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Re: Pteris cretica


	The question of whether a plant is native to a particular area is a human
concept.  When all the continents were joined, all plants were "native".
Some plants found themselves on the east side of the crack and are
therefore considered native to Asia.  Others just on the west side of the
crack are considered native to the US.  

	Before the last ice age, few plants were native in the area that they are
native today.  On our property here in eastern NC, we have found petrified
redwood, cedar, and palm.  No modern day botanist would consider these
native on our property, but indeed they are.  Most of the plants in the
Florida panhandle were made native there by glaciers that deposited plants
from much further north.  This is why needle palm is winter hardy to
-15degrees F.  This is what makes much of todays arguments over natives
actually moot in the grand scheme of nature.  If a glacier moves the plant
then it becomes native, but if man or animals move the plant then it isn't
native...very interesting.  Keep in mind that when we use the term native,
we are referring only to time frames in which humans can comprehend.

At 06:46 PM 2/15/2003 -0800, you wrote:
>Hope it is not too late to be replying to this query.
>J. K. Small in his Ferns of the Southeastern States, says that Pteris cretica
>(L.) was first collected in Florida by J.L. Blodgett abt. 1838.  He also says
>that it was still found growing at Aspalaga Bluff in 1936 (where ever that
>is?).  How does one go about determining if a species is native or not?  I
>have recently found Pteris vittata (L.) growing in an old limestone quarry
>here in Southwest Georgia.  It was probably 50 miles north of FL line.  It is
>not native yet it got here somehow.  The quarry is now closed but it hasn't
>been too many years since it was in operation.  I very much doubt that
>transplanted the fern to the area.  Any one got any ideas as to how far a
>spore can travel, say in a hurricane?
>If say, a fern spore came over with Columbus on one of his voyages and it
>survived and prospered would we know this and could we consider it a native?
>James A. Rollins
>To sign-off this list, send email to majordomo@hort.net with the
Tony Avent
Plant Delights Nursery @
Juniper Level Botanic Garden
9241 Sauls Road
Raleigh, NC  27603  USA
Minimum Winter Temps 0-5 F
Maximum Summer Temps 95-105F
USDA Hardiness Zone 7b
email tony@plantdelights.com
website  http://www.plantdel.com
phone 919 772-4794
fax  919 772-4752
"I consider every plant hardy until I have killed it myself...at least
three times" - Avent

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