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First croziers of spring

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  • Howard Matthews
    A month ago, I wrote that Woodsia fragilis is always the first fern to show new growth in my garden, appearing around mid-March (Message #397, 3 Feb). Sure
    Message 1 of 9 , Mar 8, 2007
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      A month ago, I wrote that Woodsia fragilis is always the first fern to
      show new growth in my garden, appearing around mid-March (Message #397,
      3 Feb). Sure enough, its little green "globules" are currently just
      beginning to rise on stems. Another fern that has fresh croziers is
      Phegopteris decursive-pinnata, which I transferred from a rockery to a
      trough last year, to prevent its uncontrolled spread.
      However, during a brief inspection of my back garden this morning, I
      was literally shocked to find previously unspotted new croziers rising
      up to 25 cm high (that's 10 inches in old money) on Dryopteris
      stewartii. In a bed that receives no direct sunlight, I have had this
      Himalayan species for just 2 years.. Surely this must now take the
      crown for being the earliest fern to start growing in the spring?
    • John Finch
      The first in my garden this year is Osmunda Regalis (purple stemmed). It has about a dozen croziers all at least 6 inches high! regards John ... fern to ...
      Message 2 of 9 , Mar 8, 2007
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        The first in my garden this year is Osmunda Regalis (purple
        stemmed). It has about a dozen croziers all at least 6 inches high!

        regards

        John


        --- In uk-ferns@yahoogroups.com, "Howard Matthews"
        <howard_ferns@...> wrote:
        >
        > A month ago, I wrote that Woodsia fragilis is always the first
        fern to
        > show new growth in my garden, appearing around mid-March (Message
        #397,
        > 3 Feb). Sure enough, its little green "globules" are currently
        just
        > beginning to rise on stems. Another fern that has fresh croziers
        is
        > Phegopteris decursive-pinnata, which I transferred from a rockery
        to a
        > trough last year, to prevent its uncontrolled spread.
        > However, during a brief inspection of my back garden this morning,
        I
        > was literally shocked to find previously unspotted new croziers
        rising
        > up to 25 cm high (that's 10 inches in old money) on Dryopteris
        > stewartii. In a bed that receives no direct sunlight, I have had
        this
        > Himalayan species for just 2 years.. Surely this must now take
        the
        > crown for being the earliest fern to start growing in the spring?
        >
      • Howard Matthews
        That is remarkable, John! No sign of mine yet, which is also Purpurea, and it is in full sun from mid-morning till evening. ... The all-new Yahoo! Mail goes
        Message 3 of 9 , Mar 8, 2007
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          That is remarkable, John! 
          No sign of mine yet, which is also Purpurea, and it is in full sun from mid-morning till evening.


          The all-new Yahoo! Mail goes wherever you go - free your email address from your Internet provider.
        • John Finch
          Hi Howard it seemed really early to me too - but I was not sure. Have stuck a picture in the photos.
          Message 4 of 9 , Mar 8, 2007
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            Hi Howard

            it seemed really early to me too - but I was not sure. Have stuck a
            picture in the photos.

            http://tech.ph.groups.yahoo.com/group/uk-ferns/photos/view/d82d?b=1

            regards

            John

            --- In uk-ferns@yahoogroups.com, Howard Matthews <howard_ferns@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > That is remarkable, John!
            > No sign of mine yet, which is also Purpurea, and it is in full
            sun from mid-morning till evening.
            >
            >
            > ---------------------------------
            > The all-new Yahoo! Mail goes wherever you go - free your email
            address from your Internet provider.
            >
          • Christopher Roy Fraser-Jenkins
            Dear Howard, Delighted to hear that Dryopteris stewartii is being something of a winner on the early start race - though I realise that sometimes means being
            Message 5 of 9 , Mar 10, 2007
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              Dear Howard,
              Delighted to hear that Dryopteris stewartii is being something
              of a winner on the early start race - though I realise that sometimes
              means being nipped by the late frost in Britain. I often used to
              stand over a fern-bed at Newcastle House where something special was
              planted, while it was still late-frosty, and plead to them under my
              breath (sometimes!) - "Stay down, stay down - this NOT back in
              Hawai'i!" - or something like that...
              But old Dr. Ralph Stewart, after whom I named D. stewartii, and
              who lived most of his long, remarkable life in Pakistan, whom I met
              when he was 101, was also an early riser and had enormous, sustained
              energy all his life! So his Dryopteris' behaviour is appropriate.
              Boiling, sweaty hot down here in Thiruvanthapuram (formerly
              Trivandrum, in Kerala State), down at the southernmost tip of India.
              I've been working on photographing all the remaining cytological
              voucher-specimens from the 1960s here in the University - but many
              have been negligently discarded, which is a bit of a disaster.
              Already I've found a Polystichum new to India (I hardly dare
              suspect, but it might be altogether new - seeing as I wrote the
              booklet on Indian Polystichum!), a nice big one with dark-green,
              stiff, rounded pinnules and sori on the edge, which turned up at the
              topmost peak of the Agasthyamalai Hills. Incidentally, there's one
              fascinating, large Polystichum in Sri Lanka, I once found, that is
              almost unique as it has the sori and indusia above the segments on
              the TOP surface of the frond - seems like no-one told it about
              gravity - or maybe it just came from a forest with no wind and wanted
              to shoot its spores up as far as possible! It's called P. anomalum,
              rather appropriately.
              I've also found an unknown Asplenium of the A. unilaterale
              group - at least, unknown in India so far - I'll have to check out
              for both these ferns in the vast Malesian fern flora, as a number of
              the special southern Indian things are in common with there, which
              catches everyone by surprise and causes the demise of several
              supposed "new species" that weren't...
              Hope to get up in the higher Western Ghats, up into the cool
              rain-forest and mists next week - an absolute fern-paradise I last
              saw in 1978.
              All the best, Chris.
            • Roger Golding
              Impressive! In the who s got the biggest/earliest croziers competition I can t match that; however, my honourable mention goes to Polystichum polyblepharum
              Message 6 of 9 , Mar 10, 2007
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                Impressive! In the "who's got the biggest/earliest croziers" competition I can't match that;
                however, my honourable mention goes to Polystichum polyblepharum which I noticed was
                producing croziers in my garden 2 weeks ago; they are now mostly over 20cm and two are
                well on the way to being unfurled.
                Another one I'm watching with interest is Cystopteris diaphana, grown from Cornish
                spores and now doing well in in a wall pot in a sheltered spot. I was expecting it to be
                quite tender but it's over-wintered better than most without losing any fronds and has
                now put up a single crozier of almost 10cm.

                Roger

                --- In uk-ferns@yahoogroups.com, "John Finch" <jf006d9206@...> wrote:
                >
                > Hi Howard
                >
                > it seemed really early to me too - but I was not sure. Have stuck a
                > picture in the photos.
                >
                > http://tech.ph.groups.yahoo.com/group/uk-ferns/photos/view/d82d?b=1
                >
                > regards
                >
                > John
                >
                > --- In uk-ferns@yahoogroups.com, Howard Matthews <howard_ferns@>
                > wrote:
                > >
                > > That is remarkable, John!
                > > No sign of mine yet, which is also Purpurea, and it is in full
                > sun from mid-morning till evening.
                > >
                > >
                > > ---------------------------------
                > > The all-new Yahoo! Mail goes wherever you go - free your email
                > address from your Internet provider.
                > >
                >
              • jf006d9206@blueyonder.co.uk
                Hi Chris thank you for the latest report of your work and travels. It is always really interesting to read what you are getting up to. My usual day consists
                Message 7 of 9 , Mar 10, 2007
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                  Hi Chris

                  thank you for the latest report of your work and travels. It is always
                  really interesting to read what you are getting up to.

                  My usual day consists of waking up and catching the train to the London
                  office and back....

                  with my best wishes

                  John



                  > Dear Howard,
                  > Delighted to hear that Dryopteris stewartii is being something
                  > of a winner on the early start race - though I realise that sometimes
                  > means being nipped by the late frost in Britain. I often used to
                  > stand over a fern-bed at Newcastle House where something special was
                  > planted, while it was still late-frosty, and plead to them under my
                  > breath (sometimes!) - "Stay down, stay down - this NOT back in
                  > Hawai'i!" - or something like that...
                  > But old Dr. Ralph Stewart, after whom I named D. stewartii, and
                  > who lived most of his long, remarkable life in Pakistan, whom I met
                  > when he was 101, was also an early riser and had enormous, sustained
                  > energy all his life! So his Dryopteris' behaviour is appropriate.
                  > Boiling, sweaty hot down here in Thiruvanthapuram (formerly
                  > Trivandrum, in Kerala State), down at the southernmost tip of India.
                  > I've been working on photographing all the remaining cytological
                  > voucher-specimens from the 1960s here in the University - but many
                  > have been negligently discarded, which is a bit of a disaster.
                  > Already I've found a Polystichum new to India (I hardly dare
                  > suspect, but it might be altogether new - seeing as I wrote the
                  > booklet on Indian Polystichum!), a nice big one with dark-green,
                  > stiff, rounded pinnules and sori on the edge, which turned up at the
                  > topmost peak of the Agasthyamalai Hills. Incidentally, there's one
                  > fascinating, large Polystichum in Sri Lanka, I once found, that is
                  > almost unique as it has the sori and indusia above the segments on
                  > the TOP surface of the frond - seems like no-one told it about
                  > gravity - or maybe it just came from a forest with no wind and wanted
                  > to shoot its spores up as far as possible! It's called P. anomalum,
                  > rather appropriately.
                  > I've also found an unknown Asplenium of the A. unilaterale
                  > group - at least, unknown in India so far - I'll have to check out
                  > for both these ferns in the vast Malesian fern flora, as a number of
                  > the special southern Indian things are in common with there, which
                  > catches everyone by surprise and causes the demise of several
                  > supposed "new species" that weren't...
                  > Hope to get up in the higher Western Ghats, up into the cool
                  > rain-forest and mists next week - an absolute fern-paradise I last
                  > saw in 1978.
                  > All the best, Chris.
                  >
                  >
                • Christopher Roy Fraser-Jenkins
                  Dear John, Your observations on C. diaphana are spot on and increase my confidence that when I identified Rose Murphy s collection by guess, over the phone
                  Message 8 of 9 , Mar 10, 2007
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                    Dear John,
                    Your observations on C. diaphana are spot on and increase my
                    confidence that when I identified Rose Murphy's collection by guess,
                    over the phone (!), later confirmed from a specimen and spores she
                    sent along, it was correct.
                    The reason I say that is that in the 60s my father used to
                    have a plant called Cystopteris fragilis var. sempervirens in the
                    garden, from an old source and probably a descendant of the
                    original. It was said to have come from Scotland, I'm pretty sure,
                    though on reflection I wonder about that, now - some British botanist
                    (?Moore, ?Druery or ?George Druce), I think, also wondered if it
                    wasn't from Madeira originally. It always remained green in its pot
                    throughout Winter - but the interesting thing about it was that it
                    had quite a number of the veins ending in notches - and I later found
                    it had the small-bluntish-dense-spined spores of diaphana. So I
                    guessed it must be C. diaphana all along (sempervirens thus a synonym
                    of diaphana), It wasn't quite as dark green as some Macaronesian
                    diaphana, but then diaphana needn't be dark green, as I saw in La
                    Reunion, where I saw it in 1981, or up Mount Oku in Cameroun, where
                    my father and I found it, rather unexpectedly.
                    But the sempervirens character is a good indicator of diaphana -
                    and is in common with several of the ancient European tertiary
                    Atlantic-African connected species that aren't quite so geared up to
                    dying down in a boreal climate (is it getting warm up there yet? -
                    sweat is dripping off my eyebrows down here as I write, and running
                    down my glasses, most annoyingly!). Actually I prepared a big check-
                    list of these connections and Atlantic-Mediterranean European fern
                    distributions about 30 years ago, but never went ahead as Med-
                    Checklist then came out with the distributions (until then not very
                    well understood).
                    For those interested in Indian cyto-taxonomy, I've just been
                    meeting with Professors Ninan and Mathew - the very friendly and
                    charming survivors of the great Abraham, Ninan and Mathew fern-
                    partnership of 1962, but their herbarium-specimens have been largely
                    discarded by their successors in Thiruvananathapuram (Trivandrum)
                    University - so its very difficult to guess what species they
                    investigated whenever there is some anomalous chromosome number or
                    name. One of their later students reported a diploid Polypodium
                    vulgare and a diploid Dryopteris cristata from South India, some 5-
                    7000 miles away from the range of those species and with cytotype
                    that does not match the species at all! The counts were good, but
                    without the voucher-specimens how can one find out what on earth they
                    really counted, and make use of the result???!!!
                    Anyway I'm going to see what the Indian Ocean looks like this
                    afternoon after the sun cools off a bit, as it's a Sunday, so no work
                    possible - it's highly Christian down here, and everything is tight
                    shut, with Evangelical strains all over the City from all the many
                    different denominations here, from Amish to Syrian to the hot Gospel
                    7th-day lot! Never know whether to say Namaste (Hindu), or Happy
                    Easter, when meeting people - or maybe Salaam Aleiykum!
                    Prof. Matthew's work now is on the genetic effects of inbreeding
                    in the Amish and Malabar Jewish Communities in S. India - jolly
                    interesting, but we lost another pteridologist!
                    Cheers,
                    Chris.
                  • robbygem
                    Just had a look round the back garden. Fern most advanced is Cystopteris diaphana, with growth just starting on Phegopteris decursive-pinnata and Dryopteris
                    Message 9 of 9 , Mar 11, 2007
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                      Just had a look round the back garden. Fern most advanced is
                      Cystopteris diaphana, with growth just starting on Phegopteris
                      decursive-pinnata and Dryopteris crassirhizoma (hope I've got those
                      names correct!). No movement at all on Osmunda r. purpurascens.
                      Robby.


                      --- In uk-ferns@yahoogroups.com, "Roger Golding" <kindlingbark@...>
                      wrote:
                      >
                      > Impressive! In the "who's got the biggest/earliest croziers"
                      competition I can't match that;
                      > however, my honourable mention goes to Polystichum polyblepharum
                      which I noticed was
                      > producing croziers in my garden 2 weeks ago; they are now mostly
                      over 20cm and two are
                      > well on the way to being unfurled.
                      > Another one I'm watching with interest is Cystopteris diaphana,
                      grown from Cornish
                      > spores and now doing well in in a wall pot in a sheltered spot. I
                      was expecting it to be
                      > quite tender but it's over-wintered better than most without losing
                      any fronds and has
                      > now put up a single crozier of almost 10cm.
                      >
                      > Roger
                      >
                      > --- In uk-ferns@yahoogroups.com, "John Finch" <jf006d9206@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > Hi Howard
                      > >
                      > > it seemed really early to me too - but I was not sure. Have
                      stuck a
                      > > picture in the photos.
                      > >
                      > > http://tech.ph.groups.yahoo.com/group/uk-ferns/photos/view/d82d?
                      b=1
                      > >
                      > > regards
                      > >
                      > > John
                      > >
                      > > --- In uk-ferns@yahoogroups.com, Howard Matthews <howard_ferns@>
                      > > wrote:
                      > > >
                      > > > That is remarkable, John!
                      > > > No sign of mine yet, which is also Purpurea, and it is in
                      full
                      > > sun from mid-morning till evening.
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > > ---------------------------------
                      > > > The all-new Yahoo! Mail goes wherever you go - free your email
                      > > address from your Internet provider.
                      > > >
                      > >
                      >
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