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  • Subject: [ferns] Gleichenia
  • From: "Tom Stuart" tstuart@westnet.com
  • Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2005 08:34:16 -0500
  • Content-description: Mail message body

Does anyone have experience with growing the forking ferns from spore?

The "Fern Grower's Manual" has an entry on the family Gleicheniaceae calling it 
difficult, slow. The smaller Gleichenia are said to be cultivated in New 
Zealand and Australia.

In habitat Gleichenia umbraculifera does not look difficult at all. It grows 
streamside or in damp meadows, competing easily with the grasses, at moderate 
elevations, 1000-2000 m, in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa, in neighboring 
provinces, and in Zimbabwe. It is one of the smaller members of the genus, 
topping out at 50-60 cm. The habitat at the higher end of its elevational range 
is probably Zone 8.

I ask because the spore is greenish-yellow and green spore are commonly said to 
have short viability. Perhaps more pertinent than color, the family is 
considered relatively primitive based upon the sporangial structure; some 
primitive ferns, such as Osmunda, have short life. Has anyone grown Gleichenia 
from stored spore?

Tom Stuart, New York

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