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Re: Blue Ferns

On Thu, 27 Feb 2003, philip crabb wrote:

> Hi,
> Since coloration in ferns was a recent topic, I wonder if I might ask about 
> the blue coloration in some ferns.  There are several Elaphoglossum species 
> that are a deep blue green, and even more so when they come in contact with 
> water.  And there is Microsorum steerii that does the same thing.  What is 
> the origin of the blue color, and can it be enhanced?  Aluminum sulphate is 
> fed to hydrangeas to deepen their blue.  Can this be done with ferns?

	I've got a couple of bluish ferns, both currently classified as
Pellaea, though they aren't too closely related... Pellaea calomelanos and
Pellaea cordifolia.  Of the P. calomelanos, all the plants I've seen have
had the same shade of blue, and I haven't noticed any factors affecting
the color... P. cordifolia seems to be more variable in its pigmentation,
and not as blue as P. calomelanos, but I don't know what factors affect
coloration in P. cordifolia, though I've grown one of the plants under
different levels of light, and didn't notice any effect on coloration as a

	Patrick Alexander

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