Ferns in the Arboretum

Date: 1-20-17
Allison Gatyas
Class: IDS-H. Audubon                          Instructors: Professor Lemeh and Dr. Moore
Blog Entry #1
Word Count:  375                                            Pod or Vod-cast: No
Reading assignment: No

Location: Arboretum at FAU Jupiter Campus
Time of Day: 9:36 a.m.
Species: Polystichum acrostichoides
Common Name: Christmas Fern
Scientific Name:Polystichum acrostichoides
Size/Dimension: 7.5 inches
Weight: unknown
Color: Light green
Image:fern1

Discussion:

On Friday, January 20th the class took a walk to the arboretum to complete sketches of a subject of our choice. After walking around for a bit I stumbled on a patch of ferns that were very lush and green. As I sat down in the Mixed Hardwood swamp indicated by the map of the arboretum I started sketching a specimen of fern. The sprinklers were then turned on and got myself and my sketch wet. Luckily the day was sunny and warm so the sketch dried quickly and I was able to continue drawing with the photos I had taken as well as my memory of the plant.
The specimen that I chose to draw was a plant that was about 7.5 inches tall. I counted the leaves on the specimen and it had an even number of leaves that were not exactly spaced and placed across from each other but staggered a little bit. The stalk had 54 fronds or leaves on it and a number of other ferns around it also had an even number of fronds. I noticed that the fronds are longer in the middle of the plant than they are on the top and bottom of the stalk. The stem of the fern is dark brown at the root and goes from brown to green as it goes up the plant. The fronds are uniformly shaped with a dorsal like extension at the top part of the leaf that attaches to the stem. When I found the fern it was 9:36 a.m in a shady spot with light coming from the NW. After being sprayed by the sprinklers I relied on memory and photos attached below.
The Christmas fern was given this name because the fertile fronds or leaves of the plants stay green year round regardless of weather conditions and are used in Christmas decorations. The fern grows in large colonies much like the condition I found my fern in. There were loads of plants in the section of the arboretum where I found the fern. My source also taught me that the ferns can grow to be 3 feet tall and four inches wide and are used by nesting birds like the wild turkey to conceal their nests and offspring.

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This is a photo from my specimen along with the small sprout next to it.

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This photo shows color samplings I did next to a frond from my fern to acheive an accurate color.

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This is a photo of the arboretum map and below is a sketch of the map that I completed noting where I found my fern.

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Sources:

http://www.psu.edu/dept/nkbiology/naturetrail/speciespages/christmasfern.htm

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