Another fern ID - some type of Holly Fern?

Discussion in 'Plants: Identification' started by Gursk, May 16, 2007.

  1. Gursk

    Gursk Active Member

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    Hi all,

    This is the happiest fern in my shady yard & I'd like to know what sort it is so I can get more! I *think* it's some kind of holly fern, but I'm not sure. It's very deep green, evergreen over the Vancouver winter, bunching, and new fronds emerge a reddish-purple, and the pinnae each roll out individually. It is very leathery and shiny. It's far thicker & heartier than the 'Dryopteris erythrosora' I have elsewhere in my yard.

    Thanks very much for your help!
     

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  2. Gursk

    Gursk Active Member

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    Anyone have any guesses?
     
  3. smivies

    smivies Active Member

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    I just bought one of those but I've forgotten the name....I'll look it up in my records when I get home. I'm sure it's not a Holly fern of genus Cyrtomium but a Holly fern of genus Polystichum.
     
  4. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Sorry, don't know what it is, but it doesn't look like a Polystichum.
     
  5. GreenLarry

    GreenLarry Active Member 10 Years

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    Could it be a Blechnum?
     
  6. Silver surfer

    Silver surfer Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Tried to do some research and Blechnum seems to fit your fern. The books describe the new foliage as often being pink. Most species have 2 types of fronds-sporing and sterile. Sporing fronds usually more erect with narrower leaf. The spores are in a single line on either side of the vein. Looking closely at your 2nd photo ,bottom right, seems to show these features. Possibly B Spicant an evergreen fern. Hopes this helps.
     
  7. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Definitely not Blechnum spicant, which has single-pinnate fronds, not double-pinnate like this.

    I'd say most likely a species of Dryopteris.
     
  8. Silver surfer

    Silver surfer Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Oops! Michael is quite right , missed the obvious.
     
  9. GreenLarry

    GreenLarry Active Member 10 Years

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    I think the only way to be sure,at least to genus level,is to see the underside of the fronds. The arrangement of the sori,presence or absence of indusia etc.
     
  10. Gursk

    Gursk Active Member

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    Here are some closer pictures, front and back of frond.


    I'd appreciate any insight.
     

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  11. Chuck White

    Chuck White Active Member

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    Can't see the pix clearly enough, but it puts me in mind of Brauns' Holly Fern.
     
  12. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I still think a species of Dryopteris.
     
  13. DGuertin

    DGuertin Active Member 10 Years

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    Not a cyrtomium species.

    What is the average height? I have a few ideas, but I'd like to be certain. For anything to be evergreen in Ottowa, I have to say I'm surprised!
     
  14. Gursk

    Gursk Active Member

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    Thanks for your reply DGuertin,

    Right now it's about 2.5 feet tall.

    Cheers!

    P.S I'm actually in Vancouver, so it's a bit easier to be evergreen here.
     
  15. NiftyNiall

    NiftyNiall Active Member 10 Years

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  16. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Gursk, where did you buy it? For it to be one of the other ferns that emerges red-purple you would have had to be at one of the specialty suppliers. Something like Dryopteris hondoensis, for example, you aren't going to have found at the corner store.

    And do you recall whether the sori were red in season? I wonder if you've got one Dryopteris erythrosora prolifica and one regular one, this being the regular, that being why it doesn't look like what you figure is the autumn fern.
     
  17. Gursk

    Gursk Active Member

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    It has been *ages* since I bought it, but chances are it would have been at one of the following stores (all in Vancouver):

    - David Hunter on Broadway
    - Southlands off SW Marine Dr.
    - Home Depot on Terminal
    - Rona on E12th

    I'm going to have to check on the colour of the sori - I'm not certain!
     
  18. Gursk

    Gursk Active Member

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    There is also a very small chance I got it at the UBC Perennial Plant sale, but I doubt that. The plants at the UBC sale are usually very well marked/documented.

    The more I think about it, the more likely Southlands or Rona become more likely. Rona seems to get a crazy collection of unmarked ferns each year.
     
  19. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Well it just strikes me as being Dryopteris erythrosora, which is why I didn't say much when you first posted. Unfortunately mine is cut totally back at the moment as I had to move it in the fall, so I can't compare the sori pattern, but I did check D. erythrosora prolifica, which has similar sori. I also checked a couple of dozen other ferns whose fronds are lounging about the garden in "off" mode just now, and so far really nothing else that I have fits your photo, especially given the colourful emergence phenomenon. (I'll probably find some others to check later - I tend to forget where they're all tucked in.)

    I watch the nurseries' fern selections pretty carefully and I don't think Southlands nor Hunter have ever had anything that looks like this that is not D. erythrosora. Rona may indeed have gotten a batch from Red Barn or some other specialist of leftovers that included D. hondoensis - but even that, the sori don't match.

    Keep posting photos at various stages of emergence if you can, and the truth may become clear! And maybe post a photo of your Dryopteris erythrosora - maybe it's prolifica, as I mentioned earlier...
     
  20. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Whoops, my mistake, actually D. hondoensis match better than I remembered after my first look. I can post some photos later. But also, I checked the fern book I have, and it says D. hondoensis is "similar to D erythrosora except for its thinner leaf texture and short-stalked pinnae." The diagrams also show the D. erythrosora sori as being closer to the midrib as is the case in your photo - so I'm still leaning toward this being erythrosora and the other plant either being something else, or being a less vigorous exemplar of the same plant.
     
  21. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Here are photos, albeit imperfectly focussed ones, of the backs of D. erythrosora prolifica (or prolificum...) and D. hondoensis (this is a pinna, not a frond tip).
     

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  22. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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  23. KarinL

    KarinL Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    So is that fern emerging yet? Any chance of photos at this stage?
     
  24. Gursk

    Gursk Active Member

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    Sorry for the delayed reply - it's been a cold, cold spring & things are just starting to get cracking in the garden.

    Here are some photos of the new fronds unfurling - I love the deep shade of red!!!
     

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  25. Gursk

    Gursk Active Member

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    Thanks for all your insight KarinL ... I'd say the Dryopteris hondoensis is the closest match thus far - there aren't may photos of it out there... I'd love to compare the new growth.
     

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