Ferns: Polypodium ferns

Discussion in 'Plants with Spores (Ferns, Mosses, et al.)' started by Margot, Jan 9, 2021.

  1. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor

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    There are several polypody ferns common on Vancouver Island – Polypodium glycerrhiza (Licorice Fern), P. hesperium and P. scouleri grow on rocks in my garden although they are often found growing on trunks and branches of trees - Polypodium glycerrhiza is often seen on Acer macrophyllum and P. scouleri on Picea sitchensis.

    Polypodium glycerrhiza
    and P. scouleri produce their new leaves mainly in the fall so they look fresh and beautiful throughout the winter. These photos were taken today.

    (Note: Polypodium scouleri is a natural hybrid between P. glycerrhiza and P. amorphum . . . I'm not completely sure I've identified it correctly.)
     

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  2. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I like those star-shaped mosses too.
     
  3. Nik

    Nik Rising Contributor

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    I love polypody ferns. Unfortunately, even though they are common in our area, whitetail deer decimate them wintertime, they are one of their favorite winter snacks. The only ones that survive are on the very edge of rock cliffs, inaccessible to deer. (Like in the first recent picture)
    I have tried to transplant Polypodium virginianum many times in areas close to the house, but the only one that survived the deer is a tiny plant immediately adjacent to our back deck, sort of ‘invisible’ to the hungry whitetails. Here are photos from the summer.
     

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  4. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor

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    Hi @Nik. Have you tried spraying your ferns with a deer deterent? There is a product available here called Bobbex which I find very effective protecting many plants including ferns from deer and rabbits.
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Here's a key that might help with identification:

    Polypodium key to species, Jepson eFlora (berkeley.edu)

    In addition note the spelling of glycyrrhiza and also under linked full description of scouleri that only some material designated as scouleri is of hybrid origin. And not the entire species.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021
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  6. Nik

    Nik Rising Contributor

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    Hi Margot, I have not. I will see if I can get the Bobbex stuff here and try it next year.
    For scaring chipmunks away (they dig way too many holes) I tried using artificial ‘fox urine’ and it did absolutely nothing... if anything they actually seemed attracted to it.
     
  7. Nik

    Nik Rising Contributor

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    Polypodium is the only fern that they eat, and only wintertime.
     

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