Unknown fern

5 posts / 0 new
Last post
Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27
Unknown fern

I know next to nothing about ferns, and my efforts at trying to identify this one have come to naught! These photos were taken quite high in the alpine zone in northern Banff (~2600m elevation). It looks like it should be distinctive enough that someone may recognize the genus on sight. It's growing in crevices among quartzite boulders. Any help to ID it would be appreciated.

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

It reminds me of Blechnum spicant, although that species is found further west in British Columbia (so far as the Canadian distribution o the species) and up to 1400m, too low for your plant.  It'll take a better fern specialist than fern-newbie-me to figure out what it is.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

I think it is Polystichum lonchitis. It is common here on calcareous soil in the mountains and it is circumpolar I think.

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Allison
Allison's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-04-08

Hoy wrote:

I think it is Polystichum lonchitis. It is common here on calcareous soil in the mountains and it is circumpolar I think.

Yes, it is P. lonchitis. The 'prickles' on the edges of the pinnae are diagnostic for Polystichum. To quote Sue Olsen: P. lonchitis populates alpine areas in the northern tier of the Northern Hemisphere. It is a remarkable sight in inhospitable rocky crevices from North American through Eurasia.

Gardening on a wooded rocky ridge in the Ottawa Valley, Canada. Cold winters (-30C) and hot, humid summers. Nuts about native plants, ferns, pottery, my family, and Border Collies.

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

Thank you very much for the input everyone!  Polystichum lonchitis seems to fit, Lis and Trond.  That's a pretty rough-looking specimen I photographed there... I could tell it was something different than the usual alpine ferns I see.  I'll keep my eye out for these in the future.

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Log in or register to post comments