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Ferny weekend in Nepal

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  • Christopher Roy Fraser-Jenkins
    Dear all, With a feeling that there might be something more to ferny activity than weeks of green babies, I took the opportunity to visit Gorkha in Central
    Message 1 of 9 , Oct 11, 2008
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      Dear all,
      With a feeling that there might be something more to ferny
      activity than weeks of green babies, I took the opportunity to visit
      Gorkha in Central Nepal last weekend for the Dasshain festival, when
      everyone goes to their Home or in-laws' home to receive a tikka - a
      red splodge of coloured rice over one's forehead, that then spends the
      rest of the day falling off over whatever one is looking at or
      reading, plus new rice shoots stuck behind the ear. Unfortunately my
      auricles stick out a bit and I've never been able to put even a pencil
      behind them, so that wasn't very long-lasting either!
      There was a massive 3 hour traffic jam of buses going out of
      Kathmandu (which is now almost empty of people) - and a 7 hour, all
      night jam on the way back due to an accident, when angry local youths
      went smashing up bus-windows etc. (and I found a superb and huge
      Indian moon-moth in a local Kukhuri rum store while passing the time,
      off the bus!).
      But it was well worth going as we have had two rather good years
      of monsoon and I went to visit my old fern-garden abandoned some 5
      years ago in the woods up the hill opposite Manakamana temple (where
      prayer to the patron deity makes one's wishes come true, it is said).
      So the ferns were very fine. I was delighted to see what I had
      planted as baby tree-ferns from East Nepal now with trunks and big,
      spreading leaves; some stalked Selaginellas carpeting the garden, and
      some far-east Assamese Diplazium still growing well, rather
      unexpectedly. But also naturally occurring clumps of Huperzia
      squarrosa clubmoss were now huge and hanging down off the tree
      branches above, and a tiny filmy-fern, only half a centimeter tall,
      but fully fertile, Trichomanes parvifolium was still carpeting the
      boulders under a waterfall in a cave there, where I first discovered
      it new to Nepal, some years ago. A small, 1 inch high Vittaria, V.
      sikkimensis, like little stiff blades of grass, also naturally present
      there, was now spreading over several adjacent tree-trunks I'd
      introduced it to (as there were only three plants on a single tree
      when I first found it), due to the good wet years. Of course quite a
      few things less suited to the 6-month long dry-Winter season, had
      pegged out, but it was good to see what was doing well and holding out
      against the weeds.
      On the way down to the road there was a lot of Ceratopteris
      growing on the raised mud walls of rice-fields, the Himalayan one
      being a distinct tetraploid, C. succulenta, not the true C.
      thalictroides of more tropical Asia. Azolla pinnata subsp. asiatica
      also grows floating on the water among the rice, increasing the
      nitrogen content of the paddy-fields and thus increasing the
      rice-yield by quite some percentage. Various little clump-forming
      Selaginellas also clothed the rice-field walls.
      Last week we went off to Pokhara, to go boating on the lake and
      walk up to the new Buddha temple. It was interesting there to look at
      the hybrid Dicranopteris x nepalensis, between D. taiwanensis and the
      common D. lanigera in its type-locailty, Rani Ban (the Queen's
      Forest), which I hadn't looked at since it first turned up some 12
      years ago. It is really intermediate in morphology and it would be
      interesting to investigate it cytologically and chemically - as it is
      a rhizome-running, thicket-forming genus, it covers quite a large area
      just above the Lake-side a bit west of Fish-tail Lodge there, which I
      later climbed into in order to reach the road, which rather surprised
      the diner's on the lawn as I was by then covered in burrs,
      grass-seeds, mud and general traces of undergrowth - and rather
      obviously wasn't there for an upmarket dinner!
      I was taking photos for my new book and a possible future Nepal
      photo-book of ferns, so managed to find quite a lot of good things -
      and avoided even a single leech-bite, which was a relief as I'm
      allergic to them and they itch for several months when they get me
      from among the damp fern-leaves.
      I'm now preparing for fern-visits to Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh
      this Winter, and maybe after that a possible return to England, if
      plans materialise - though I must say we'll miss this place
      dreadfully, despite all its current political and social problems, if
      we do get to the UK, assuming anything is left over there after this
      recession....
      All the best,
      Chris F.-J., Kathmandu.
    • steve.woodward@ntlworld.com
      Very much enjoyed reading about your weekend in Nepal Chris, it made my weekend in Cornwall seem a lesser trip, but we had a good time viewing the tree ferns
      Message 2 of 9 , Oct 13, 2008
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        Very much enjoyed reading about your weekend in Nepal Chris, it made my
        weekend in Cornwall seem a lesser trip, but we had a good time viewing the
        tree ferns at Heligan and re-visited the Eden Project, and as a bonus the
        UK weather was comparible with Barcelona! not bad for October, I should be
        starting a monthly article in Garden News from tomorrows edition so I'll
        try and get a few pics of ferns in now and again.....speaking of ferns,
        while at Heligan we saw a Blechnum Chilense that was different to all the
        others? it was sort of rippled or corrugated along the width of the fronds
        all the way down to the tip, anyone know what this was?

        Steve Woodward

        Original Message:
        -----------------
        From: Christopher Roy Fraser-Jenkins chrisophilus@...
        Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2008 06:46:11 -0000
        To: uk-ferns@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [uk-ferns] Ferny weekend in Nepal


        Dear all,
        With a feeling that there might be something more to ferny
        activity than weeks of green babies, I took the opportunity to visit
        Gorkha in Central Nepal last weekend for the Dasshain festival, when
        everyone goes to their Home or in-laws' home to receive a tikka - a
        red splodge of coloured rice over one's forehead, that then spends the
        rest of the day falling off over whatever one is looking at or
        reading, plus new rice shoots stuck behind the ear. Unfortunately my
        auricles stick out a bit and I've never been able to put even a pencil
        behind them, so that wasn't very long-lasting either!
        There was a massive 3 hour traffic jam of buses going out of
        Kathmandu (which is now almost empty of people) - and a 7 hour, all
        night jam on the way back due to an accident, when angry local youths
        went smashing up bus-windows etc. (and I found a superb and huge
        Indian moon-moth in a local Kukhuri rum store while passing the time,
        off the bus!).
        But it was well worth going as we have had two rather good years
        of monsoon and I went to visit my old fern-garden abandoned some 5
        years ago in the woods up the hill opposite Manakamana temple (where
        prayer to the patron deity makes one's wishes come true, it is said).
        So the ferns were very fine. I was delighted to see what I had
        planted as baby tree-ferns from East Nepal now with trunks and big,
        spreading leaves; some stalked Selaginellas carpeting the garden, and
        some far-east Assamese Diplazium still growing well, rather
        unexpectedly. But also naturally occurring clumps of Huperzia
        squarrosa clubmoss were now huge and hanging down off the tree
        branches above, and a tiny filmy-fern, only half a centimeter tall,
        but fully fertile, Trichomanes parvifolium was still carpeting the
        boulders under a waterfall in a cave there, where I first discovered
        it new to Nepal, some years ago. A small, 1 inch high Vittaria, V.
        sikkimensis, like little stiff blades of grass, also naturally present
        there, was now spreading over several adjacent tree-trunks I'd
        introduced it to (as there were only three plants on a single tree
        when I first found it), due to the good wet years. Of course quite a
        few things less suited to the 6-month long dry-Winter season, had
        pegged out, but it was good to see what was doing well and holding out
        against the weeds.
        On the way down to the road there was a lot of Ceratopteris
        growing on the raised mud walls of rice-fields, the Himalayan one
        being a distinct tetraploid, C. succulenta, not the true C.
        thalictroides of more tropical Asia. Azolla pinnata subsp. asiatica
        also grows floating on the water among the rice, increasing the
        nitrogen content of the paddy-fields and thus increasing the
        rice-yield by quite some percentage. Various little clump-forming
        Selaginellas also clothed the rice-field walls.
        Last week we went off to Pokhara, to go boating on the lake and
        walk up to the new Buddha temple. It was interesting there to look at
        the hybrid Dicranopteris x nepalensis, between D. taiwanensis and the
        common D. lanigera in its type-locailty, Rani Ban (the Queen's
        Forest), which I hadn't looked at since it first turned up some 12
        years ago. It is really intermediate in morphology and it would be
        interesting to investigate it cytologically and chemically - as it is
        a rhizome-running, thicket-forming genus, it covers quite a large area
        just above the Lake-side a bit west of Fish-tail Lodge there, which I
        later climbed into in order to reach the road, which rather surprised
        the diner's on the lawn as I was by then covered in burrs,
        grass-seeds, mud and general traces of undergrowth - and rather
        obviously wasn't there for an upmarket dinner!
        I was taking photos for my new book and a possible future Nepal
        photo-book of ferns, so managed to find quite a lot of good things -
        and avoided even a single leech-bite, which was a relief as I'm
        allergic to them and they itch for several months when they get me
        from among the damp fern-leaves.
        I'm now preparing for fern-visits to Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh
        this Winter, and maybe after that a possible return to England, if
        plans materialise - though I must say we'll miss this place
        dreadfully, despite all its current political and social problems, if
        we do get to the UK, assuming anything is left over there after this
        recession....
        All the best,
        Chris F.-J., Kathmandu.


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      • Francis Bell
        Chris, Thanks very much for posting your account - very interesting. I was interested to see you have diplazium there - it seems to be almost unheard of here
        Message 3 of 9 , Oct 14, 2008
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          Chris,

          Thanks very much for posting your account - very interesting. I was interested to see you have diplazium there - it seems to be almost unheard of here in the UK and the RHS plant finder only has a couple of obsolete references to it, which seem to be out of stock. Out of interest, which species was it exactly ?  It seems that it is possible to buy large-ish plants in the US, some of which have short trunks - but even so, info on the hardiness of the genus is hard to come by, perhaps it is too tender for the UK ?

          Sadly I have no growth from my pteris tricolour... will not give up yet...

          Regards,

          Francis

          On Sun, Oct 12, 2008 at 7:46 AM, Christopher Roy Fraser-Jenkins <chrisophilus@...> wrote:

          Dear all,
          With a feeling that there might be something more to ferny
          activity than weeks of green babies, I took the opportunity to visit
          Gorkha in Central Nepal last weekend for the Dasshain festival, when
          everyone goes to their Home or in-laws' home to receive a tikka - a
          red splodge of coloured rice over one's forehead, that then spends the
          rest of the day falling off over whatever one is looking at or
          reading, plus new rice shoots stuck behind the ear. Unfortunately my
          auricles stick out a bit and I've never been able to put even a pencil
          behind them, so that wasn't very long-lasting either!
          There was a massive 3 hour traffic jam of buses going out of
          Kathmandu (which is now almost empty of people) - and a 7 hour, all
          night jam on the way back due to an accident, when angry local youths
          went smashing up bus-windows etc. (and I found a superb and huge
          Indian moon-moth in a local Kukhuri rum store while passing the time,
          off the bus!).
          But it was well worth going as we have had two rather good years
          of monsoon and I went to visit my old fern-garden abandoned some 5
          years ago in the woods up the hill opposite Manakamana temple (where
          prayer to the patron deity makes one's wishes come true, it is said).
          So the ferns were very fine. I was delighted to see what I had
          planted as baby tree-ferns from East Nepal now with trunks and big,
          spreading leaves; some stalked Selaginellas carpeting the garden, and
          some far-east Assamese Diplazium still growing well, rather
          unexpectedly. But also naturally occurring clumps of Huperzia
          squarrosa clubmoss were now huge and hanging down off the tree
          branches above, and a tiny filmy-fern, only half a centimeter tall,
          but fully fertile, Trichomanes parvifolium was still carpeting the
          boulders under a waterfall in a cave there, where I first discovered
          it new to Nepal, some years ago. A small, 1 inch high Vittaria, V.
          sikkimensis, like little stiff blades of grass, also naturally present
          there, was now spreading over several adjacent tree-trunks I'd
          introduced it to (as there were only three plants on a single tree
          when I first found it), due to the good wet years. Of course quite a
          few things less suited to the 6-month long dry-Winter season, had
          pegged out, but it was good to see what was doing well and holding out
          against the weeds.
          On the way down to the road there was a lot of Ceratopteris
          growing on the raised mud walls of rice-fields, the Himalayan one
          being a distinct tetraploid, C. succulenta, not the true C.
          thalictroides of more tropical Asia. Azolla pinnata subsp. asiatica
          also grows floating on the water among the rice, increasing the
          nitrogen content of the paddy-fields and thus increasing the
          rice-yield by quite some percentage. Various little clump-forming
          Selaginellas also clothed the rice-field walls.
          Last week we went off to Pokhara, to go boating on the lake and
          walk up to the new Buddha temple. It was interesting there to look at
          the hybrid Dicranopteris x nepalensis, between D. taiwanensis and the
          common D. lanigera in its type-locailty, Rani Ban (the Queen's
          Forest), which I hadn't looked at since it first turned up some 12
          years ago. It is really intermediate in morphology and it would be
          interesting to investigate it cytologically and chemically - as it is
          a rhizome-running, thicket-forming genus, it covers quite a large area
          just above the Lake-side a bit west of Fish-tail Lodge there, which I
          later climbed into in order to reach the road, which rather surprised
          the diner's on the lawn as I was by then covered in burrs,
          grass-seeds, mud and general traces of undergrowth - and rather
          obviously wasn't there for an upmarket dinner!
          I was taking photos for my new book and a possible future Nepal
          photo-book of ferns, so managed to find quite a lot of good things -
          and avoided even a single leech-bite, which was a relief as I'm
          allergic to them and they itch for several months when they get me
          from among the damp fern-leaves.
          I'm now preparing for fern-visits to Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh
          this Winter, and maybe after that a possible return to England, if
          plans materialise - though I must say we'll miss this place
          dreadfully, despite all its current political and social problems, if
          we do get to the UK, assuming anything is left over there after this
          recession....
          All the best,
          Chris F.-J., Kathmandu.


        • Christopher Roy Fraser-Jenkins
          Dear Francis, Sorry to hear about the tribulant tricolor. Silly thing, doesn t it know it is extinct in cultivation in Britain, so should definitely do
          Message 4 of 9 , Oct 14, 2008
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            Dear Francis,
            Sorry to hear about the tribulant tricolor. Silly thing, doesn't
            it know it is extinct in cultivation in Britain, so should definitely
            do something about it and grow?! I suppose, then, that probably means
            no-one else had any luck, either? Or did they? Maybe someone
            interested should make an internet order to Henry's Plant Farm, USA,
            and get a plant sent over!
            Yes, we have a lot of Diplazium here, ranging from small ones
            with simple unlobed pinnae, to ones looking a bit like Dryopteris
            wallichiana, to others with a creeping-rhizome and fronds slightly
            like a D. dilatata, and even a superb and huge, shaggy, tripinnate one
            up to 8 ft tall and a massive and often quite tall trunk (say 1 foot
            or more) - the superb Diplazium himalayense, which I used to have
            growing in my father's garden in Wales (almost a kind of miniature
            pseudo tree-fern!). They all have elongated sori. Prof. Ching called
            the more dissect ones Allantodia, but I personally see no need to
            split the genus.
            Several species are edible and you regularly see bunches of the
            young uncurling croziers, tied together with rice-stalks, on vegetable
            stands all over Nepal and further North-East. I wrote something about
            that aspect in the Indian-Fern site recently.
            The best edible one is actually perfectly hardy in the UK and
            grows well there providing it doesn't dry up in the Summer. It goes
            up to about 10,000 ft here in Nepal - hey, now that WOULD be a
            tree-fern and a half! - I mean altitude! It is Diplazium maximum
            (long confused with the more tropical D. polypodioides, which has
            thorny stipes, so might be a bit uncomfortable on the digestive tract,
            especially tomorrow!). I am convinced someone could make a local
            industry out of D. maximum if one wanted to cultivate it commercially.
            It is like a firm, crozier-shaped Asparagus and is really good boiled
            in salted water then fried a minute or so in butter. It is common
            throughout the Himalaya.
            The non-Nepalese Diplaziums (Diplazia?) I found to be still
            thriving in my abandoned old garden [how come my life is all about
            lost and abandoned gardens, I sometimes wonder?] in Gorkha, were D.
            virescens from the Khasi Hills, far N.E. India (which was not known in
            India until I found it there) and D. pseudosetigerum, also from Khasia
            and ditto. The latter is quite a nice one, nearly 4 times pinnatifid,
            so with neatly lobed segments in large, deltate fronds, and a bit like
            the common D. spectabile, but with erect crown-rhizomes forming a
            clump. But it's more subtropical.
            Actually I wrote a quite detailed monographic study of Indian
            Diplazia (plus Athyrium and Deparia) some 10 years ago and I keep
            meaning to update it and finalise it for publication some day, but
            there's always too much else to do....
            Cheers,
            Chris.

            --- In uk-ferns@yahoogroups.com, "Francis Bell" <fgt.ukferns@...> wrote:
            >
            > Chris,
            > Thanks very much for posting your account - very interesting. I was
            > interested to see you have diplazium there - it seems to be almost
            unheard
            > of here in the UK and the RHS plant finder only has a couple of obsolete
            > references to it, which seem to be out of stock. Out of interest, which
            > species was it exactly ? It seems that it is possible to buy large-ish
            > plants in the US, some of which have short trunks - but even so,
            info on the
            > hardiness of the genus is hard to come by, perhaps it is too tender
            for the
            > UK ?
            >
            > Sadly I have no growth from my pteris tricolour... will not give up
            yet...
            >
            > Regards,
            >
            > Francis
            >
            > On Sun, Oct 12, 2008 at 7:46 AM, Christopher Roy Fraser-Jenkins <
            > chrisophilus@...> wrote:
            >
            > > Dear all,
            > > With a feeling that there might be something more to ferny
            > > activity than weeks of green babies, I took the opportunity to visit
            > > Gorkha in Central Nepal last weekend for the Dasshain festival, when
            > > everyone goes to their Home or in-laws' home to receive a tikka - a
            > > red splodge of coloured rice over one's forehead, that then spends the
            > > rest of the day falling off over whatever one is looking at or
            > > reading, plus new rice shoots stuck behind the ear. Unfortunately my
            > > auricles stick out a bit and I've never been able to put even a pencil
            > > behind them, so that wasn't very long-lasting either!
            > > There was a massive 3 hour traffic jam of buses going out of
            > > Kathmandu (which is now almost empty of people) - and a 7 hour, all
            > > night jam on the way back due to an accident, when angry local youths
            > > went smashing up bus-windows etc. (and I found a superb and huge
            > > Indian moon-moth in a local Kukhuri rum store while passing the time,
            > > off the bus!).
            > > But it was well worth going as we have had two rather good years
            > > of monsoon and I went to visit my old fern-garden abandoned some 5
            > > years ago in the woods up the hill opposite Manakamana temple (where
            > > prayer to the patron deity makes one's wishes come true, it is said).
            > > So the ferns were very fine. I was delighted to see what I had
            > > planted as baby tree-ferns from East Nepal now with trunks and big,
            > > spreading leaves; some stalked Selaginellas carpeting the garden, and
            > > some far-east Assamese Diplazium still growing well, rather
            > > unexpectedly. But also naturally occurring clumps of Huperzia
            > > squarrosa clubmoss were now huge and hanging down off the tree
            > > branches above, and a tiny filmy-fern, only half a centimeter tall,
            > > but fully fertile, Trichomanes parvifolium was still carpeting the
            > > boulders under a waterfall in a cave there, where I first discovered
            > > it new to Nepal, some years ago. A small, 1 inch high Vittaria, V.
            > > sikkimensis, like little stiff blades of grass, also naturally present
            > > there, was now spreading over several adjacent tree-trunks I'd
            > > introduced it to (as there were only three plants on a single tree
            > > when I first found it), due to the good wet years. Of course quite a
            > > few things less suited to the 6-month long dry-Winter season, had
            > > pegged out, but it was good to see what was doing well and holding out
            > > against the weeds.
            > > On the way down to the road there was a lot of Ceratopteris
            > > growing on the raised mud walls of rice-fields, the Himalayan one
            > > being a distinct tetraploid, C. succulenta, not the true C.
            > > thalictroides of more tropical Asia. Azolla pinnata subsp. asiatica
            > > also grows floating on the water among the rice, increasing the
            > > nitrogen content of the paddy-fields and thus increasing the
            > > rice-yield by quite some percentage. Various little clump-forming
            > > Selaginellas also clothed the rice-field walls.
            > > Last week we went off to Pokhara, to go boating on the lake and
            > > walk up to the new Buddha temple. It was interesting there to look at
            > > the hybrid Dicranopteris x nepalensis, between D. taiwanensis and the
            > > common D. lanigera in its type-locailty, Rani Ban (the Queen's
            > > Forest), which I hadn't looked at since it first turned up some 12
            > > years ago. It is really intermediate in morphology and it would be
            > > interesting to investigate it cytologically and chemically - as it is
            > > a rhizome-running, thicket-forming genus, it covers quite a large area
            > > just above the Lake-side a bit west of Fish-tail Lodge there, which I
            > > later climbed into in order to reach the road, which rather surprised
            > > the diner's on the lawn as I was by then covered in burrs,
            > > grass-seeds, mud and general traces of undergrowth - and rather
            > > obviously wasn't there for an upmarket dinner!
            > > I was taking photos for my new book and a possible future Nepal
            > > photo-book of ferns, so managed to find quite a lot of good things -
            > > and avoided even a single leech-bite, which was a relief as I'm
            > > allergic to them and they itch for several months when they get me
            > > from among the damp fern-leaves.
            > > I'm now preparing for fern-visits to Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh
            > > this Winter, and maybe after that a possible return to England, if
            > > plans materialise - though I must say we'll miss this place
            > > dreadfully, despite all its current political and social problems, if
            > > we do get to the UK, assuming anything is left over there after this
            > > recession....
            > > All the best,
            > > Chris F.-J., Kathmandu.
            > >
            > >
            > >
            >
          • Steve Woodward
            Hi Francis, I have both Diplazium laxifrons and maximus here in Derbyshire and both came through last years winter ok, I think I can obtain some spore from
            Message 5 of 9 , Oct 15, 2008
            • 0 Attachment
              Hi Francis,

              I have both Diplazium laxifrons and maximus here in Derbyshire and
              both came through last years winter ok, I think I can obtain some
              spore from maximus if you would like some? if so email me your
              address and I'll see what I can do

              Kind Regards

              Steve Woodward

              --- In uk-ferns@yahoogroups.com, "Francis Bell" <fgt.ukferns@...>
              wrote:
              >
              > Chris,
              > Thanks very much for posting your account - very interesting. I was
              > interested to see you have diplazium there - it seems to be almost
              unheard
              > of here in the UK and the RHS plant finder only has a couple of
              obsolete
              > references to it, which seem to be out of stock. Out of interest,
              which
              > species was it exactly ? It seems that it is possible to buy large-
              ish
              > plants in the US, some of which have short trunks - but even so,
              info on the
              > hardiness of the genus is hard to come by, perhaps it is too tender
              for the
              > UK ?
              >
              > Sadly I have no growth from my pteris tricolour... will not give up
              yet...
              >
              > Regards,
              >
              > Francis
              >
              > On Sun, Oct 12, 2008 at 7:46 AM, Christopher Roy Fraser-Jenkins <
              > chrisophilus@...> wrote:
              >
              > > Dear all,
              > > With a feeling that there might be something more to ferny
              > > activity than weeks of green babies, I took the opportunity to
              visit
              > > Gorkha in Central Nepal last weekend for the Dasshain festival,
              when
              > > everyone goes to their Home or in-laws' home to receive a tikka -
              a
              > > red splodge of coloured rice over one's forehead, that then
              spends the
              > > rest of the day falling off over whatever one is looking at or
              > > reading, plus new rice shoots stuck behind the ear. Unfortunately
              my
              > > auricles stick out a bit and I've never been able to put even a
              pencil
              > > behind them, so that wasn't very long-lasting either!
              > > There was a massive 3 hour traffic jam of buses going out of
              > > Kathmandu (which is now almost empty of people) - and a 7 hour,
              all
              > > night jam on the way back due to an accident, when angry local
              youths
              > > went smashing up bus-windows etc. (and I found a superb and huge
              > > Indian moon-moth in a local Kukhuri rum store while passing the
              time,
              > > off the bus!).
              > > But it was well worth going as we have had two rather good years
              > > of monsoon and I went to visit my old fern-garden abandoned some 5
              > > years ago in the woods up the hill opposite Manakamana temple
              (where
              > > prayer to the patron deity makes one's wishes come true, it is
              said).
              > > So the ferns were very fine. I was delighted to see what I had
              > > planted as baby tree-ferns from East Nepal now with trunks and
              big,
              > > spreading leaves; some stalked Selaginellas carpeting the garden,
              and
              > > some far-east Assamese Diplazium still growing well, rather
              > > unexpectedly. But also naturally occurring clumps of Huperzia
              > > squarrosa clubmoss were now huge and hanging down off the tree
              > > branches above, and a tiny filmy-fern, only half a centimeter
              tall,
              > > but fully fertile, Trichomanes parvifolium was still carpeting the
              > > boulders under a waterfall in a cave there, where I first
              discovered
              > > it new to Nepal, some years ago. A small, 1 inch high Vittaria, V.
              > > sikkimensis, like little stiff blades of grass, also naturally
              present
              > > there, was now spreading over several adjacent tree-trunks I'd
              > > introduced it to (as there were only three plants on a single tree
              > > when I first found it), due to the good wet years. Of course
              quite a
              > > few things less suited to the 6-month long dry-Winter season, had
              > > pegged out, but it was good to see what was doing well and
              holding out
              > > against the weeds.
              > > On the way down to the road there was a lot of Ceratopteris
              > > growing on the raised mud walls of rice-fields, the Himalayan one
              > > being a distinct tetraploid, C. succulenta, not the true C.
              > > thalictroides of more tropical Asia. Azolla pinnata subsp.
              asiatica
              > > also grows floating on the water among the rice, increasing the
              > > nitrogen content of the paddy-fields and thus increasing the
              > > rice-yield by quite some percentage. Various little clump-forming
              > > Selaginellas also clothed the rice-field walls.
              > > Last week we went off to Pokhara, to go boating on the lake and
              > > walk up to the new Buddha temple. It was interesting there to
              look at
              > > the hybrid Dicranopteris x nepalensis, between D. taiwanensis and
              the
              > > common D. lanigera in its type-locailty, Rani Ban (the Queen's
              > > Forest), which I hadn't looked at since it first turned up some 12
              > > years ago. It is really intermediate in morphology and it would be
              > > interesting to investigate it cytologically and chemically - as
              it is
              > > a rhizome-running, thicket-forming genus, it covers quite a large
              area
              > > just above the Lake-side a bit west of Fish-tail Lodge there,
              which I
              > > later climbed into in order to reach the road, which rather
              surprised
              > > the diner's on the lawn as I was by then covered in burrs,
              > > grass-seeds, mud and general traces of undergrowth - and rather
              > > obviously wasn't there for an upmarket dinner!
              > > I was taking photos for my new book and a possible future Nepal
              > > photo-book of ferns, so managed to find quite a lot of good
              things -
              > > and avoided even a single leech-bite, which was a relief as I'm
              > > allergic to them and they itch for several months when they get me
              > > from among the damp fern-leaves.
              > > I'm now preparing for fern-visits to Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh
              > > this Winter, and maybe after that a possible return to England, if
              > > plans materialise - though I must say we'll miss this place
              > > dreadfully, despite all its current political and social
              problems, if
              > > we do get to the UK, assuming anything is left over there after
              this
              > > recession....
              > > All the best,
              > > Chris F.-J., Kathmandu.
              > >
              > >
              > >
              >
            • Francis Bell
              Chris, There is a chance that the tricolour may pull through yet! Thank you for the very detailed reply - even more surprising that they are so unknown in the
              Message 6 of 9 , Oct 15, 2008
              • 0 Attachment
                Chris,

                There is a chance that the tricolour may pull through yet!

                Thank you for the very detailed reply - even more surprising that they are so unknown in the UK horticultural trade considering that at least some of them would be hardy here. I was initially intrigued by a photo of diplazium esculenta posted on another forum - which appears to be pinnate lower on the stem, but simple at the tip (I'm not a botanist by trade so please excuse the description) - and which had a trunk much like a tree fern.

                Please do post any choice selections from your monograph as I would love to learn more about these plants.

                Regards,

                Francis
                 

                On Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 5:03 AM, Christopher Roy Fraser-Jenkins <chrisophilus@...> wrote:

                Dear Francis,
                Sorry to hear about the tribulant tricolor. Silly thing, doesn't
                it know it is extinct in cultivation in Britain, so should definitely
                do something about it and grow?! I suppose, then, that probably means
                no-one else had any luck, either? Or did they? Maybe someone
                interested should make an internet order to Henry's Plant Farm, USA,
                and get a plant sent over!
                Yes, we have a lot of Diplazium here, ranging from small ones
                with simple unlobed pinnae, to ones looking a bit like Dryopteris
                wallichiana, to others with a creeping-rhizome and fronds slightly
                like a D. dilatata, and even a superb and huge, shaggy, tripinnate one
                up to 8 ft tall and a massive and often quite tall trunk (say 1 foot
                or more) - the superb Diplazium himalayense, which I used to have
                growing in my father's garden in Wales (almost a kind of miniature
                pseudo tree-fern!). They all have elongated sori. Prof. Ching called
                the more dissect ones Allantodia, but I personally see no need to
                split the genus.
                Several species are edible and you regularly see bunches of the
                young uncurling croziers, tied together with rice-stalks, on vegetable
                stands all over Nepal and further North-East. I wrote something about
                that aspect in the Indian-Fern site recently.
                The best edible one is actually perfectly hardy in the UK and
                grows well there providing it doesn't dry up in the Summer. It goes
                up to about 10,000 ft here in Nepal - hey, now that WOULD be a
                tree-fern and a half! - I mean altitude! It is Diplazium maximum
                (long confused with the more tropical D. polypodioides, which has
                thorny stipes, so might be a bit uncomfortable on the digestive tract,
                especially tomorrow!). I am convinced someone could make a local
                industry out of D. maximum if one wanted to cultivate it commercially.
                It is like a firm, crozier-shaped Asparagus and is really good boiled
                in salted water then fried a minute or so in butter. It is common
                throughout the Himalaya.
                The non-Nepalese Diplaziums (Diplazia?) I found to be still
                thriving in my abandoned old garden [how come my life is all about
                lost and abandoned gardens, I sometimes wonder?] in Gorkha, were D.
                virescens from the Khasi Hills, far N.E. India (which was not known in
                India until I found it there) and D. pseudosetigerum, also from Khasia
                and ditto. The latter is quite a nice one, nearly 4 times pinnatifid,
                so with neatly lobed segments in large, deltate fronds, and a bit like
                the common D. spectabile, but with erect crown-rhizomes forming a
                clump. But it's more subtropical.
                Actually I wrote a quite detailed monographic study of Indian
                Diplazia (plus Athyrium and Deparia) some 10 years ago and I keep
                meaning to update it and finalise it for publication some day, but
                there's always too much else to do....
                Cheers,
                Chris.

                --- In uk-ferns@yahoogroups.com, "Francis Bell" <fgt.ukferns@...> wrote:
                >
                > Chris,
                > Thanks very much for posting your account - very interesting. I was
                > interested to see you have diplazium there - it seems to be almost
                unheard
                > of here in the UK and the RHS plant finder only has a couple of obsolete
                > references to it, which seem to be out of stock. Out of interest, which
                > species was it exactly ? It seems that it is possible to buy large-ish
                > plants in the US, some of which have short trunks - but even so,
                info on the
                > hardiness of the genus is hard to come by, perhaps it is too tender
                for the
                > UK ?
                >
                > Sadly I have no growth from my pteris tricolour... will not give up
                yet...
                >
                > Regards,
                >
                > Francis
                >
                > On Sun, Oct 12, 2008 at 7:46 AM, Christopher Roy Fraser-Jenkins <
                > chrisophilus@...> wrote:
                >
                > > Dear all,
                > > With a feeling that there might be something more to ferny
                > > activity than weeks of green babies, I took the opportunity to visit
                > > Gorkha in Central Nepal last weekend for the Dasshain festival, when
                > > everyone goes to their Home or in-laws' home to receive a tikka - a
                > > red splodge of coloured rice over one's forehead, that then spends the
                > > rest of the day falling off over whatever one is looking at or
                > > reading, plus new rice shoots stuck behind the ear. Unfortunately my
                > > auricles stick out a bit and I've never been able to put even a pencil
                > > behind them, so that wasn't very long-lasting either!
                > > There was a massive 3 hour traffic jam of buses going out of
                > > Kathmandu (which is now almost empty of people) - and a 7 hour, all
                > > night jam on the way back due to an accident, when angry local youths
                > > went smashing up bus-windows etc. (and I found a superb and huge
                > > Indian moon-moth in a local Kukhuri rum store while passing the time,
                > > off the bus!).
                > > But it was well worth going as we have had two rather good years
                > > of monsoon and I went to visit my old fern-garden abandoned some 5
                > > years ago in the woods up the hill opposite Manakamana temple (where
                > > prayer to the patron deity makes one's wishes come true, it is said).
                > > So the ferns were very fine. I was delighted to see what I had
                > > planted as baby tree-ferns from East Nepal now with trunks and big,
                > > spreading leaves; some stalked Selaginellas carpeting the garden, and
                > > some far-east Assamese Diplazium still growing well, rather
                > > unexpectedly. But also naturally occurring clumps of Huperzia
                > > squarrosa clubmoss were now huge and hanging down off the tree
                > > branches above, and a tiny filmy-fern, only half a centimeter tall,
                > > but fully fertile, Trichomanes parvifolium was still carpeting the
                > > boulders under a waterfall in a cave there, where I first discovered
                > > it new to Nepal, some years ago. A small, 1 inch high Vittaria, V.
                > > sikkimensis, like little stiff blades of grass, also naturally present
                > > there, was now spreading over several adjacent tree-trunks I'd
                > > introduced it to (as there were only three plants on a single tree
                > > when I first found it), due to the good wet years. Of course quite a
                > > few things less suited to the 6-month long dry-Winter season, had
                > > pegged out, but it was good to see what was doing well and holding out
                > > against the weeds.
                > > On the way down to the road there was a lot of Ceratopteris
                > > growing on the raised mud walls of rice-fields, the Himalayan one
                > > being a distinct tetraploid, C. succulenta, not the true C.
                > > thalictroides of more tropical Asia. Azolla pinnata subsp. asiatica
                > > also grows floating on the water among the rice, increasing the
                > > nitrogen content of the paddy-fields and thus increasing the
                > > rice-yield by quite some percentage. Various little clump-forming
                > > Selaginellas also clothed the rice-field walls.
                > > Last week we went off to Pokhara, to go boating on the lake and
                > > walk up to the new Buddha temple. It was interesting there to look at
                > > the hybrid Dicranopteris x nepalensis, between D. taiwanensis and the
                > > common D. lanigera in its type-locailty, Rani Ban (the Queen's
                > > Forest), which I hadn't looked at since it first turned up some 12
                > > years ago. It is really intermediate in morphology and it would be
                > > interesting to investigate it cytologically and chemically - as it is
                > > a rhizome-running, thicket-forming genus, it covers quite a large area
                > > just above the Lake-side a bit west of Fish-tail Lodge there, which I
                > > later climbed into in order to reach the road, which rather surprised
                > > the diner's on the lawn as I was by then covered in burrs,
                > > grass-seeds, mud and general traces of undergrowth - and rather
                > > obviously wasn't there for an upmarket dinner!
                > > I was taking photos for my new book and a possible future Nepal
                > > photo-book of ferns, so managed to find quite a lot of good things -
                > > and avoided even a single leech-bite, which was a relief as I'm
                > > allergic to them and they itch for several months when they get me
                > > from among the damp fern-leaves.
                > > I'm now preparing for fern-visits to Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh
                > > this Winter, and maybe after that a possible return to England, if
                > > plans materialise - though I must say we'll miss this place
                > > dreadfully, despite all its current political and social problems, if
                > > we do get to the UK, assuming anything is left over there after this
                > > recession....
                > > All the best,
                > > Chris F.-J., Kathmandu.
                > >
                > >
                > >
                >


              • Christopher Roy Fraser-Jenkins
                Dear Francis, I didn t mention D. esculentum as it s usually a more subtropical one, and low altitude - you ll see it abundantly in the ditches around villages
                Message 7 of 9 , Oct 15, 2008
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                  Dear Francis,
                  I didn't mention D. esculentum as it's usually a more subtropical
                  one, and low altitude - you'll see it abundantly in the ditches around
                  villages in Bangladesh etc., though it also goes as far west as the W.
                  Himalayan foothills, such as at Dehra Dun (the great Indian book
                  centre), in choice, damp places. Common enough round Kathmandu, too.
                  It is very strange in its frond-dimorphism as it is perfectly
                  capable of having large, lanceolate, simply pinnate-bipinnatifid
                  fronds (D. filix-mas pattern) which are fully fertile, but also the
                  typical large Diplazium tripinnatifid, deltate fronds, or mixtures in
                  between, like you saw. It is also a bit unusual in having the veins
                  anastomosing between the segments, like many Thelypteris species do
                  (e.g. T. dentata), and for this reason was once put into a separate
                  genus, Callipteris, but is just a typical Diplazium in other respects
                  and there are several other Diplazium species with anastomosing veins.
                  Recently a paper on Mexican Diplazium identified what they thought
                  was a "Callipteris scale" (dark-edges with forked marginal teeth) from
                  Mexican Diplazium species and very nearly made new combinations for a
                  whole lot of Asian species as well, but without the essential
                  vein-anastomoses of the "Genus", but actually it was just mistaken as
                  that type of scale is common in Old World Diplazium species, which are
                  definitely nothing to do with Section Callipteris!
                  D. esculentum is widely eaten, and it is in the veg-shops and
                  market stalls here through a much longer period than the superior D.
                  maximum - it is also good, but the stems being a bit thinner and
                  softer one has to chase the flopping buttery tips around a bit more to
                  pop them in. Hence a good candidate for Tom Jones' Asiatic gourmet
                  dinner dos!
                  Cheers,
                  Chris.


                  --- In uk-ferns@yahoogroups.com, "Francis Bell" <fgt.ukferns@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Chris,
                  > There is a chance that the tricolour may pull through yet!
                  >
                  > Thank you for the very detailed reply - even more surprising that
                  they are
                  > so unknown in the UK horticultural trade considering that at least
                  some of
                  > them would be hardy here. I was initially intrigued by a photo of
                  diplazium
                  > esculenta posted on another forum - which appears to be pinnate
                  lower on the
                  > stem, but simple at the tip (I'm not a botanist by trade so please
                  excuse
                  > the description) - and which had a trunk much like a tree fern.
                  >
                  > Please do post any choice selections from your monograph as I would
                  love to
                  > learn more about these plants.
                  >
                  > Regards,
                  >
                  > Francis
                  >
                  >
                  > On Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 5:03 AM, Christopher Roy Fraser-Jenkins <
                  > chrisophilus@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > > Dear Francis,
                  > > Sorry to hear about the tribulant tricolor. Silly thing, doesn't
                  > > it know it is extinct in cultivation in Britain, so should definitely
                  > > do something about it and grow?! I suppose, then, that probably means
                  > > no-one else had any luck, either? Or did they? Maybe someone
                  > > interested should make an internet order to Henry's Plant Farm, USA,
                  > > and get a plant sent over!
                  > > Yes, we have a lot of Diplazium here, ranging from small ones
                  > > with simple unlobed pinnae, to ones looking a bit like Dryopteris
                  > > wallichiana, to others with a creeping-rhizome and fronds slightly
                  > > like a D. dilatata, and even a superb and huge, shaggy, tripinnate one
                  > > up to 8 ft tall and a massive and often quite tall trunk (say 1 foot
                  > > or more) - the superb Diplazium himalayense, which I used to have
                  > > growing in my father's garden in Wales (almost a kind of miniature
                  > > pseudo tree-fern!). They all have elongated sori. Prof. Ching called
                  > > the more dissect ones Allantodia, but I personally see no need to
                  > > split the genus.
                  > > Several species are edible and you regularly see bunches of the
                  > > young uncurling croziers, tied together with rice-stalks, on vegetable
                  > > stands all over Nepal and further North-East. I wrote something about
                  > > that aspect in the Indian-Fern site recently.
                  > > The best edible one is actually perfectly hardy in the UK and
                  > > grows well there providing it doesn't dry up in the Summer. It goes
                  > > up to about 10,000 ft here in Nepal - hey, now that WOULD be a
                  > > tree-fern and a half! - I mean altitude! It is Diplazium maximum
                  > > (long confused with the more tropical D. polypodioides, which has
                  > > thorny stipes, so might be a bit uncomfortable on the digestive tract,
                  > > especially tomorrow!). I am convinced someone could make a local
                  > > industry out of D. maximum if one wanted to cultivate it commercially.
                  > > It is like a firm, crozier-shaped Asparagus and is really good boiled
                  > > in salted water then fried a minute or so in butter. It is common
                  > > throughout the Himalaya.
                  > > The non-Nepalese Diplaziums (Diplazia?) I found to be still
                  > > thriving in my abandoned old garden [how come my life is all about
                  > > lost and abandoned gardens, I sometimes wonder?] in Gorkha, were D.
                  > > virescens from the Khasi Hills, far N.E. India (which was not known in
                  > > India until I found it there) and D. pseudosetigerum, also from Khasia
                  > > and ditto. The latter is quite a nice one, nearly 4 times pinnatifid,
                  > > so with neatly lobed segments in large, deltate fronds, and a bit like
                  > > the common D. spectabile, but with erect crown-rhizomes forming a
                  > > clump. But it's more subtropical.
                  > > Actually I wrote a quite detailed monographic study of Indian
                  > > Diplazia (plus Athyrium and Deparia) some 10 years ago and I keep
                  > > meaning to update it and finalise it for publication some day, but
                  > > there's always too much else to do....
                  > > Cheers,
                  > > Chris.
                  > >
                  > > --- In uk-ferns@yahoogroups.com <uk-ferns%40yahoogroups.com>, "Francis
                  > > Bell" <fgt.ukferns@> wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > > Chris,
                  > > > Thanks very much for posting your account - very interesting. I was
                  > > > interested to see you have diplazium there - it seems to be almost
                  > > unheard
                  > > > of here in the UK and the RHS plant finder only has a couple of
                  obsolete
                  > > > references to it, which seem to be out of stock. Out of
                  interest, which
                  > > > species was it exactly ? It seems that it is possible to buy
                  large-ish
                  > > > plants in the US, some of which have short trunks - but even so,
                  > > info on the
                  > > > hardiness of the genus is hard to come by, perhaps it is too tender
                  > > for the
                  > > > UK ?
                  > > >
                  > > > Sadly I have no growth from my pteris tricolour... will not give up
                  > > yet...
                  > > >
                  > > > Regards,
                  > > >
                  > > > Francis
                  > > >
                  > > > On Sun, Oct 12, 2008 at 7:46 AM, Christopher Roy Fraser-Jenkins <
                  > > > chrisophilus@> wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > > > Dear all,
                  > > > > With a feeling that there might be something more to ferny
                  > > > > activity than weeks of green babies, I took the opportunity to
                  visit
                  > > > > Gorkha in Central Nepal last weekend for the Dasshain
                  festival, when
                  > > > > everyone goes to their Home or in-laws' home to receive a
                  tikka - a
                  > > > > red splodge of coloured rice over one's forehead, that then
                  spends the
                  > > > > rest of the day falling off over whatever one is looking at or
                  > > > > reading, plus new rice shoots stuck behind the ear.
                  Unfortunately my
                  > > > > auricles stick out a bit and I've never been able to put even
                  a pencil
                  > > > > behind them, so that wasn't very long-lasting either!
                  > > > > There was a massive 3 hour traffic jam of buses going out of
                  > > > > Kathmandu (which is now almost empty of people) - and a 7
                  hour, all
                  > > > > night jam on the way back due to an accident, when angry local
                  youths
                  > > > > went smashing up bus-windows etc. (and I found a superb and huge
                  > > > > Indian moon-moth in a local Kukhuri rum store while passing
                  the time,
                  > > > > off the bus!).
                  > > > > But it was well worth going as we have had two rather good years
                  > > > > of monsoon and I went to visit my old fern-garden abandoned some 5
                  > > > > years ago in the woods up the hill opposite Manakamana temple
                  (where
                  > > > > prayer to the patron deity makes one's wishes come true, it is
                  said).
                  > > > > So the ferns were very fine. I was delighted to see what I had
                  > > > > planted as baby tree-ferns from East Nepal now with trunks and
                  big,
                  > > > > spreading leaves; some stalked Selaginellas carpeting the
                  garden, and
                  > > > > some far-east Assamese Diplazium still growing well, rather
                  > > > > unexpectedly. But also naturally occurring clumps of Huperzia
                  > > > > squarrosa clubmoss were now huge and hanging down off the tree
                  > > > > branches above, and a tiny filmy-fern, only half a centimeter
                  tall,
                  > > > > but fully fertile, Trichomanes parvifolium was still carpeting the
                  > > > > boulders under a waterfall in a cave there, where I first
                  discovered
                  > > > > it new to Nepal, some years ago. A small, 1 inch high Vittaria, V.
                  > > > > sikkimensis, like little stiff blades of grass, also naturally
                  present
                  > > > > there, was now spreading over several adjacent tree-trunks I'd
                  > > > > introduced it to (as there were only three plants on a single tree
                  > > > > when I first found it), due to the good wet years. Of course
                  quite a
                  > > > > few things less suited to the 6-month long dry-Winter season, had
                  > > > > pegged out, but it was good to see what was doing well and
                  holding out
                  > > > > against the weeds.
                  > > > > On the way down to the road there was a lot of Ceratopteris
                  > > > > growing on the raised mud walls of rice-fields, the Himalayan one
                  > > > > being a distinct tetraploid, C. succulenta, not the true C.
                  > > > > thalictroides of more tropical Asia. Azolla pinnata subsp.
                  asiatica
                  > > > > also grows floating on the water among the rice, increasing the
                  > > > > nitrogen content of the paddy-fields and thus increasing the
                  > > > > rice-yield by quite some percentage. Various little clump-forming
                  > > > > Selaginellas also clothed the rice-field walls.
                  > > > > Last week we went off to Pokhara, to go boating on the lake and
                  > > > > walk up to the new Buddha temple. It was interesting there to
                  look at
                  > > > > the hybrid Dicranopteris x nepalensis, between D. taiwanensis
                  and the
                  > > > > common D. lanigera in its type-locailty, Rani Ban (the Queen's
                  > > > > Forest), which I hadn't looked at since it first turned up some 12
                  > > > > years ago. It is really intermediate in morphology and it would be
                  > > > > interesting to investigate it cytologically and chemically -
                  as it is
                  > > > > a rhizome-running, thicket-forming genus, it covers quite a
                  large area
                  > > > > just above the Lake-side a bit west of Fish-tail Lodge there,
                  which I
                  > > > > later climbed into in order to reach the road, which rather
                  surprised
                  > > > > the diner's on the lawn as I was by then covered in burrs,
                  > > > > grass-seeds, mud and general traces of undergrowth - and rather
                  > > > > obviously wasn't there for an upmarket dinner!
                  > > > > I was taking photos for my new book and a possible future Nepal
                  > > > > photo-book of ferns, so managed to find quite a lot of good
                  things -
                  > > > > and avoided even a single leech-bite, which was a relief as I'm
                  > > > > allergic to them and they itch for several months when they get me
                  > > > > from among the damp fern-leaves.
                  > > > > I'm now preparing for fern-visits to Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh
                  > > > > this Winter, and maybe after that a possible return to England, if
                  > > > > plans materialise - though I must say we'll miss this place
                  > > > > dreadfully, despite all its current political and social
                  problems, if
                  > > > > we do get to the UK, assuming anything is left over there
                  after this
                  > > > > recession....
                  > > > > All the best,
                  > > > > Chris F.-J., Kathmandu.
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  >
                • Francis Bell
                  Dear Chris, Thank you again for the very helpful info. I am wondering now whether it is D. esculentum I have popping up as a rogue from another batch of
                  Message 8 of 9 , Oct 16, 2008
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Dear Chris,

                    Thank you again for the very helpful info. I am wondering now whether it is D. esculentum I have popping up as a rogue from another batch of spore... I have both types of fronds on the same plant, typically they are pinnate when the plants are young and then tripinnate when they get bigger. They have a whitish blush on the stipe, and are vigourous growers, but show no inclination to develop a trunk, if anything they prefer to creep sideways. 

                    I an enclosing a couple of photos - both of the same plant - please could you take a look and let me know if I am on the right track ?

                    Thank you.

                    Francis

                    On Thu, Oct 16, 2008 at 3:58 AM, Christopher Roy Fraser-Jenkins <chrisophilus@...> wrote:

                    Dear Francis,
                    I didn't mention D. esculentum as it's usually a more subtropical
                    one, and low altitude - you'll see it abundantly in the ditches around
                    villages in Bangladesh etc., though it also goes as far west as the W.
                    Himalayan foothills, such as at Dehra Dun (the great Indian book
                    centre), in choice, damp places. Common enough round Kathmandu, too.
                    It is very strange in its frond-dimorphism as it is perfectly
                    capable of having large, lanceolate, simply pinnate-bipinnatifid
                    fronds (D. filix-mas pattern) which are fully fertile, but also the
                    typical large Diplazium tripinnatifid, deltate fronds, or mixtures in
                    between, like you saw. It is also a bit unusual in having the veins
                    anastomosing between the segments, like many Thelypteris species do
                    (e.g. T. dentata), and for this reason was once put into a separate
                    genus, Callipteris, but is just a typical Diplazium in other respects
                    and there are several other Diplazium species with anastomosing veins.
                    Recently a paper on Mexican Diplazium identified what they thought
                    was a "Callipteris scale" (dark-edges with forked marginal teeth) from
                    Mexican Diplazium species and very nearly made new combinations for a
                    whole lot of Asian species as well, but without the essential
                    vein-anastomoses of the "Genus", but actually it was just mistaken as
                    that type of scale is common in Old World Diplazium species, which are
                    definitely nothing to do with Section Callipteris!
                    D. esculentum is widely eaten, and it is in the veg-shops and
                    market stalls here through a much longer period than the superior D.
                    maximum - it is also good, but the stems being a bit thinner and
                    softer one has to chase the flopping buttery tips around a bit more to
                    pop them in. Hence a good candidate for Tom Jones' Asiatic gourmet
                    dinner dos!
                    Cheers,
                    Chris.

                    --- In uk-ferns@yahoogroups.com, "Francis Bell" <fgt.ukferns@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Chris,
                    > There is a chance that the tricolour may pull through yet!
                    >
                    > Thank you for the very detailed reply - even more surprising that
                    they are
                    > so unknown in the UK horticultural trade considering that at least
                    some of
                    > them would be hardy here. I was initially intrigued by a photo of
                    diplazium
                    > esculenta posted on another forum - which appears to be pinnate
                    lower on the
                    > stem, but simple at the tip (I'm not a botanist by trade so please
                    excuse
                    > the description) - and which had a trunk much like a tree fern.
                    >
                    > Please do post any choice selections from your monograph as I would
                    love to
                    > learn more about these plants.
                    >
                    > Regards,
                    >
                    > Francis
                    >
                    >
                    > On Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 5:03 AM, Christopher Roy Fraser-Jenkins <
                    > chrisophilus@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > > Dear Francis,
                    > > Sorry to hear about the tribulant tricolor. Silly thing, doesn't
                    > > it know it is extinct in cultivation in Britain, so should definitely
                    > > do something about it and grow?! I suppose, then, that probably means
                    > > no-one else had any luck, either? Or did they? Maybe someone
                    > > interested should make an internet order to Henry's Plant Farm, USA,
                    > > and get a plant sent over!
                    > > Yes, we have a lot of Diplazium here, ranging from small ones
                    > > with simple unlobed pinnae, to ones looking a bit like Dryopteris
                    > > wallichiana, to others with a creeping-rhizome and fronds slightly
                    > > like a D. dilatata, and even a superb and huge, shaggy, tripinnate one
                    > > up to 8 ft tall and a massive and often quite tall trunk (say 1 foot
                    > > or more) - the superb Diplazium himalayense, which I used to have
                    > > growing in my father's garden in Wales (almost a kind of miniature
                    > > pseudo tree-fern!). They all have elongated sori. Prof. Ching called
                    > > the more dissect ones Allantodia, but I personally see no need to
                    > > split the genus.
                    > > Several species are edible and you regularly see bunches of the
                    > > young uncurling croziers, tied together with rice-stalks, on vegetable
                    > > stands all over Nepal and further North-East. I wrote something about
                    > > that aspect in the Indian-Fern site recently.
                    > > The best edible one is actually perfectly hardy in the UK and
                    > > grows well there providing it doesn't dry up in the Summer. It goes
                    > > up to about 10,000 ft here in Nepal - hey, now that WOULD be a
                    > > tree-fern and a half! - I mean altitude! It is Diplazium maximum
                    > > (long confused with the more tropical D. polypodioides, which has
                    > > thorny stipes, so might be a bit uncomfortable on the digestive tract,
                    > > especially tomorrow!). I am convinced someone could make a local
                    > > industry out of D. maximum if one wanted to cultivate it commercially.
                    > > It is like a firm, crozier-shaped Asparagus and is really good boiled
                    > > in salted water then fried a minute or so in butter. It is common
                    > > throughout the Himalaya.
                    > > The non-Nepalese Diplaziums (Diplazia?) I found to be still
                    > > thriving in my abandoned old garden [how come my life is all about
                    > > lost and abandoned gardens, I sometimes wonder?] in Gorkha, were D.
                    > > virescens from the Khasi Hills, far N.E. India (which was not known in
                    > > India until I found it there) and D. pseudosetigerum, also from Khasia
                    > > and ditto. The latter is quite a nice one, nearly 4 times pinnatifid,
                    > > so with neatly lobed segments in large, deltate fronds, and a bit like
                    > > the common D. spectabile, but with erect crown-rhizomes forming a
                    > > clump. But it's more subtropical.
                    > > Actually I wrote a quite detailed monographic study of Indian
                    > > Diplazia (plus Athyrium and Deparia) some 10 years ago and I keep
                    > > meaning to update it and finalise it for publication some day, but
                    > > there's always too much else to do....
                    > > Cheers,
                    > > Chris.
                    > >
                    > > --- In uk-ferns@yahoogroups.com <uk-ferns%40yahoogroups.com>, "Francis
                    > > Bell" <fgt.ukferns@> wrote:
                    > > >
                    > > > Chris,
                    > > > Thanks very much for posting your account - very interesting. I was
                    > > > interested to see you have diplazium there - it seems to be almost
                    > > unheard
                    > > > of here in the UK and the RHS plant finder only has a couple of
                    obsolete
                    > > > references to it, which seem to be out of stock. Out of
                    interest, which
                    > > > species was it exactly ? It seems that it is possible to buy
                    large-ish
                    > > > plants in the US, some of which have short trunks - but even so,
                    > > info on the
                    > > > hardiness of the genus is hard to come by, perhaps it is too tender
                    > > for the
                    > > > UK ?
                    > > >
                    > > > Sadly I have no growth from my pteris tricolour... will not give up
                    > > yet...
                    > > >
                    > > > Regards,
                    > > >
                    > > > Francis
                    > > >
                    > > > On Sun, Oct 12, 2008 at 7:46 AM, Christopher Roy Fraser-Jenkins <
                    > > > chrisophilus@> wrote:
                    > > >
                    > > > > Dear all,
                    > > > > With a feeling that there might be something more to ferny
                    > > > > activity than weeks of green babies, I took the opportunity to
                    visit
                    > > > > Gorkha in Central Nepal last weekend for the Dasshain
                    festival, when
                    > > > > everyone goes to their Home or in-laws' home to receive a
                    tikka - a
                    > > > > red splodge of coloured rice over one's forehead, that then
                    spends the
                    > > > > rest of the day falling off over whatever one is looking at or
                    > > > > reading, plus new rice shoots stuck behind the ear.
                    Unfortunately my
                    > > > > auricles stick out a bit and I've never been able to put even
                    a pencil
                    > > > > behind them, so that wasn't very long-lasting either!
                    > > > > There was a massive 3 hour traffic jam of buses going out of
                    > > > > Kathmandu (which is now almost empty of people) - and a 7
                    hour, all
                    > > > > night jam on the way back due to an accident, when angry local
                    youths
                    > > > > went smashing up bus-windows etc. (and I found a superb and huge
                    > > > > Indian moon-moth in a local Kukhuri rum store while passing
                    the time,
                    > > > > off the bus!).
                    > > > > But it was well worth going as we have had two rather good years
                    > > > > of monsoon and I went to visit my old fern-garden abandoned some 5
                    > > > > years ago in the woods up the hill opposite Manakamana temple
                    (where
                    > > > > prayer to the patron deity makes one's wishes come true, it is
                    said).
                    > > > > So the ferns were very fine. I was delighted to see what I had
                    > > > > planted as baby tree-ferns from East Nepal now with trunks and
                    big,
                    > > > > spreading leaves; some stalked Selaginellas carpeting the
                    garden, and
                    > > > > some far-east Assamese Diplazium still growing well, rather
                    > > > > unexpectedly. But also naturally occurring clumps of Huperzia
                    > > > > squarrosa clubmoss were now huge and hanging down off the tree
                    > > > > branches above, and a tiny filmy-fern, only half a centimeter
                    tall,
                    > > > > but fully fertile, Trichomanes parvifolium was still carpeting the
                    > > > > boulders under a waterfall in a cave there, where I first
                    discovered
                    > > > > it new to Nepal, some years ago. A small, 1 inch high Vittaria, V.
                    > > > > sikkimensis, like little stiff blades of grass, also naturally
                    present
                    > > > > there, was now spreading over several adjacent tree-trunks I'd
                    > > > > introduced it to (as there were only three plants on a single tree
                    > > > > when I first found it), due to the good wet years. Of course
                    quite a
                    > > > > few things less suited to the 6-month long dry-Winter season, had
                    > > > > pegged out, but it was good to see what was doing well and
                    holding out
                    > > > > against the weeds.
                    > > > > On the way down to the road there was a lot of Ceratopteris
                    > > > > growing on the raised mud walls of rice-fields, the Himalayan one
                    > > > > being a distinct tetraploid, C. succulenta, not the true C.
                    > > > > thalictroides of more tropical Asia. Azolla pinnata subsp.
                    asiatica
                    > > > > also grows floating on the water among the rice, increasing the
                    > > > > nitrogen content of the paddy-fields and thus increasing the
                    > > > > rice-yield by quite some percentage. Various little clump-forming
                    > > > > Selaginellas also clothed the rice-field walls.
                    > > > > Last week we went off to Pokhara, to go boating on the lake and
                    > > > > walk up to the new Buddha temple. It was interesting there to
                    look at
                    > > > > the hybrid Dicranopteris x nepalensis, between D. taiwanensis
                    and the
                    > > > > common D. lanigera in its type-locailty, Rani Ban (the Queen's
                    > > > > Forest), which I hadn't looked at since it first turned up some 12
                    > > > > years ago. It is really intermediate in morphology and it would be
                    > > > > interesting to investigate it cytologically and chemically -
                    as it is
                    > > > > a rhizome-running, thicket-forming genus, it covers quite a
                    large area
                    > > > > just above the Lake-side a bit west of Fish-tail Lodge there,
                    which I
                    > > > > later climbed into in order to reach the road, which rather
                    surprised
                    > > > > the diner's on the lawn as I was by then covered in burrs,
                    > > > > grass-seeds, mud and general traces of undergrowth - and rather
                    > > > > obviously wasn't there for an upmarket dinner!
                    > > > > I was taking photos for my new book and a possible future Nepal
                    > > > > photo-book of ferns, so managed to find quite a lot of good
                    things -
                    > > > > and avoided even a single leech-bite, which was a relief as I'm
                    > > > > allergic to them and they itch for several months when they get me
                    > > > > from among the damp fern-leaves.
                    > > > > I'm now preparing for fern-visits to Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh
                    > > > > this Winter, and maybe after that a possible return to England, if
                    > > > > plans materialise - though I must say we'll miss this place
                    > > > > dreadfully, despite all its current political and social
                    problems, if
                    > > > > we do get to the UK, assuming anything is left over there
                    after this
                    > > > > recession....
                    > > > > All the best,
                    > > > > Chris F.-J., Kathmandu.
                    > > > >
                    > > > >
                    > > > >
                    > > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    >


                  • Christopher Roy Fraser-Jenkins
                    Dear Francis, Sorry I didn t get the photos - can you attach them to chrisophilus@yahoo.co.uk? The bloom on the axes sounds right as D. esculentum does have
                    Message 9 of 9 , Oct 16, 2008
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Dear Francis,
                      Sorry I didn't get the photos - can you attach them to
                      chrisophilus@...? The bloom on the axes sounds right as D.
                      esculentum does have small, fuzzy pale hairs looking almost like a
                      mould-attack on the rachis and costae (some populations don't and some
                      are intermediate). If you look at the lobes on the pinna, each lobe
                      has a group of pinnately arranged veinlets in it. Do those from one
                      lobe join and fuse with their opposite numbers from the next lobe,
                      with a "sinus membrane" or false vein running vertically up along the
                      fusions to the sinus between each lobe?
                      If so it's sure to be D. esculentum. I wouldn't try eating its
                      young fronds until you know for sure, though! (if the thought had
                      crossed your mind!).
                      Chris.
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