Whether it be an indoor planter or a shady, outdoor bed, ferns impart a soothing and tranquil aura.
Making up the bulk of plants known as Pteridophytes, ferns are very old and primitive. Their primary method of reproduction, by spores, is one of the characteristics that make them so. It should be noted here that, to be botanically correct, the foliage of ferns is referred to as fronds rather than leaves. It is on the underside of these fronds that the infinitesimal spores are clustered in structures known as sporangia. It is not uncommon for the neophyte gardener to question these spots, assuming their plant has a disease. Not so; the speckling under fern fronds is not only healthy, but demonstrates the sexual viability of the plant!
Read the entire article in the September 2004 issue