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Re: Dryopteris nigropaleacea


> Where and what is its native habitat. What is the hardiness in terms of cold
> temperature? Is it evergreen or deciduous?  What is the rhizome type and are
> there any special cultural needs. A brief description of the frond form
> would also be appreciated.

S.P. Khullar's "An Illustrated Fern Flora of the West Himalaya" places this in 
Fraser-Jenkins's Section Pallidae, characterized as 2-pinnate, broad at the 
blade base, parallel-sided, sometimes stalked pinnules, a long stipe, and 
glossy, abundant stipe scales.
Better known members of the section are Dd. marginalis, uniformis, sublacera, 
odontoloma, arguta, and stewartii. D. nigropaleacea is native to Pakistan, 
Kashmir, and West Nepal at altitudes from 1500 to 2500 m.. Since the source is 
not readily available, a substantial slice of the description:

Rhizome long, decumbent ascending, thick, scaly. Stipes 16-55 cm. long, 
stramineous to light-brown, thick (to .2 cm diam.) base densely scaly and 
fibrillose, scales at stipe base ... dark-brown or blackish, concolorous, to 
1.5 cm, broadly ovate-lanceolate, margin with toothlike projections .... Rachis 
stramineous, almost glabrous or with a few light-brown scales [continuing to 
the costa] .... Lamina 2-pinnate, 20-60 cm long, 10-25 cm broad, narrowly 
triangular-lanceolate, ... lower surface pale green, upper mid- or blue-green, 
often glaucous, matt, glabrous; pinnae 18-21 pairs, ... pinnules to 2 cm x .8 
cm ...  basiscopic pinnules often slighly larger ...  margin lobed .. veins 
free, forked, curved, running to the teeth of the lobes, but not to the margin. 
Sori small, medial, 4-6 pairs on each side of the costule ... indusia brown, 
reniform, shrivelling at maturity, margin almost entire.... A diploid species.

From the notes:
"This fern was formerly known in error as D. odontoloma." The cited differences 
would be difficult to discern for someone not familiar with both.

Tom Stuart, New York

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