8 ž }з커I:tVAeJđRLԺ8Ζe%D:56A[t6'E_HS3ّ{}Ζp] [8N򩎩U qZ(0-MS3%<2+ Fzpr,=}&RT: lR:$g\/O0U9 &xYy-F7g#~1o<̅ ~ͤ?f\d D]j  #/+V 8婪 7.'#SgHZ VǬ"ݵ\'mVDu64[G3˿9qqwX]ت'}+|H_bV8]>:N-J fݹ?\nil "nmpvT#jK_ sP?=Sc&o֟)LM Ԇ=ƪӷ'7ڈ:__ҀrYX*9h_nl^#Žgj!I$!³.Cg) I1EbX R-1@|""KͽauEXj;[]q ﶸ6bk#KeڽT<_j>ֹH)]hSb|-’wm?xhW5ID8b4(a5^'W?(VE݌η60?8[uSr):INK4:~B{̑beH<ģJ/ zQ 5[X6Q!S1B:(w~_$ l`8z̍@N7"dN8Ea+YZ~mC[}=WfRlAPx}N0|?Ƀ ]T{ rͱpM"s%My ~* vm@Dt3I?)iׂJ I# GX[5i ;̸`q tO%p>ث ̪^Eµ ԓnkvU)ZMA4;ΟD|۳ b3\M .*wϕVbw[}!k&Bؾvy9gBK,7{>(i-D`8|5RyRpέP))d}F*9XPNK-eCo}`=:E(^[P'R&xxA佑n:x"zWGp千@Pv|:bp`zh d=-1['{wІy }JB(S/r(s> И˾]nɉSx>/4q]V-0DS~^h7x դVUg3ē #I 7I5\gX ,)i(e_NPBzp}s/xm'7W`:~2;P?"lΏ(DgUO-0He`IAgGUΘNA(Awj`4%+1apRo!qUP:a$::60dp4/%pcd7_"Vd"a4@]of{BLSceI4"HgmQXQ_FYAQy>$ےd0̴R!x(H+GбE*?y߬`4g1/MCFISmA !ELjOFqMDiӷM?;ablhlKTt I >G% Y pm/_p18_^##1][930 2q a׍^Q81 \i_gqGK8!jaIrPbvBR˝+9 T%Y5fBGsWC?[B 0H':^—yáj ٓ*?{ϪMCgUWud\@!T|}{tm;9EhB9_ՙ[LR0^? ';^G9nY>E_~>Cd f\@.6eB%TH+ĉQnV8|D>dY\ I*FV!X#O.|n4LKҶC<(U{XSaK ձC^p;X>v^hRX#?UZyzx^ڠMH1}4Qn@[AV%YM{:IЫʯ#gE00 qj[lx#Ҭ rlvX$[ e"2@BU^(d-u W;p.]r&JU~zVr5sj21AJPU$}fb(~n -Wh,"O )ƖurHIS/%B m#[V EiNk#'1k5i7gE5]V_t x,z4u`̹|4:Y[#s%xMMɶUofXO{t:{E6G]2z82߮+T9$emjAGष?Qv~ 0{֓eXE~Vc,PA`;fM1?z׈&;G9';mQgIhy)@=6`J(V_OϪ}ro[:׳ZZ} .k)Xǃ1}B9 B>@U\U0- gA÷G@n9 x+Xl%@cGxM:+,4y?ZW< ˆ B{Ѧ`sޟ[_KslonI M(c((S~ ~f~<$ra_,w_ߒ~[i_^4'ۋ'E:"xO#yT⹣1(@JH?tW#d $'+ce/f7 1;SE:,3]Kz5̌F j6LKZxK0?reoBԂ",O}%eQK0!Xj~0 9 +g = +\".,[IK4 bxqK&N6xAm0ۦݗ~uhٽ2`$BaUc;nAm3 ,neM͸C"~)Nkx3 fA[zF_g'XTpPA'vIW 56p&974؄i)g1I 5 23[7]'؟jb,1mp JD9 *ܹ$"Ҋ. OJI1OnG{P.ECj[jc=%YA4# ?T9-9qZ.R^Am 8qZ=#Uw~꣊L]<]А$.3(o.2ץSM3$R6 De+LżFa|U>/~:m%]@ TGKYEATL]_DKFD@]VDn[CB΄>{%q6H<',3߰}zumwINfCƚ_/ݦ5|&#E bwt^UyObc:gN7}]9!\baO:)G & ͙.vU+/i\:Ht[=Dz3٭XVu$ڄ:4&>bk1uj8`vN( ߒ @'o,zmw([\1JZVBa}MElZ^\,ՐoҪ\Z|KAjؖLa¥ji4G$GI>yI'X'JOza2Ke,:I*~B> 'B'R|t'Y>D1A%z䘰TLG27gDp N$ LAT^\ZYpqA727 lb5#YA PYCNJ  WA \P\BY QN]RZ[DS_Lspan="3"> This limestone outcropping is a beautiful reminder of a time when water flowed freely through Miami-Dade County, carving out the Miami Rock Ridge and creating a haven for ferns. Ferns reproduce by spores that are usually borne on the underside of the leaves. The spores on this relatively common Campyloneureum phyllitidis, the long strap fern, are ready to pop! The endangered Odontosoria clavata is also called the wedglet or parsley fern. This delicate fern bears spores differently from most ferns: They are found in cup-like structures at the ends of leaf segments. Botanist and explorer J. K. Small wrote of discovering a large population of this fern in a Miami-Dade County hammock: "... the rocky floor was literally carpeted with this fern. It grew so luxuriantly that deer would lie in the dense beds and several times they arose from their ferny beds only a few feet in front of us as we approached." He goes on to say that this population was extirpated by urbanization.

Ferns are exciting and sometimes a little intimidating, too. Since they are not flowering plants, they can be difficult to distinguish visually and even taxonomically. Further, many species hybridize to form unique varieties that are intermediate between their parents in morphology. However, I have found they repay the effort it takes to learn about them. In the last few months of taking notes, memorizing features, attending Florida Native Plant Society workshops, and taking photos, I have become increasingly fascinated by South Florida's extraordinary ferns.

Locating and identifying ferns was greatly facilitated by Keith Bradley of The Institute for Regional Conservation and Steve Hofstetten formerly of Miami-Dade County Department of Environmental Resources Management

Data on ferns in South Florida is from:

Nelson, Gil, 2000
Ferns of Florida,
Pineapple Press, Inc., Sarasota, FL

Small, J. K., 1929
From Eden to Sahara: Florida's Tragedy,
Science Press Printing Company, Lancaster, PA.

Garden Views Summer 2003