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July 2016


Saturday July 23
Fern Society Social Event

Save Saturday evening July 23 to enjoy a casual social event with fern friends from around 5 to 8pm. This will be a potluck-style meal, with grill available for those would like to cook. Meet at the patio of Bob and Patty Charlton, 1332 Minden Dr, San Diego, 92111, and while there guests may enjoy viewing the many beautiful and interesting ferns and other plants. This is an opportunity for Fern Society members and friends to relax after the busy Fair time and before the August Show and Sale. There will not be a regular meeting in July.

Report on June Meeting

The June Fern Society meeting included a presentation with photos of the University of California Botanic Garden at Berkeley. Bruce Barry visited this location and provided great plant photos. The collection of ferns at Berkeley is extensive, including many xeric ferns as well as greenhouse grown tropical plants. The grounds are organized by regions of the world so ferns may be viewed with their associated trees and other flora. After seeing these photos, perhaps Fern Society friends will want to visit this public garden in person.

Preparing Ferns for the Show

August is coming soon, and it is time to prepare plants for the Fern Show. Each grower should share a favorite fern or perhaps something unusual. At the Show, the Fern Society lets the public see what our members grow, including beautiful ferns that just need ordinary care. The entrant must own and care for ferns to be judged during the previous three months. For those who acquire a new fern and wish to share it at the Show, it must be display only.

Platy boards1
Platyceriums and other ferns on display boards at the 2015 Fern Show. Photo credit: K. Russell.

Now, in July, it is important to ensure that potential Fern Show plants are free of pests and disease. While cleaning up the ferns, grower must check for evidence of disease. Ants, scale insects, and other pests should be eliminated using the least toxic methods. Check plants regularly during the next few weeks. No plants will be allowed in the Show room with ants or bugs. All damaged fronds must be removed.

Grower should determine correct names of plants in advance. Sometimes old fronds are helpful in identification, so the name should be established before final trimming and grooming. Books are available to assist in identification. Or, bring an old frond and a photo to the July social for assistance.

If the Show fern could use a more attractive container, cleaning the container or repotting (or mounting) the fern is best done now. Show ferns should be located in appropriate sites in the garden where they will thrive and can be conveniently watched over until August. When Show time comes, they will just need a final check and trim.

San Diego County Fair

Pyrossia longifolia crested1
The uncommon Crested form of
Asplenium longifolium is grown by Don Callard, and was displayed at the 2016 Fair Container Exhibit. Photo credit: K. Russell.

The Fern Society successfully maintained two exhibits at the Fair, and received a judge score sheet and substantial monetary points. A record Fair attendance of 1.6 million visitors was reported. Several guests commented positively to Fern Society members on the quality of the displays. The Society Board welcomes comments and suggestions from those who participated in loaning plants and display items, setting up, maintaining and taking down the displays. The Fair is a large and extended project, and helpers and plant owners deserve credit for their work. Thanks very much!

San Diego Fern Society
Brief Show Rules


1. Entry of plants should be completed by 5pm on Friday, with plants ready for display (groomed and neat). Plants may be brought Thursday evening, or Friday from 2pm to 4pm. No entries are accepted on Saturday. Exhibitor will prepare entry form with plant names. It is important to determine correct names ahead of time. Ask for assistance well in advance.
2. Judging will take place on Saturday, 8:30am until noon. The Show room will open to the public around noon, or earlier if ready. All displays must remain until 4pm on Sunday.
3. Plant owners must take their plants out of the room after the 4pm close on Sunday, or make arrangements.
4. The Show is open to entries by the general public.
5. An exhibitor may enter any number of plants, and any number in the same class.
6. Plants may be entered for competition or for display only.
7. All plants entered for competition must have been owned and grown by the competitor for at least 90 days prior to the Show.
8. Plants must be groomed and containers must be tidy. Only clean, disease and pest-free plants will be accepted into the Show room. A plant with any sign of disease or infestation will be immediately removed.
9. Use of leaf polish is not permitted.
10. Previous winners: Plants which have been awarded Best Fern of Show (non-
Platycerium) and Best Platycerium of Show may not be entered for competition. (They may be entered for display). No individual plant may win Most Unusual Plant award more than once. Plants which have won Division awards during the past three years must be entered in Division 30.

Selling Your Plants at the Fern Sale

Members may sell their own ferns and specialty plants at the Sale, following policies of the Fern Society and San Diego Botanical Garden Foundation. Sellers need to inform a board member of intention to sell, and assist with the Show and Sale.

Tropical Ferns from the
Asia-Pacific Area


Summer warmth draws fern growers to focus on tropical and subtropical ferns. A greater variety of fern species are found in the tropics than in temperate regions, giving growers in the San Diego area many options. Some of these will be on display at the 2016 San Diego Fern Show.

Platyceriums

Although a single species of Platycerium is found in the Americas, most of the Staghorn Ferns in cultivation in California have origins in the Asia-Pacific region. Platycerium bifurcatum is readily grown outdoors in mild areas and pleases growers with its many cultivars and hybrids. Even though it can overgrow its mounting and produce endless pups, there aren’t that many ferns which thrive so well in San Diego’s climate, with just minimal water and care.

ridleyi 1
Platycerium ridleyi grown by Don Callard, displayed at the 2013 San Diego Fern Show. Note the distinctive spore lobes. Photo credit: K. Russell.

Other
Platyceriums from the Asia-Pacific which interest growers here include Platycerium veitchii, P. superbum, P. hillii and the challenging tropical P. ridleyi. Platycerium ridleyi is found only on forest trees in tropical lowlands of Malaya and Indonesia, often near rivers, but not in open areas as these plants require shade. The ferns develop high up on the trees, and remain smaller than many other Staghorn Fern species. Shield fronds are ribbed, enclosing the roots in a mound. In nature, ants live within the plant. Fronds arch upwards and branch, giving the closest approximation of a stag's horn of all the species. Spores develop on a spoon-shaped lobe of the fronds. P. ridleyi is not tolerant of cold, so is suitable for greenhouse growing.

At the August Show several species and varieties may be on display, and the
Platycerium growers present always share growing tips.

Davallias

D fejeensis Major1
Davallia fejeensis Major,
grown by Bob Charlton, on display at the San Diego County Fair 2015. Fronds may extend as much as two feet, and rhizomes grow straight and outward, away from the basket. Photo credit: K. Russell.

The various species of
Davallia ferns primarily are from the Asia-Pacific area, with none found naturally in the Americas. These ferns have a lacy appearance that is favored by fern growers. Although many species are tropical, many other Davallias tolerate subtropical temperatures and are readily grown in the San Diego area. Many Davallias are best grown in hanging baskets, but plants can also grow against a tree or, with good drainage, even in the ground in a rock garden or fern bed.

Smaller species such as
Davallia tyermanii and D. trichomanoides (which in Reference 1 is identified as D. mariesii var. stenolepis) are useful in hanging baskets as well as planted in rock gardens. The rhizome scales of D. tyermanii are whitish and it is sometimes called the White Rabbit's-foot Fern. D. trichomanoides (or D. mariesii var. stenolepis) has light brown fuzzy rhizomes that suggest the common name Squirrel's-foot Fern. Both come from East Asia and are similar in size and frond shape. There is a dwarf form known of D. tyermanii with fronds extending up to 4 inches.

Asplenium: Bird’s-nest Ferns

The Bird’s-nest Ferns generally found locally from the Asia-Pacific area are
A. nidus, A. goudeyi, A. antiquum and A. australasicum. It takes care to differentiate these species, but most of the lovely plants with various scalloped-edged fronds here are probably Asplenium australasicum.

Paulas A goudeyi1
Asplenium goudeyi,
grown by Paula Couturier, on display at the San Diego County Fair 2015. This Asplenium may be more tolerant of sun and dryness than others, and is generally grown outdoors in the San Diego area. Photo credit: K. Russell.

Asplenium nidus sometimes establishes on buildings in wet tropical areas like the Malay Peninsula. Several plants may grow along a tree branch, collecting leaf litter in the "nest". The accumulation is held between the frond bases and roots grow through the decaying organic mass, holding the plant firmly in the tree. Plants survive partial drying and a bit of cool but not cold weather. In sun the fronds are more yellow than when grown in shade.

Asp 'silver wings' Philippines calllard 1copy
Asplenium australasicum 'Silver Wings' grown by Don Callard, displayed at the 2014 San Diego Fern Show. This grows to be a large plant. Photo credit: K. Russell.

Asplenium australasicum is a semi-tender plant native to India, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand and islands. This species is subtropical and does well in the San Diego climate. Plants grow quite large and may be kept in a container indefinitely if desired. Their natural habitat is in trees, and in nature plants may grow very large in a tree. However, plants may go into the ground for cultivation. Protect from snails. Local growers find that it is easier to grow and more cold tolerant than A. nidus.

Pyrrosias

Garden favorites for mild climates include the Pyrrosia ferns, sometimes called the Felt Ferns. P. lingua has some tolerance for temperate areas but most other species do best in subtropical conditions. Another epiphyte, the Pyrrosias make attractive basket plants but can also be grown in the ground in a rock garden or fern bed. They have star-shaped hairs on the frond blade, visible with a magnifier. Most need just moderate water.

Pyrossia longifolia is common in wet tropical areas of the Malay peninsula. An epiphytic fern, the name matches the growth pattern with fronds extending up to 3 feet long, hanging in bunches from the trunk and branches of trees. The plant pictured on Page 2 is an uncommon crested form. Its fronds do not seem to develop the length of the standard P. longifolia. These ferns like the humidity and warmth of a greenhouse.
Pyrrosia hastata, a native of Korea and Japan, can grow in a container or in the ground and is appropriate for a rock garden.

Hastata1
Pyrrosia hastata in a rock garden in the Balboa Park Botanical Building. Note the newly emerging fronds (left center in photo above). Photos this page credit: K. Russell.

Palmata1
Container grown
Pyrrosia polydactyla displayed at the 2014 San Diego Fern Show by Walt Meier.

Pyrrosia polydactyla has palmate fronds, like fingers. Native to Taiwan, this fern has fronds with six to eight lobes. Plants will grow about a foot tall in the garden or a container. These ferns are semi-tender to cold. When quite dry the fronds curl up, but open again with watering.

P. linearifolia has blade-shaped fronds up to 3 inches long. It is epipetric, from China, Korea and Japan, and is somewhat hardy to cold. Plants adapt to container culture and remain small. P. piloselliodes is a miniature plant native to India, Malaysia, Philippines, and Indonesia. Fronds are dimorphic, with small roundish sterile fronds and longer fertile fronds up to 5 inches. Pyrrosia piloselliodes is suitable for terrariums. In nature it is found on mossy tree bark. Another terrarium Pyrrosia is the similar P. nummulariifolia, also from south and southeastern Asia.

P Piloselliodes1
Pyrrosia piloselliodes grown by Don Callard and displayed at San Diego Fern Show in 2011.

Monstrifera1
Frond of
Pyrrosia lingua 'Monstrifera' showing the toothed edges. This plant has been growing in a garden in the San Diego area for several years.

References:
1. Hoshizaki, B. and Moran, R. (2001).
Fern grower's manual. Portland, OR: Timber Press.
2. Wee, Y. C. (1998).
Ferns of the tropics. Portland, OR: Timber Press.



Meeting Calendar 2016


July 23 Garden Party
Aug 18
Sep 15 Oct 20
Nov 17 Dec 15



Board Meetings
First Tuesday of September, November

2016 Fern Show August 20-21

San Diego Fern Society Officers

President
Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
1st Vice President
Kathy Thomson
2nd Vice President
Bill Brannock wbrannock410@aol.com
Secretary
open
Treasurer
Jay Amshey coastbiomaterials@cox.net
Board Members:
Bruce Barry
Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
Richard Lujan
Past President
Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

Website
www.sandiegofernsociety.com
Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

Fern Society email
sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com

Membership
Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting
or mail to:
San Diego Fern Society
2350 Jennifer Ln
Encinitas CA 92024

San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

The San Diego Fern Society was formed
* to provide a source of information on ferns;
* to arrange for people to study ferns together;
* to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

The Society aims
* to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
* to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
* to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
* to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
* to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of fern

Volume XXXX, Number 7
June 16 Meeting

The Fern Society meets Thursday June 16 at 7:30 pm in Room 101, Casa del Prado, Balboa Park. The program will be a presentation with photos of the University of California Botanic Garden in Berkeley. Bruce Barry visited this location and has great plant photos to share. The collection of ferns at Berkeley is extensive.

C lind1
In the UC Botanic Garden collection, Cheilanthes lindheimeri. Photo credit: Bruce Barry.

Report on May Meeting

The Fern Society meeting included slide and video presentations on spore development and collecting spores. Bob Charlton found material to supplement Barbara Joe Hoshizaki's lesson.

Plant Table for June

Bring a little cash for Plant Table ferns. These small ferns were purchased and nurtured by our Society, including some species not available in local nurseries. This is your last opportunity for the low cost Plant Table ferns this summer.

Summer Social Coming in July

Mark your calendar for Saturday July 23 to enjoy a casual social event with fern friends. We will have a potluck-style meal, with grill available if you would like to cook. Meet at the patio of Bob and Patty Charlton, and while there enjoy viewing the many ferns and other plants. This is an opportunity for Fern Society members and friends to relax after the busy Fair time and before the August Show and Sale.

August Fern Show

August 20-21
Saturday noon to 5pm
Sunday 10am to 4pm

Preparing your Ferns for the Show

June is time to prepare your plants for the upcoming August Fern Show.
Yes, it is important to start now. Choose some ferns you might enter in the Show. These potential ferns could be rare and unusual, or just beautiful or interesting ferns. Consider your own favorites as potential entries. At the Show, the Fern Society lets the public see what our members grow, including beautiful ferns that just need ordinary care. The entrant must own and care for ferns to be judged during the previous three months. If you acquire a new fern that you wish to share, it must be entered for display only.

Take time now to ensure that your plants are free of pests and disease. Clean up the ferns, checking for evidence of disease. Get rid of ants, scale insects, and other pests using the least toxic methods. Then check plants regularly during the next few weeks. No plants will be allowed in the Show room with ants or bugs. All damaged fronds must be removed.

Please determine names of your plants in advance. Sometimes the old fronds are helpful in identification, so establish the plant name before final trimming and grooming. Books are available in our library at the June meeting.

If your plant could use a more attractive container, clean the container or repot (or mount) the fern now. Locate your Show ferns in appropriate sites in your garden where they will thrive and you can conveniently watch over them until August. When Show time comes, they will just need a final check and trim.

San Diego County Fair

cat copy1
San Diego County Fair creation by Kathy
Thomson. Photo credit: R. Russell.

The Fair is open through Monday July 4. (Closed June 13, 14, 20 and 27.) The Fern Society has two entries, a container exhibit and a landscape exhibit. Gardeners and especially those with an interest in ferns are encouraged to enjoy the displays.

castle view copy1
San Diego County Fair Landscape exhibit.
Photos credit: K. Russell.


maidenhair w epi copy1
Maidenhair grows out the top and bottom of container with an epiphyllum cactus. Photos credit: K. Russell.

ladder view copy1
Ladders, another structure (behind), old farming equipment and a fire wagon wheel relate to the Fair theme. A wheelchair and hand tools (foreground) demonstrate the accessibility feature of this design. The fairy garden and dinosaur/volcano area allow creative play for kids of any age.





Platycerium vassei

Platycerium vassei is found in nature in coastal areas of the eastern mainland of Africa. Platycerium alcicorne is from Madagascar. As is common with ferns, there are differences of opinion on plant names and species distinctions. Botanists often consider them to be the same species and use the name P. alcicorne. A botanist of the past, C.V. Morton, advocated for the name P. vassei. Currently, the name P. alcicorne is in use for both; however, growers recognize that these plants are quite distinctive.

Both forms have upright fertile fronds of about 12 inches. In low light, the fertile fronds grow longer and sometimes twist or bend and hang downward. Both varieties tend to have very seasonal growth, with winter dormancy. Spore patches form at the ultimate fork of the fertile fronds.

P vasse1i
Platycerium vassei grown by Don Callard on display at the San Diego County Fair. Photo credit: K. Russell.

Platycerium alcicorne of Madagascar has distinctive ridges on the shield fronds, as also found on P. madagascariense. Plants are dark green with visible stellate hairs on the shield fronds appearing as black dots. The shield fronds tend to grow back against the board or tree, so a grower must get water behind these shields to the root area. Shield fronds eventually become nearly black. Fertile fronds have whitish hairs on the underside. This variety may require more water than other Platyceriums.

The African variety, here referred to as Platycerium vassei, may be the plant more commonly grown in the US. It is found in nature in the lowlands of Mozambique and eastern areas of Zimbabwe. Plants have a more yellow green color, with shield fronds somewhat waxy, showing very few hairs and turning brown with age. Fertile fronds have a covering of hairs. P. vassei plants are found very high up in tall deciduous woodland or dry semi-deciduous forests. Growing in the upper branches of the tree canopy, these ferns receive strong light in the winter season. This form may be grown in high light and should not be overwatered. It is considered easy to grow in frost free areas, and pups frequently.

References:
1. Burrows, J. E., & Burrows, S. (1990). Southern African ferns and fern allies. Sandton, South Africa: Frandsen.
2. Hoshizaki, B. and Moran, R. (2001). Fern grower's manual. Portland, OR: Timber Press.
3. Vale, R. (1984). Platycerium hobbyist's handbook. Mena, AR: Desert Biological Publications.

P veitchii superbum & cv copy
Platycerium veitchii, superbum and a cultivar in the container exhibit at the San Diego County Fair.
Photo credit: K. Russell.



Polystichum polyblepharum

This attractive fern, sometimes called the Tassel Fern, is native to China, Korea and Japan. It has upright growth and even may form a small trunk after a few years; however it is not considered a tree fern as this rhizome may just be around five inches. Young stipes have silver scales, fading to brown later. The young fiddleheads may be the reason for the name Tassel Fern, as they bend over while uncurling and have a fuzzy appearance. Fronds become dark green and shiny. Spores develop in round sori on the underside of the fronds. Plants generally grow up to two feet in height, but some are known to be twice that tall.

fiddleheads ready to emerge1
Developing fiddleheads in center of Polystichum polyblepharum. Photo credit: K. Russell.

new and old frondsBot B1l
New and (near the ground) old fronds. Photo credit: K. Russell.


P. polyblepharum is evergreen, but produces a spring flush of new fronds early in the year. For a tidy garden appearance, the grower may choose to cut off the old fronds when new ones are growing well. Also, as the plant develops the small trunk, soil mix may be added around the trunk for stability and moisture.

fuzzy growth1
New frond of Polystichum polyblepharum.
Photo credit: B. Russell.

This Polystichum is recommended for warm climates as plants tolerate a hot summer when kept consistently moist. A hardy fern, meaning suitable for temperate areas, it actually grows well in quite diverse climates. A shady location and amended soil may be best. However, experience in San Diego shows that Polystichum polyblepharum is mostly forgiving of partial sun and low humidity. It is also suggested as an indoor container plant.

Reference:
1. Olsen, S. (2007). Encyclopedia of garden ferns. Portland, OR: Timber Press.




San Diego Fern Society Show and Sale
August 20-21, 2016


Selling Plants at the August Show

Members may sell ferns and specialty plants at the August Fern Sale, and will need to follow the policies of the Fern Society and San Diego Botanical Garden Foundation. Email the Society at sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com or inform a Board member of your intention to sell, so that a copy of the sales policy can be sent to you in advance. Sellers should plan to assist with the Show and Sale.

Finishing well at the Fair

Special thanks goes to Don Callard for exhibiting his Platyceriums and other ferns and doing the major set up and maintenance of the Container Exhibit. Also, thanks to Kathy Thomson for Landscape Exhibit design and set up, and to the many members and friends who assisted and loaned plants. The Fair recognition of Noteworthy Plant was given to a Ligularia owned by Bart Keeran.

After the Fair there is always a need to help with carefully removing plants and materials, and transporting them to their home locations on Tuesday July 5. This is the Tuesday immediately after the Fair ends

What to do with small ferns?

desk clutter1
Three small ferns draw the eye away from the desk clutter of computer and cords. Photo credit: K. Russell.

UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley

The UC Botanical Garden, established 125 years ago, operates as a research garden and museum, with an extensive collection. With 34 acres of naturalistic, regional landscapes, there are diverse plants from around the world including many endangered species. The gardens feature a Xerophytic Fern Display, Tropical House, California Collection and American Deserts. There are dedicated Asia, Australasia, Mediterranean and Southern Africa areas and more.

berkeley1
UC Botanic Garden collection. Photo credit: Bruce Barry.

UC Berkeley has many resources for fern enthusiasts, with a major collection of living fern plants as well as herbarium specimens. The databases provide access to records for California plants and more. For example, identification and information on the ferns of Moorea in the Fern World of May 2016 was sourced here in the Jepson Herbarium.

This botanical garden is open to the public nearly every day for a modest admission fee. Check the website for information:
botanicalgarden.berkeley.edu



Meeting Calendar 2016

Jun 16 Oct 20
July 23 social event
Aug 18 Nov 17
Sep 15 Dec 15



Board Meetings
First Tuesday of July, September, November

2016 Fern Show August 20-21

San Diego Fern Society Officers

President
Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
1st Vice President
Kathy Thomson
2nd Vice President
Bill Brannock wbrannock410@aol.com
Secretary
open
Treasurer
Jay Amshey coastbiomaterials@cox.net
Board Members:
Bruce Barry
Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
Richard Lujan
Past President
Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

Website
www.sandiegofernsociety.com
Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

Fern Society email
sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com

Membership
Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting
or mail to:
San Diego Fern Society
2350 Jennifer Ln
Encinitas CA 92024

San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

The San Diego Fern Society was formed
* to provide a source of information on ferns;
* to arrange for people to study ferns together;
* to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

The Society aims
* to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
* to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
* to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
* to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
* to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.

Volume XXXX, Number 6
May 19 Fern Society Meeting

In May, we plan to view the presentation on harvesting fern spores, prepared by the late Barbara Joe Hoshizaki and her students. Attendees may share updates on their own experiences growing from spore, and ask further questions.

Report on April Meeting

In April the program included photos of Garden Art and Design presented by Kathy Thomson. Kathy shared her garden photos from the perspective of an artist, giving attendees ideas to take home from historic Charleston SC and other eastern US areas. Also, those present viewed plans for the upcoming San Diego County Fair.

Resurrection Fern

One of the ferns seen in the Charleston photos was
Polypodium polypodioides, known as the Resurrection Fern. These ferns live on trees and are known for drying and rehydrating again, fresh and green. Study shows that Polypodium polypodioides fronds can lose up to 97% of their water content and still survive undamaged.

res fronds1
Polypodium polypodioides.
Photo credit: Kathy Thomson.

Reference:
Stewart, T. S. (1968). Revival of respiration and photosynthesis in dried leaves of
Polypodium polypodiodes. Planta, 83(2), 185-206.

San Diego County Fair

fair logo1

Wonderland is the theme for the Garden Show of the Fair, and Steampunk will be featured throughout the fairgrounds and programming.

The Fern Society will have two displays, a container exhibit and a landscape exhibit. Ferns and other plants from members are needed to prepare pleasing and informative exhibits. There is always a need for the larger, dramatic ferns and for transportation to get ferns along with some small trees and various display items to the Fair, and returned home July 5. The Fair is open Friday June 3 through Monday July 4. (Closed June 6, 7, 13, 14, 20 and 27.)

Planting workday will be Friday May 27 at 9am. Bring shovel, trowel and/or trimmer. Finishing day is Saturday May 28 at 9am. Signage will be installed Sunday and judging is the following week.

Plant Table for May

Fern Sharing Table: Expect some garden starts of
Blechnum appendiculatum. Those who have extras of their ferns may share them at the May meeting. No cost.


Hiking Moorea with Ron Konopka

Moorea, one of the Society Islands of French Polynesia, is considered by some to be an ideal tropical paradise. Ron Konopka has great memories of this beautiful place, a volcanic island located just 11 miles from Tahiti. The island is about 10 miles wide and the highest point is just under 4000 feet elevation. Many kinds of ferns flourish there.

view of hike area from bay copy1
Above: View of hiking area in Moorea, from the bay. Below: Mount Rotui.
All photos credit: Ron Konopka.
Mt Rotui copy1

University of California, Berkeley maintains a Research Station on Moorea, thus the Moorea fern species are in its plant database (Reference 1). Ron's photos of ferns taken while hiking are provisionally identified using this source.

It is interesting that a fern commonly grown in the US, the species plant of the popular Boston Fern, is found in Moorea. Many fern varieties in horticulture are from
Nephrolepsis exaltata. Nurseries and plant collectors often have N. cordifolia and its cultivars as well, and these plants can spread over the ground in San Diego area locations, needing just a little supplemental water.

Nephrolepsis biserrata is found at the higher elevations of Moorea. Nephrolepsis hirsutula also grows in Moorea, and additionally is native to the warmer areas of Australia. The fiddleheads of N. hirsutula, as well as those of Bechnum orientale, Angiopteris evecta and various other tropical ferns, are reportedly eaten as a food (Reference 2).

Nephrolepis cordifolia copy1
Possible plant of
Nephrolepis cordifolia seen on Moorea hike.

Blechnum orientale
has new reddish growth with fronds maturing to green. Plants are terrestrial in drier or open areas, and form large groupings. Fronds extend from just a few inches to 6 feet tall. B. orientale is known to recolonize cleared areas after fire or logging. Plants are found in nature throughout tropical Asia, Australia and islands.

Blechnum orientale copy1
A fern tentatively identified as
Blechnum orientale. Younger fronds show brighter green color. There are five species of Blechnums found on Moorea.

Microsorum grossum is found at all elevations on the ground, on rock or trees, in exposed areas or with light tree cover. Another tropical plant, it is also found in Australia. About six species of Microsorum are on Moorea.

microsorum grossum copy1
Growing in rocks, this fern may be
Microsorum grossum.

A lithophytic fern, Crepidomanes bipunctatum develops small fronds of just an inch or so. This fern is noted as common in Malaya in moist lowland forests, and is also found in Tahiti. Tripinatifid fronds grow out from branched rhizomes. (Photo next page).
Right: Possible
Deparia confluens, a mid elevation fern.
Many other ferns are found in tropical Moorea, including names that growers recognize. Tree ferns include
Alsophila tahitensis, Cyathea epaleata and Sphaeropteris medullaris. Alsophila tahitensis is similar or possibly the same as Cyathea affinis, and found on Pacific islands. Plants are at high elevations, growing up to 30 feet tall. Cyathea epaleata is uncommon, but listed for Moorea. Sphaeropteris medullaris, known as the Black Tree Fern, grows naturally as far south as New Zealand. One of the largest tree ferns, it grows quickly and is in horticultural cultivation but frost sensitive. On Moorea, Sphaeropteris medullaris is found at high elevations.

two fronds1
Asplenium nidus, the tropical Bird's Nest Fern, and the more common A. australasicum are both on Moorea, growing in high tree branch forks. Four additional Aspleniums grow here.


Several species of
Hymenophyllums, the filmy ferns, as well as other ferns are found in the high cloud forest areas.

Crepidomanes bipunctatum copy1
Above and below: A fern tentatively identified as
Crepidomanes bipunctatum.
Crepidomanes bipunctatum sm1


Teratophyllum wilkesianum copy1
Hikers near possible Teratophyllum wilkesianum fern, which grows up
from the ground to climb against a tree.

structure1
Ceremonial site of the local people, in the forest on Moorea.

fern against tree1
An unidentified fern growing from the ground up a tree.

Angiopteris evecta copy1
A111
forest1
A311
Above: Large ferns thought to be Angiopteris evecta. Sometimes called the Elephant Fern, this beauty has a large base stem with twice pinnate fronds that may extend six to nine feet. It is in cultivation, needing tropical to sub-tropical conditions, and must be kept moist.

Amphineuron opulentum copy1
A fern tentatively identified as
Amphineuron opulentum.

Information and photos for this article were provided by Ron Konopka with supplemental details from internet sources and the references listed.


References:
Jepson Herbarium:
1. ucjeps.berkeley.edu/moorea/pteridophytes.html
2. Holttum, R.E. (1968).
Flora of Malaya: An illustrated systematic account of the Malayan flora, including commonly cultivated plants (Vol. II, Ferns of Malaya). Singapore: G.P.O.
3. Hoshizaki, B. and Moran, R. (2001).
Fern grower's manual. Portland, OR: Timber Press.
4. Large, M.F., & Braggins, J.E. (2004).
Tree ferns. Portland, OR: Timber Press.
5. Wee, Y.C. (1997).
Ferns of the tropics. Singapore: Times Editions.





San Diego Fern Society
Meeting Calendar 2016

May 19
Jun 16
July 23 social event
Aug 18
Sep 15
Oct 20
Nov 17
Dec 15 annual meeting


San Diego Fern Society Board Meetings
First Tuesday of July, September, November

2016 Fern Show
August 20-21



Website
www.sandiegofernsociety.com
Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

Fern Society email
sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com


Membership
Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting or mail to:
San Diego Fern Society
2350 Jennifer Ln
Encinitas CA 9202


April 14 Meeting

In April the Fern Society meets one week earlier than normal, on the second Thursday, at 7:30 pm in Room 101, Casa del Prado, Balboa Park. The program will include a presentation with photos on Garden Art by Kathy Thomson. Kathy views gardens and shares her garden photos from the perspective of an artist, giving attendees ideas to take home. Also expect a presentation of preliminary plans for the upcoming San Diego County Fair.

birdcage1
A repurposed bird cage decor item takes on new life
as a planter.

Report on March Meeting

In March the Fern Society facilitated fern spore planting, followed by the Spring Garden Sale. For spore planting, there were several fern species available. Cut, clean plastic half gallon jugs were used to make spore planting containers, as well as plastic cups. Now it is time to wait and watch for germination. See further spore growing information on page 2.

Plant Table for April

Bring a little cash for Plant Table ferns. These small ferns were purchased and nurtured by our Society, including some species not available in local nurseries.

LJ driveway1
An improved front yard and drive, La Jolla area of San Diego. Photos this page credit: K. Russell.

Budget

The 2016 budget was approved by the membership at the March meeting, as printed in the March Fern World.

Memberships for 2016

The annual membership fee is $12 for a single or household membership. This covers enrollment from January through December 2016. See Jay Amshey or mail to the address on page 6.

Please keep the Fern Society up to date on mailing and email addresses and phone.

San Diego County Fair

Preliminary plans for the Fair will be presented at the April meeting. The Wonderland theme for the Garden area coordinates with the 2016 Fair theme, Mad about the Fair. Steampunk will be featured throughout the fairgrounds and programming.

The Fern Society is planning two displays, a container exhibit and a landscape exhibit. Ferns and other plants from members are needed to prepare pleasing and informative exhibits. There is always a need for the larger, dramatic ferns and for transportation to get ferns along with some small trees and various display items to the Fair, and returned home July 5. The Fair is open Friday June 3 through Monday July 4. (Closed June 6, 7, 13, 14, 20 and 27.)

Growing Ferns from Spores

After planting spores at the March Fern Society meeting, what should the fern grower expect?

The natural way that ferns reproduce is by spores, the dust-like particles which are released off the fertile fronds, generally from the underside. In a coming meeting, slides will be shown to describe when spores are ready to be collected from the fronds for future propagation.
There are many techniques for sowing and growing from spores, but all recommend using clean conditions. Although spore propagation occurs in natural conditions in nature, when growers attempt it, the growing containers are readily contaminated with molds, liverworts and other plant material. For this reason, it is best to use clean supplies. Planting mix should be sterilized. For the home grower this is easily done with boiling water, then allowing the moist mix to cool. Containers should be clean, perhaps new. For the March meeting our containers, consisting of cut half gallon milk cartons, were pre-rinsed with 10% bleach solution to deter molds. Using new plastic cups or dishwashing the desired containers are other options.

It is preferable to work with a single spore species at a time so the identity of the new sporophyte ferns is known and the spore growing containers are not cross contaminated with other species. It is also important to label the containers with fern name and date.

Schaffneria spore growing1
Spores sown in growing mix, in a container made from two cut milk cartons. Photo credit: K. Russell.

The surface of the spore growing mix must be damp in order for propagation to occur. The containers should be covered, which can be done with clean lids or clear plastic wrap. Moist conditions must be maintained until the sporeling plants with fronds have developed. When spores germinate, the prothalli appear. Take time to view the development with a magnifier. Visually, this looks like a green uneven covering over the growing medium. The prothalli become heart-shaped, and eventually leaves and roots appear.

For those who sowed spores at the March meeting, the current care is to maintain moisture and provide light. Direct sun is not recommended, but a north facing windowsill or similar location is suitable. In the San Diego area, cold should not be problematic.

After sowing spores comes an undetermined waiting time. The fern sporelings should develop in weeks or months or even after more than a year. When sporelings develop true fronds, small clumps can be pricked out and planted in little containers, again keeping high moisture and humidity for continued development. Eventually these baby plants can be planted on. One of the advantages of using two cut milk cartons as shown in March is that the container can be opened gradually to acclimatize the young plants.

Others in the Fern Society will want to hear and see spore growing results, so please share with us. Growing ferns from spores is an enjoyable challenge for fern enthusiasts.

Note: There are many techniques and variations used in spore growing. Several fern books have good ideas, and the internet provides further information. However, the book by David Jones listed in the Reference below has an extensive discussion with many helpful photos to inform hobbyists on growing ferns from spores.

Reference:
1. Jones, D. L. (1987).
Encyclopaedia of ferns: An introduction to ferns, their structure, biology, economic importance, cultivation, and propagation. Portland, OR: Timber Press.


Schaffneria nigrepes

At the spore planting during the March Fern Society meeting, Schaffneria nigrepes spores were available. Most of those attending the meeting seemed unfamiliar with this fern. There is just the one species in the genus, and it is native to central America and Cuba. The genus is named for Wilhelm Schaffner, a German man who collected plants in Mexico during the 1800s.

Schaffneria nigrepes is a petite clustered upright fern with round to diamond-shaped fronds. The frond blades are entire, with fan-shaped veins. Stipes are black with scales and small hairs. The blades of this fern are thick and very dark green.

plantcopy1
Plant and frond shape of Schaffneria nigrepes, a small fern less than six inches tall. After Hoshizaki (Reference 1).

The sori are covered by indusia. This fern is found growing on rocks, especially limestone. In Mexico its habitat is wet hardwood forests on the Atlantic slopes of mountains at 2500 to 4500 feet elevation. Expect plants to grow up to six inches tall but they may remain smaller. Plan to grow these ferns in a terrarium.

References:
1. Hoshizaki, B. and Moran, R. (2001).
Fern grower's manual. Portland, OR: Timber Press.
2. Mickel, J., & Smith, A. R. (2004). The pteridophytes of Mexico. Bronx, NY: New York Botanical Garden.

Arachniodes standishii, the Upside Down Fern

A fern which will probably be new to San Diego growers is
Arachniodes standishii. This fern made the list of the top 140 garden ferns in Reference 3, and local fern gardeners should consider growing this Asian beauty.
Arachniodes_standishii_ryoumensida011
Arachnoides standishii growing in Japan. Photo credit: Keisotyo, Creative Commons.

This fern is native to areas ranging from forests of Japan and Korea southward to China and Vietnam, indicating a variety of appropriate climates. Not tropical, but nevertheless able to thrive in warm areas,
Arachniodes standishii is suggested for a partial sun to shade garden location. Plants are evergreen, and can be expected to have a good appearance throughout the year.

A stand1
Young plant of
Arachnoides standishii. Photo credit: K. Russell.

A frond from above1
Frond seen from above showing prominent rachises of
Arachnoides standishii. Photo credit: K. Russell.

John Standish was a British nurseryman who imported plants from Japan in the 1800s. The species name presumably acknowledges him. The common name for this fern, Upside Down Fern, seems to be derived from the appearance of fronds. The pinnae and pinnule rachises are raised, as they might appear on the frond underside.

Arachniodes_standishii21
Arachnoides standishii, view of frond growing in Japan. Photo credit: Kenpei, Creative Commons.

Most species of
Arachnoides are found in Asia. This is the largest of the Arachnoides species in cultivation, and has the most finely divided fronds, up to four-pinnate. Fronds are a medium green color and soft in texture. Fertile and sterile fronds have the same shape. The green stipe is about one-third of the frond length. Sori with kidney-shaped indusia may cover most of the undersides of pinnules. Sori ripen at the end of the active growing season. Expect plants to spread slowly by rhizomes, with arching fronds up to two or three feet, in a moist woodland fern garden setting.

Some small plants of
Arachniodes standishii, the Upside Down Fern, will be on the Plant Table at the April Fern Society meeting.

References:
1. Hoshizaki, B. and Moran, R. (2001).
Fern grower's manual. Portland, OR: Timber Press.
2. Olsen, S. (2007).
Encyclopedia of garden ferns. Portland, OR: Timber Press.
3. Steffen, R., & Olsen, S. (2015).
The plant lover's guide to ferns. Portland, OR: Timber Press.

Fern Shows and Events

The
Los Angeles International Fern Society, known as LAIFS, will hold a Show and Sale June 11-12, 2016 at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden, 310 N Baldwin Av, Arcadia CA.

The
British Pteridological Society will have a damp fern area, a dry fern section and a conservatory structure for ferns in the Society's display at the Chelsea Flower Show, May 24-28 at Royal Hospital Chelsea, London UK.

Tropical Fern and Exotic Plant Society holds a Show and Sale on May 21-22, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Coral Gables FL.

The
San Diego Botanic Garden in nearby Encinitas always has many beautiful ferns and botanical treasures. Along with viewing the green plants, guests may enjoy the Chocolate Festival on May 7, tasting the botanical wonder Theobroma cacao (after it is made into delectable edibles).


San Diego Fern Society Show and Sale

August 20-21, 2016


A nursery view1
For further garden and garden art ideas, visit your local nurseries (above) or walk the neighborhoods and observe what others have done (below). Photos credit: K. Russell.
yard1

bicycle and wagon1


Meeting Calendar 2016

Apr 14 Sep 15
May 19 Oct 20
Jun 16 Nov 17
July social event
Aug 18 Dec 15




Board Meetings
First Tuesday of May, July, September, November

2016 Fern Show August 20-21

San Diego Fern Society Officers

President
Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
1st Vice President
Kathy Thomson
2nd Vice President
Bill Brannock wbrannock410@aol.com
Secretary
Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com
Treasurer
Jay Amshey coastbiomaterials@cox.net
Board Members:
Bruce Barry
Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
Richard Lujan
Past President
Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

Website
www.sandiegofernsociety.com
Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

Fern Society email
sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com

Membership
Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting
or mail to:
San Diego Fern Society
2350 Jennifer Ln
Encinitas CA 92024



San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

The San Diego Fern Society was formed
* to provide a source of information on ferns;
* to arrange for people to study ferns together;
* to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

The Society aims
* to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
* to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
* to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
* to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
* to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.

Volume XXXX, Number 4
March Meeting

In March the Fern Society program will have a spore planting opportunity, and then host our yearly Spring Garden Sale.

For spore planting, bring plastic 1/2 gallon jugs (such as milk containers). Please cut them with sturdy scissors, keeping just the bottom 4 inches of the plastic container. Two matching pieces are needed to make a spore planting container. There will be extras at the meeting as well as small plastic containers. Also, please bring any spores (with correct names) that you would like to share and plant, or use what is provided at the meeting.

Spring Garden Sale this Month

Bring a little cash to enjoy the Garden Sale following our March program. This is our opportunity to creatively reuse the gardening items many of us collect. These gardening treasures are too good to throw out, but no longer needed and can be offered to others. This sale provides a great opportunity to buy and sell plants between Fern Society members. You may donate some ferns and specialty plants to the sale, or sell them on consignment. As always, make sure any plants you bring are in clean containers or mounted or bagged, trimmed and free of pests. A correct plant name is desirable. All plants and items must be tagged with seller name and price.

You may either donate to the Fern Society or sell on consignment any of these:
• decorative, usable containers (no plastic nursery pots)
• terrarium containers, aquariums
• small water features, garden art
• tools in good condition
• gardening books
• plant stands
• ferns and specialty plants
(No pesticides or toxic substances are allowed.)

Consignment sales policy:
Plants and sale items must have removable tag with seller name and price; 60% of sales price will go the seller and 40% to the San Diego Fern Society. You do not need an inventory list since everything must be tagged. Payment to sellers will be made within 30 days.

Budget

The 2016 budget is presented to the membership on page 5, to be voted upon at the March meeting. Please email any questions/concerns to
sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com

Report on February Meeting

In February, Bruce Barry presented photos and information on the California Academy of Sciences, located in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. Even the design of the building there is significant, with a green roof, extensive re-use of water for the exhibits, and other environmental details.

The Osher Rainforest exhibit is especially attractive, surrounding the guests in this ecosystem with trees and plants, animals, birds and fish, and many ferns. In this 90 foot wide glass dome with multiple levels, visitors experience the rainforest from the flooded forest floor up to the tree canopy. The Academy includes the Steinhart Aquarium, Morrison Planetarium and Kimball Natural History Museum.

Memberships for 2016

The annual membership fee is $12 for a single or household membership. This covers your enrollment from January through December 2016. See Jay Amshey or mail to the address on page 6.

Please keep the Fern Society up to date on your preferred mailing and email addresses and phone.

San Diego County Fair

The San Diego County Fair is open to individuals for garden and plant entries, as well as to organizations like the San Diego Fern Society. The Wonderland theme for the Garden area coordinates with the 2016 Fair theme, Mad about the Fair. Garden Show and Flower Show information is on the website. Some categories in the Flower Show may include ferns. To enter the Fair with your own plants, go to: sdfair.com

Winter/Spring Project:
Planting a garden bed for ferns
Part Two - Designing a Fern Garden


In the February Fern World, concepts presented by Martin Rickard (Reference 3) were explored on preparing a new fern area in the garden. This month, design ideas are compiled from several sources, but primarily Richie Steffan and Sue Olsen (Reference 4). Their book,
The Plant Lover's Guide to Ferns, contains an extensive development of garden design specifically for ferns. The elements of garden design suggested are color, line, shape and form, texture, size, balance, repetition, focal points, scale and proportion, transition, rhythm, and unity.

The edges of the garden, the paths, silhouettes of trees, and the upright and pendulous fronds all contribute
line to the design that is seen. Line provides structure to the garden, with curves adding a gentle feel. Ferns have many foliage variations, giving texture to the garden. The design may create a feeling of distance with soft looking, finely-textured ferns. Coarse-textured or intensely colored fronds will seem closer.

Plants should be appropriate in
scale to the neighboring plants, and the sizes work well with the entire garden bed. Other than tree ferns, most ferns mature at a known size, making garden planning easier. The shape and form of a fern can be upright, mounding, weeping, spreading or vase-like and more. In the design, upright plants add structure and height, while spreading ferns may soften the ground or rock areas.

Bloedel reserve1
This forest planting in Washington State includes some native ferns, the shorter Deer Fern
Blechnum spicant in front of taller Polystichum munitum, and other plants to cover the ground. The stump in the background gives height and enhances the woodland look at Bloedel Reserve. Photo credit: K. Russell.

Visually, an informal garden shows an asymmetrical
balance. Various parts of the garden contain different plants and shapes, with large ferns offsetting smaller plants or massed ferns. Lines, colors and forms break monotony. Flowing arches of fern foliage bring the feel of rhythm in a garden. A strong element is needed to draw the eye in to the garden. A distinctive medium or large fern might be the focal point of the fern bed, or a piece of art or uniquely colored fern or plant.

tall1
Many fern species are in view at the Botanical Building in Balboa Park. The tall palms and cycads have matured, and some ferns show years of development as well. The vase-like shape of
Aspleniums (known as Bird's Nest Ferns) have dramatic line. Other large ferns show softer, weeping form. Smaller ferns and begonias in the left foreground of photo are lower growing. Photos this page credit: K. Russell.

Ferns have an amazing array of
colors for a primarily green plant, which should enhance the design. New growth in plants such as Dryopteris erythrosora, the Autumn Fern, brings a seasonal display of bronze-red. Many species of Adiantum and Blechnum show strongly pink new fronds. There are ferns which go into fall dormancy with straw-colored fronds, and ferns with color variation throughout the growing season such as the many cultivars of Athyrium niponicum. The greens of ferns include dark glossy forest green, bright apple green, grayish shades and more. Scales on the fronds and stipes also show color. Some plants vary in color with the light intensity of their environment.
Distracting views in the fern garden should be hidden by tall or medium height plants, perhaps with hanging ferns to provide a visual screen. When looking at the fern bed, consider what is at eye level as well as on the ground. A bare wall might be the place for
Platyceriums mounted on boards, or baskets of ferns.

Leave space for individual ferns to be displayed to advantage. Learn the mature size of the plants, and give room for their growth. Tree ferns especially are planted when young and then grow dramatically within a short time. A tree fern can rise above other smaller ferns, but nearby solid walls will quickly confine the fronds. When the garden is newly planted and even as it develops, open space is good.

Rhod g stump1
A new stumpery planting at the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden, Federal Way WA demonstrates use of multiple clumping ferns of one species along with one or two of a different species which are expected to grow taller and larger. Plants have room to develop.

Ferns may be chosen for the garden to provide a variety of sizes, textures, and seasonal or evergreen color. Even if just one plant of a given species is available to the gardener, that one may be incorporated into the design. If there is space, three to five plants of a single species may be used in a grouping. Repeated color or form links the combined plantings together. Groupings of various cultivars of a species may provide repetition even though the individual plants are unique. Most fern gardeners will desire multiples of some types of ferns.

References 3 and 5 suggest companion plants for a temperate fern garden. Individual tastes and plant collections are important, so a gardener who enjoys plants such as palms, begonias or orchids may choose those to complement the ferns. Daniel Yansura, writing for
Fiddlehead Forum, commented, "I always thought that the best companion plant for a fern was another fern..."

another view1
Another view inside the Botanical Building features tall palms and other plantings, with medium and smaller height ferns. Here the planting is all green but there are varied textures and shapes in the ferns and other plants. Photos this page credit: K. Russell.

Steffen and Olsen emphasize, "Good design principles will result in unity in the garden." In making plans for a fern paradise, the gardener may wish to step back and consider the entire area when developing the garden. He or she may dream up a plan and then plant favorite and new types of ferns as desired.


References:

1. Dunk, G. (1994).
Ferns: A comprehensive guide to growing ferns for the home gardener. Sydney, N.S.W., Australia: Angus & Robertson.
2. Hoshizaki, B. and Moran, R. (2001).
Fern grower's manual. Portland, OR: Timber Press.
3. Mickel, J. (1994).
Ferns for American gardens. New York: Macmillan.
4. Rickard, M. (2002).
The Plantfinder's guide to garden ferns. Portland, OR: Timber Press.
5. Steffen, R., & Olsen, S. (2015).
The plant lover's guide to ferns. Portland, OR: Timber Press.
6. Yansura, D. (2015). Book Review:
The Plant Lover's Guide to Ferns. Fiddlehead Forum, 42(2), 7-8.

SD Botanic1
A fern lover's paradise at the San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas is the Rainforest Garden, featuring a waterfall and many ferns. Here the Australian Tree Fern gives height that contrasts with a large
Woodwardia fimbriata which would naturally be found on low ground by a stream. Ferns and other plants grow in the rock areas around the waterfall and pool. This garden may be viewed on several levels, above the waterfall, along a side path, and below the lower pool.

Mairis's Maidenhair

A Maidenhair Fern that may be new to San Diego growers,
Adiantum X mairisii will grow to 18 inches tall or so, with a lacy, bright green appearance. The fronds are broadly triangular and up to three to four times pinnate. Stipes are brittle and blackish. Plants tolerate a somewhat alkaline soil. They are at their best in a well drained area, with a lightly moist environment. Filtered shade is recommended for optimum appearance. As the plant clump spreads, this Maidenhair Fern may be divided.

Adiantum X mairisii was discovered in the British nursery of Mairis & Company, and named for them in the 1880s. Thomas Moore named the plant and thought the parent ferns to be A. capillus-veneris and A. cuneatum. Modern studies are consistent with this possibility. Plants are more erect than A. capillus-veneris and are stronger as a garden plant.

This hybrid Maidenhair Fern is considered a good garden choice in both warm and cool climates, including areas that have winter temperatures that dip to 10º F. This fern grows in both hot and cool summer areas, and keeps its fronds well into autumn. In winter, expect plants to go dormant.

After more than a hundred years in cultivation, these ferns are now in the US. The San Diego Fern Society will make available small starter plants, and our members and friends can try this
Adiantum.

References:

1. Goudey, C. J. (1985).
Maidenhair ferns in cultivation. Melbourne: Lothian.
2. Rickard, M. (2002).
The Plantfinder's guide to garden ferns. Portland, OR: Timber Press.
3. Steffen, R., & Olsen, S. (2015).
The plant lover's guide to ferns. Portland, OR: Timber Press.

Mairis1
Young fronds of Mairis's Maidenhair
Adiantum X mairisii. Photo credit: K. Russell.


San Diego Fern Society 2016 Budget

INCOME

Donations 50
Dues 400
Name badge sale 15
Party income 100
Plant table income 500
Prizes & Awards (fair) 1500
Show income: Plant sale 2000

TOTAL INCOME $ 4565

EXPENSES

Assn. Dues:
SD Botanical 100
SD Floral 40
Bank charges 180
Exhibit expenses 500
Fern World:
Postage 170
Printing 220
Hort supplies for meetings 50
Library books 200
Meeting plant cost 300
Name badge cost 30
Party costs 50
Programs (honoraria) 500
Plant sales (consignee share) 1500
Show expense 400
State tax 243

TOTAL EXPENSES $ 4483
(Net positive $ 82)





Meeting Calendar 2016

Mar 17 Sep 15
Apr 14 Oct 20
May 19 Nov 17
Jun 16 Dec 15
July social event
Aug 18




Board Meetings
First Tuesday of May, July, September, November

2016 Fern Show August 20-21

San Diego Fern Society Officers

President
Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
1st Vice President
Kathy Thomson
2nd Vice President
Bill Brannock wbrannock410@aol.com
Secretary
Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com
Treasurer
Jay Amshey coastbiomaterials@cox.net
Board Members:
Bruce Barry
Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
Richard Lujan
Past President
Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

Website
www.sandiegofernsociety.com
Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

Fern Society email
sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com

Membership
Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting
or mail to:
San Diego Fern Society
2350 Jennifer Ln
Encinitas CA 92024



San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

The San Diego Fern Society was formed
* to provide a source of information on ferns;
* to arrange for people to study ferns together;
* to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

The Society aims
* to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
* to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
* to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
* to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
* to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.

Volume XXXX, Number 3
February Meeting

The next meeting of the San Diego Fern Society will be held Thursday February 18 at 7:30pm in Room 101, Casa del Prado, Balboa Park. Bruce Barry will present photos of the California Academy of Sciences, based in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. His photos will highlight the amazing Osher Rainforest exhibit. The Academy has an aquarium, planetarium and natural history museum, as well as research and education programs.

Report on January Meeting

In our annual Platycerium Night in January, we viewed by photo the species of Platyceriums, commonly called Staghorn Ferns, from our own expert, Don Callard. Don has experience with the various species and is knowledgeable regarding their cultural requirements, including the special care for certain types. Sporelings of several hard-to-find Platycerium species were available on the plant table.

Plants for February

We expect to have ferns in February! Bring a little cash for your plant opportunity.

Memberships for 2016

The annual membership fee is $12 for a single or household membership. This covers your enrollment from January through December 2016. Please keep the Fern Society up to date on your preferred mailing and email addresses and phone.

More about the Osher Rainforest of the California Academy of Sciences

sample1
View of ferns at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Photo credit: Bruce Barry.

The Osher Rainforest, inside a four-story dome, depicts some of the most biodiverse places on Earth. In the rainforest experience, temperatures are kept in the 80s and humidity at about 75%. Following a spiral path upwards, visitors encounter three levels of rainforest from three distinct ecosystems: a Bornean forest floor, a Madagascan mid-story, and the rainforest canopy of Costa Rica. From the top, guests may descend by elevator four stories down for a beneath-the-surface view of an Amazonian flooded forest.

At each level animals such as free-flying birds, exotic reptiles, amphibians, golden silk orb-weaver spiders, and enormous Amazonian fish are seen.



Tropical Flora. The rainforest's living plants include trees like the Brazilian beauty leaf and West Indies mahogany, shrubs such as Theobroma cacao, the plant from which chocolate is made, and hundreds of flowering plants, from begonias and philodendrons to orchids and bromeliads as well as ferns.

rainforest wall1
Another view of plantings at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Photo credit: Bruce Barry.

The Flooded Forest. Hundreds of tropical freshwater fish are on view in the flooded forest. A transparent tunnel passage brings guests right through the 100,000-gallon Amazonian tank. Piranhas and cichlids dart through the roots of a mangrove cluster while giant arapaima fish swim overhead.

Animals of the Rainforest. More than 1,600 living creatures reside within the rainforest dome, including 250 free-flying birds and butterflies and around 100 reptiles and amphibians. Blue morpho butterflies and poison-dart frogs may catch the attention of guests.

Source: calacademy.org

Future Events and Meetings

Bob Charlton and Kathie Russell would like to view desert ferns and habitat at Anza-Borrego Desert. Ferns may be seen while hiking or along the back roads. Express your interest at the February meeting or by email sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com

Coming in March is our Spring Garden Sale. Based upon past years, attendees can expect a variety of interesting plants, as well as plant stands, containers, books and more to be available. Plan to attend and take home some garden treasures at budget prices. The Fern Society's version of the spring clean-up yard sale brings creative reuse of garden items and benefits us all.

You may sell your own ferns, specialty plants and surplus garden items on consignment with the Fern Society. Also, ferns may be donated to the Society.

Winter/Spring Project:
Planting a garden bed for ferns


Preparing a new fern area in the garden could prove to be a very rewarding winter/spring project. Since rains have been abundant, fern choices can include anything that grows in our San Diego area climate. Experienced fern growers know that the majority of the commonly grown ferns really need just modest amounts of supplemental water.

Site selection. When choosing the location for the fern garden, it helps to understand where ferns grow in nature. Surprisingly, ferns are not usually found in wet bog conditions. Many ferns are found on rocky areas or banks, in well-drained sites. Ferns are more likely to survive in well-drained areas than in wetter locations. Therefore, a slight slope is desirable for a fern garden bed. Gardeners do need to control erosion of the soil, so one technique is to plant ferns in a depression in the bank. Exposed soil may be covered with bark mulch, or include rocks to stabilize the planting mix.

fern the dog1
Fern the dog in the midst of construction of a fern garden at the San Diego County Fair 2014. Photo credit: K. Russell.

Dry areas are needed for some ferns such as Cheilanthes and Pellaea. The dry garden bed should not be totally dry, but rather just slightly moist. All the ferns for dry conditions can be grown in rockeries.

The location choice for your fern garden may be part of the garden style choice: tropical themed, shady open woodland, or dry sunny rock garden. The existing and newly added garden elements of trees, shade structures, stumps and rocks should be incorporated into your design.

Light and wind. The fern garden location could be part sun or shade. However most ferns prefer shade during the hottest time of day. Many species do well in sunny spots, but full sun damages fronds of ferns which were previously grown in cool shady nursery sites. A south-facing sunny bank will not support attractive growth for the majority of fern species.

Wind is best avoided for ferns. Small leathery-fronded species such as some Aspleniums may tolerate a windy location.

Soil and amendments. It is often said that ferns like acid soil, and some do. Many popular garden ferns have some tolerance to alkalinity. Ferns needing acidic conditions can be grown with careful attention to the planting mix and water. San Diego's natural soils and municipal water supply favor ferns that thrive in moderately alkaline conditions.

Drainage of the fern planting bed is usually more important than the acidity/alkalinity of the soil. Sandy soils drain well but should be improved with added organic materials such as peat, leaf mold or compost. Very heavy clay soils should also be improved with organic material. Clay soils hold moisture longer than sandy soil.

Fertilizer is not generally necessary for garden ferns, but can be used lightly, to encourage luxuriant growth. Container plants are best grown with some fertilizer.

Plants. In choosing ferns for the garden, recognize the shapes of plants as they grow. Many ferns have erect rhizomes and develop right where planted. Others are spreading and can cover an extensive area. Some may be invasive, such as Equisetum, and are best grown in a container. The container may be placed into the ground of the fern bed, nearly out of sight.

The shape of the fern and fronds provide interest. Some fronds are entire, without the so-called ferny look. They contrast with frilly and lacy-textured fronds found in other species and cultivars. Ferns which develop a trunk, the various tree ferns, add a different dimension to the garden bed.

Most ferns are green, but perhaps they could be said to show forty shades of green. Shiny, glossy fronds contrast with matt-green plants. Additional colors show up in Athyrium niponicum 'Pictum' and 'Ghost', in new growth of many Adiantum species, in Dryopteris erythrosora, and Woodwardias.

Next month, look for further information on design of the fern garden.

Reference:
Rickard, M. (2002). The Plantfinder's guide to garden ferns. Portland, OR: Timber Press.

Pteris tremula

One plant to consider for the fern garden bed is Pteris tremula. Native to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, this fern is well adapted to the San Diego area. It thrives in bright light to nearly full sun, and needs just moderate water, preferring a moist-dry soil. As it is a semi-hardy fern, gardeners need not be concerned with cold protection in the local Mediterranean climate. Plants are considered deciduous, but in practice there may be little of the winter dormant season when fronds are not green.

tremula in feb sm1
A container grown Pteris tremula, showing overwintering green fronds in February when grown in the San Diego area. Photos this page credit: K. Russell.

Pteris tremula ferns develop two to four foot tall triangular-shaped fronds which are two- to four-pinnate pinatifid. That is, the fronds are finely divided with the final pinnae deeply lobed part way to the rachis. The fertile segments are narrower. Fronds may show a darker hue of green when grown in deep shade. This moderately large fern grows quickly and can make a distinct presence in the garden.

tremula uncurling frond1
The same plant of Pteris tremula has a newly uncurling frond during the month of February.

In Australia, Pteris tremula ferns grow up to six feet tall, and sometimes form large colonies. Even though the plants are spreading, our local gardeners should find it easy to keep them within bounds. Australian growers suggest choosing a site with filtered sunlight. Also, even though plants will grow in drier places, they suggest providing some additional water.

References:



    2016 Flyer copy1
    The San Diego County Fair is open to individuals for garden and plant entries, as well as to organizations like the San Diego Fern Society. The Wonderland theme for the Garden area coordinates with the 2016 Fair theme, Mad about the Fair. Flyer from Garden Department, San Diego County Fair.


    Meeting Calendar 2016

    Feb 18 Aug 18
    Mar 17 Sep 15
    Apr 14 Oct 20
    May 19 Nov 17
    Jun 16 Dec 15
    July social event

    2016 Fern Show August 20-21

    Board Meetings
    Second Thursday of March, May, July, September, November





    San Diego Fern Society Officers

    President
    Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
    1
    st Vice President
    Kathy Thomson
    2nd Vice President
    Bill Brannock wbrannock410@aol.com
    Secretary
    Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com
    Treasurer
    Jay Amshey coastbiomaterials@cox.net
    Board Members:
    Bruce Barry
    Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
    Richard Lujan
    Past President
    Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

    Website
    www.sandiegofernsociety.com
    Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

    Fern Society email
    sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com

    Membership
    Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting
    or mail to:
    San Diego Fern Society
    2350 Jennifer Ln
    Encinitas CA 92024

    San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

    The San Diego Fern Society was formed
    * to provide a source of information on ferns;
    * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
    * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

    The Society aims
    * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
    * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
    * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
    * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
    * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.


    Volume XXXX, Number 2

    January Meeting

    The first Fern Society meeting of the New Year 2016 will be
    Platycerium Night, Thursday January 21 at 7:30pm in Room 101, Casa del Prado, Balboa Park. We will learn about the numerous species of Platyceriums, commonly called Staghorn Ferns, from our own expert, Don Callard. He is well known for Platycerium culture and has grown the various species. His Platyceriums hang in the glasshouse of the US Botanic Garden in Washington DC.

    As you may know, these unique plants are found naturally in tropical and subtropical forest areas of the world, from Philippines south through Malaysia and islands to Australia, across to Madagascar and Africa, and in one area of South America. Many of these
    Platycerium species are easy to grow in San Diego; some require special care.

    Both long time fern growers and gardening friends will enjoy learning about these interesting Staghorn Ferns. Our focus will be on how to grow healthy, beautiful plants in the San Diego area. Bring your questions, and you may even bring in a plant for growing advice.
    Platycerium Night is a great time to invite guests.

    Report on December
    Annual Meeting and Party

    The final meeting for 2015 of the San Diego Fern Society was held on December 17. Attendees enjoyed ham and turkey, many side dishes and desserts, and were given a young Autumn Fern to take home. The Annual Meeting included election and installation of officers for 2016. The Fern Society Board is listed below.

    superbum1
    Platycerium superbum growing against tree, entry plaza of San Diego Zoo. Photo credit: K. Russell.

    Plant table for January

    We expect to have
    Platycerium ferns for sale and this is an ideal time to enhance your collection. Bring some cash for your opportunity to take home a Staghorn Fern, or maybe several. (We are unable to accept credit/debit cards).

    Membership Dues for 2016

    The annual membership fee is $12 for a single or household membership. This covers your enrollment from January through December 2016. See Jay Amshey or mail to the address on page 6.

    Please keep the Fern Society up to date on your preferred mailing and email addresses and phone.

    P andinum SDBG 20151
    Platycerium andinum, San Diego Botanic Garden. Photo credit: K. Russell.

    Where to View Staghorn Ferns

    When visitors come to town, they are welcome at our San Diego Fern Society meetings. Fern growers and gardeners from other parts of the country often are interested in
    Platycerium ferns and it is helpful to know where specimens can be seen. The yearly San Diego Fern Society Show as well as Fair displays are great opportunities. Private growers are probably the most notable for the various unusual Platyceriums.

    The San Diego Zoo has many
    Platyceriums and other ferns throughout the grounds (Photo page 1). The Botanical Building of Balboa Park also has some Staghorn Ferns. San Diego Botanic Garden includes a significant Platycerium collection. Local nurseries, especially independent businesses such as Walter Anderson Nursery, carry Staghorn Ferns for sale.

    WAN platy display1
    Walter Anderson Nursery, San Diego location, showing some young Platyceriums available for purchase. Photo credit: K. Russell.

    Future Events and Meetings

    Bob Charlton and Kathie Russell would like to have a group of members and friends go out to view local ferns and habitat. One possible outing is Anza-Borrego Desert, where ferns may be seen while hiking or viewed from along the back roads. Late winter or early spring are generally the best times for desert ferns. There are also native fern areas in Mission Trails Regional Park and other San Diego County locations.

    Some future meeting options include photos of the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco with its four story rainforest exhibit, a new style of spore culture, garden art and a Spring Gardener's Sale, and perhaps an interesting fern planting technique. Members and friends who have fern photos from travel or have a special fern interest are welcome to contact San Diego Fern Society Board members with program ideas.

    The Australian Perspective:
    Platycerium ferns

    The name
    Platycerium comes from the Greek words platys, meaning flat or broad, and keras, meaning horn. Thus the name Platycerium refers to the stag's horn-like fertile fronds of these ferns.

    How to differentiate the Australian
    Platyceriums (adapted from Reference 1):





            Platycerium superbum grows naturally in Australia in eastern Queensland and northeastern New South Wales, and in Malaysia. Plants grow on trees and occasionally on rock in the rainforest and wet eucalyptus forest in the coastal areas of eastern Australia. The base or nest frond is 25 inches or more in diameter, and covered with dense stellate (star-shaped) hairs. These fronds form a form a bowl or nest which collects humus, and in nature epiphytes, ferns and flowering plants may grow there. Foliage fronds are usually paired, up to 5 times forked over the outer two-thirds of the frond, and 12 to 80 inches long. The sori are clustered in a large mat under the first fork of the frond. Platycerium superbum is considered easy to grow outdoors in mild climates. In very hot or dry conditions, protection and afternoon shade are important. In Australia this is the fern with the common name Staghorn Fern.

            Platycerium veitchii grows in central and eastern Queensland, on rocks in drier open forest and scrubland. Base fronds have finger-like lobes. Foliage fronds are narrow, ascending to somewhat pendulous, in clusters, and up to 30 inches long. The frond undersurface appears white from the dense stellate hairs. Sporangia cover most of the lower surface of outer segments. The common name for this fern in Australia is Silver Elkhorn Fern.

            fingers of P veitchii1
            Platycerium veitchii, showing well-developed finger shape of base fronds and whitish underside of fertile fronds. This plant, grown by Don Callard, was displayed at San Diego County Fair in 2014. It thrives in drier and sunnier locations than the other Platyceriums. Photo credit: K. Russell.
            Platycerium hillii grows on trees in rainforests of northeastern Queensland and also New Guinea, where it was apparently introduced. P. hillii grows only in the most northern and thus warmer areas of the Australian Platycerium habitats. The upper margin of base fronds is entire to slightly wavy, and firmly against the substrate; that is, they do not form a nest. These fronds soon turn brown. The root buds develop towards the outer margins, forming new plants in a large spreading clump. Foliage fronds are ascending up to about 35 inches. From the wedge-shaped base, these fronds spread broadly, with the outer third forked 1-5 times. Plants are easy to grow outdoors in mild climates, but are considered slightly more cold sensitive than P. bifurcatum. In Australia this fern has the common name Northern Elkhorn Fern.

            Lujan hillii delight1
            Platycerium hillii 'Delight', a cultivar grown by Richard Lujan, received a Division Award in the San Diego Fern Show 2013. Photo credit: K. Russell.

            Platycerium bifurcatum is epiphytic but occasionally can be found on rocks. It grows in rainforest or wet sclerophyll forest in eastern Queensland and New South Wales, and also Lord Howe Island and New Guinea. Plants range along the eastern coast of Australia, and cover more geographic area than the other Australian Platyceriums, including farther south in colder climates. In Australia this fern has the common name Elkhorn fern.

            Australians' growing tip: Pour your leftover tea into your Staghorn Fern.

            References:
              New Years Resolution


                Their fantastic foliage is a compelling reason for using ferns in the garden. These plants can be the finishing detail of the shady landscape, perfect for softening edges and creating pleasing transitions between colors and coarse textures. Brilliantly colored new fronds and dramatically proportioned leaves can create an eye-catching delight. The ability of ferns to link and join plantings together effortlessly along with the endless variation and textural interest can feed even an obsessive collector's insatiable appetite.

                Richie Steffen and Sue Olsen

                Plant lover's guide to ferns. 201Meeting Calendar 2016

                Jan 21 July 21
                Feb 18 Aug 18
                Mar 17 Sep 15
                Apr 14 Oct 20
                May 19 Nov 17
                Jun 16 Dec 15


                Board Meetings
                Second Thursday of March, May, July, September, November


                2016 Fern Show August 20-21



                San Diego Fern Society Officers

                President
                Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
                1st Vice President
                Kathy Thomson
                2nd Vice President
                Bill Brannock wbrannock410@aol.com
                Secretary
                Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com
                Treasurer
                Jay Amshey coastbiomaterials@cox.net
                Board Members:
                Bruce Barry
                Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                Richard Lujan
                Past President
                Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

                Website
                www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                Fern Society email
                sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com

                Membership
                Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting
                or mail to:
                San Diego Fern Society
                2350 Jennifer Ln
                Encinitas CA 92024

                San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                The Society aims
                * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members

                Volume XXXX, Number 1

                2015 December Annual Meeting and Holiday Party

                This year our Annual Meeting and Holiday Party will be Thursday, December 17. Cost is $3 per person; please bring cash or check. Guests are welcome. Delicious ham and turkey will be provided by the Society, as well as beverages, rolls and butter. We ask each household to bring a side dish or dessert (with serving utensil) to feed 8-10 people as well as your own tableware. Room 101 is reserved for us starting at 5pm. Please set out your dishes ahead so we can begin the dinner at 6:30. Following our meal we will hold elections and Installation of Officers for 2016.


                Report on November Meeting

                In November our program covered some of the ferns native to San Diego and California. As the hoped-for season of rain approaches, we focused on our local ferns and their habitats. Bob Charlton and Kathie Russell provided photos, including both ferns in the desert and ferns in coastal and mountain areas.


                Future Events and Meetings

                Bob Charlton and Kathie Russell would like to have a group of members and friends go out to view local ferns and habitat. One possible outing is Anza-Borrego Desert, where ferns may be seen while hiking or viewed from along the back roads. Late winter or early spring are generally the best times for desert ferns.

                AnzaBorrego mar2013 copy1
                Fern growing in rock area in Anza-Borrego Desert, photo taken in the month of March. Photo credit: Bob Charlton.

                Some future meeting options include Platycerium Fern Night, usually in January, photos of botanical gardens and interesting fern sites of Northern California, garden art and a Spring Gardener's Sale, and Wabi Kusa, a creative and attractive fern planting technique without soil.


                Membership Dues for 2016

                The modest sum of $12 will pay for a single or a household membership for 2016. Please bring cash or check to the December or January meeting so the Fern Society can start off 2016 with memberships fully paid. Alternately, membership dues can be mailed to
                San Diego Fern Society, 2350 Jennifer Ln, Encinitas CA 92024.


                Nominations

                The Nominations Committee nominates Fern Society members for election to fill the positions of officers and board members for the coming year 2016. Elections will be at the Annual Meeting of the San Diego Fern Society in December. This process follows the Fern Society Bylaws.

                President Kathie Russell
                1
                st Vice President Kathy Thomson
                2
                nd Vice President Bill Brannock
                Secretary Amna Cornett
                Treasurer Jay Amshey
                Board Members: Bruce Barry
                Bob Charlton
                Richard Lujan
                Past President (automatically serves on the board)
                Don Callard


                Try growing the Autumn Fern

                Dryopteris erythrosora, known as the Autumn Fern, is considered evergreen even in temperate climates. Plants aren't really growing when it is cold, but fronds may stay somewhat upright and green, or may go partly dormant. The real show is in spring, or for San Diego area gardeners, late winter. Trim off the old fronds and watch the new growth emerge as bright coppery red fronds which are quite striking. Sori are covered with bright red indusia. By summer, fronds will be deep glossy green. Presumably the autumn colors are the reason for this fern's common name.

                This lovely garden fern will develop triangular, bipinnate fronds arching up to 2 feet long. Small scales are found on the undersurface. Some varieties have white indusia rather than red. This species is native to temperate forests of Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan and Philippines.

                One choice variety, Dryopteris erythrosora 'Brilliance', is particularly desirable for persistent bright color. Plant the Autumn Fern directly into your garden bed to watch it slowly spread into a beautiful, year-round fern. Maintain moisture in the soil until well established, and then this plant will need just routine garden water. Dryopteris erythrosora is considered somewhat drought tolerant, long-lasting and easy to grow. Sue Olsen, a fern enthusiast, grower and author, states that this particular species was her inspiration for propagating and cultivating ferns.

                dry1
                Autumn Fern Dryopteris erythrosora showing new spring growth in a San Diego area garden. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                San Diego Fern Society recently acquired some starter plants of Autumn Fern. Attendees at the December Annual Meeting will receive a small fern of Dryopteris erythrosora 'Brilliance' for gardening pleasure in the coming year 2016.

                References:


                  The Subantartic Snares Islands of New Zealand

                  Our winter season in the Northern Hemisphere suggests that it might be time to visit the far South. Antarctica has some vegetation including many mosses, but it is the only continent without ferns. Rather than a trip to Antarctica, a fern enthusiast should consider the subantactic islands, where penguins and other southern birds are found, and ferns are growing during the austral summer.

                  The Snares Islands are part of New Zealand's subantactic islands, and the closest to the South Island of New Zealand, about 120 miles. The Snares are located 60 miles south of Stewart Island. The North East Island of the Snares is the largest, and there are many smaller islands and rocks including Broughton Island to the south and the Western Chain of six small islands to the west. The land area of the island group covers over 800 acres, and most islands are surrounded by steep cliffs. Māori named the islands Tini Heke and knew of them before English ships found the Snares in 1791.

                  Now, all the New Zealand subantarctic islands are considered a natural treasure and carefully protected; visitors need permits and must be escorted by government guides. The Snares, a Natural Reserve of New Zealand, are important breeding locations for seabirds including the sooty shearwater and the Snares crested penguin.

                  1snares-crested-penguin Dept Conservation
                  Snares Crested Penguins Eudyptes robustus. Station Cove, North East Island, Snares Islands. Photo credit: Thomas Mattern, Department of Zoology, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. Creative Commons.

                  The New Zealand fur seal breeds here as well, and New Zealand sea lions come onto the rocks. There are no other mammals.

                  The Snares have just 22 vascular plants, but also over 70 species of mosses and several lichens and fungi. The large tree daisy Olearia lyallii is dominant across about 80 percent of the main island, forming a canopy up to 15 feet high. Five fern species are known on the Snares Islands: Histiopteris incisa, Polystichum vestitum, Asplenium obtusatum, Asplenium scleroprium, Blechnum durum.

                  Histiopteris incisa is a fern which is widespread in the southern hemisphere, from the tropics to subantartic islands. It can get quite large, with fronds to 8 feet. Fronds may be blue-green to pale green. The common name, Bat's Wing Fern, reflects the shape formed by paired opposing leaflets at the base of pinnules. This fern grows in shaded gullies and also in fairly open shrubland. The plant spreads rapidly, is considered weedy and may not be suitable for home gardens.

                  Histiopteris incisa1
                  Histiopteris incisa photographed at Dee Why, Australia. Photo credit: Peter Woodard, Creative Commons.

                  Polystichum vestitum (Prickly Shield Fern, called Puniu in Māori) is a hardy fern, medium to large in size and native to New Zealand. The semi-deciduous fronds are dark green above and lighter on the underside. This plant grows well in cool and moist climates. On Snares Islands it is found in the gullies and under the canopy of the tree daisy Olearia lyallii. The central stem becomes thick almost like a tree fern and the plant may grow to 6 feet wide. Fronds are bipinnate with prickly pinnae, and light brown scales occur along the frond rachis. This plant is useful for a cool moist garden and is available at nurseries in New Zealand.

                  NZ Polystichum_vestitum1
                  Polystichum vestitum, the Prickly Sheld Fern, next to a track not far from the top of a ridge line in the Takatumi Mountains, New Zealand. Photo credit: Alan Liefting, Creative Commons.

                  Asplenium obtusatum (common name Shore Spleenwort or in Māori, Parako) grows on the Snares under the shrub canopy, in tussock lands and coastal areas.

                  ShoreSpleenwort sm1
                  Shore Spleenwort, Asplenium obtusatum subsp. obtusatum along Foveaux Walkway from Stirling Point, New Zealand. Photo credit: Te Papa, Creative Commons BY-NC-ND.

                  The closely related Asplenium scleroprium is found in a smaller range in the east and south, and intermediate forms between these two species are widespread in the Snares. Fronds of both species are leathery and glossy, and are lanceolate with those of A. scleroprium tapering at the tip. Asplenium scleroprium is found only on the southern tip of New Zealand South Island, and islands to the south, while Asplenium obtusatum is widespread along the coasts from Chile through islands to New Zealand and Australia. Both species are recommended for cool and moist temperate gardens.

                  Blechnum durum, like most Blechnums, has dimorphic fronds. Sterile fronds of B. durum are pinnate, narrowly elliptic and up to 2 feet long, with the fertile fronds smaller and shorter. This species occurs in forest and shrubland, in gullies and on slopes in the Snares Islands as well as on South Island, New Zealand. Its common name is Hard Fern, and it is similarly recommended for cool, moist gardens.

                  Blechum1
                  Blechnum durum along coastal walk from Stirling Point, New Zealand. Photo credit: Te Papa, Creative Commons
                  BY-NC-ND.

                  References:
                    Websites sponsored by New Zealand:

                      Ferns of Macquarie Island

                      This island, midway between New Zealand and Antarctica, is a State Reserve of Tasmania, Australia. Its human inhabitants, generally less than 50 people, are the staff of Macquarie Island Station, part of the Australian government's Antarctic research.

                      Macquarie Island is home to the rookeries of Royal penguins, and also Gentoo penguins, king penguins and rockhopper penguins as well as albatross and other sea birds. The island is geologically significant and the climate is ocean moderated with daytime temperatures above freezing throughout the year. Macquarie Island is cool, wet and windy, and without forests.

                      Ferns found here include Blechnum penna-marina, a plant that also grows in Australia, New Zealand and South America. This fern goes by the common name Alpine Water Fern, and forms a low ground cover, often in bogs. Fronds may grow 6 to 8 inches tall, with fertile fronds taller than sterile fronds. Blechnum penna-marina goes dormant in cold winters but may remain green in mild areas. It is available from US nurseries but needs to be grown in acidic conditions, which may not be easy to achieve in San Diego. Young fronds are reddish, and plants may spread to make an attractive ground cover in bright shade or even partial sun in cool climate gardens.
                      Polystichum vestitum, Prickly Shield Fern, also found on the Snares Islands, grows on Macquarie Island. Its range includes the major and several smaller New Zealand islands. (See photo and description page 4)

                      Another fern found here is Grammitis poeppigiana, which grows on rocks. It is known as the Alpine Finger Fern, and also is found in Tasmania and the south of Australia as well as New Zealand, South America and southern Africa. Some fern growers suggest growing the Grammitis ferns in a terrarium. Fronds are entire and quite small, about an inch.

                      Hymenophyllum falklandianum, a filmy fern, grows on Macquarie Island and is also found in southern South America.

                      Huperzia australiana is not a true fern, but rather is in the Lycopodium family, sometimes called the clubmosses. It is also known as Lycopodium australiana and is found in Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia. It grows in upright clumps in protected situations.

                      rookery1
                      Royal penguin rookery on Macquarie Island. Photo credit: M. Murphy, public domain.


                      References:
                        Website sponsored by Australia:
                        3. www.cpbr.gov.au/fern/subant_taxa.ht


                        Meeting Calendar 2015

                        December 17 (Annual Meeting)

                        Board Meetings

                        Second Thursday of January, March, May, July, September, November

                        2016 Fern Show August 20-21


                        2016 Meeting Schedule:
                        Jan 21 July 21
                        Feb 18 Aug 18
                        Mar 17 Sep 15
                        Apr 14 Oct 20
                        May 19 Nov 17
                        Jun 16 Dec 15
                        (subject to change for special events)

                        San Diego Fern Society Officers

                        President
                        Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
                        1
                        st Vice President OPEN
                        2
                        nd Vice President
                        Bill Brannock wbrannock410@aol.com
                        Secretary
                        Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com
                        Treasurer
                        Jay Amshey coastbiomaterials@cox.net
                        Board Members:
                        Bruce Barry
                        Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                        Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net
                        Richard Lujan
                        Past President
                        Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

                        Website
                        www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                        Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                        Fern Society email
                        sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com

                        Membership
                        Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting
                        or mail to:
                        San Diego Fern Society
                        2350 Jennifer Ln
                        Encinitas CA 92024

                        San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                        The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                        * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                        * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                        * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                        The Society aims
                        * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                        * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                        * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                        * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                        * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.

                        Volume XXXIX, Number 12

                        November 2015


                        November Meeting


                        San Diego Fern Society will meet on Thursday, November 19, in Casa del Prado Room 101, Balboa Park. In November our program will be on ferns native to San Diego and California. As the hoped-for season of rain approaches, now is the time to learn about our local ferns and their habitats. Bob Charlton and Kathie Russell will provide photos. Those attending are invited to share experiences and locations to view San Diego area ferns.

                        Report on October Meeting

                        In October attendees learned about desert ferns and habitat, including how ferns grow in harsh hot and dry climate areas. Gardeners may be assured that fern growing, especially of xerics, can continue with whatever drought is experienced. Those in attendance planted a shipment of the xeric fern Astrolepis sinuata for the Fern Society and one to take home.

                        Plant table for November

                        The plant table will be mixed ferns, six inch size from various sources. Bring $3-5 cash for your opportunity to take home a fern.

                        Membership Dues for 2016

                        The modest sum of $12 will pay for a single or a household membership for 2016. Please bring cash or check to the December or January meeting so the Fern Society can start off 2016 with memberships fully paid. Alternately, membership dues can be mailed to San Diego Fern Society
                        2350 Jennifer Ln Encinitas CA 92024.


                        More from Fern Show 2015

                        For many gardeners in the San Diego area, fall color is decidedly lacking. Interesting plant color can be found in unusual places, such at this terrarium of Selaginellas which was displayed at the August San Diego Fern Show.

                        Sel1
                        A terrarium prepared by Amna Cornett includes colorful Selaginellas of several species. Photo credit: Kathie Russell.

                        Benefits of being outdoors in nature
                        by Kathie Russell


                        Several times I have heard people say that being among ferns gives a peaceful feeling. Fern society members and friends may feel this way as well. The small tasks of gardening might reduce stress and bring serenity. But, is there any real evidence that spending time among ferns, gardens and natural places is beneficial? I personally enjoy being in a fern-filled forest or other natural area, and I would like to encourage this for others.

                        To scientifically show some benefit of spending time in nature is challenging, as studies can only accurately report on a certain group of people and a small number of factors. How can peaceful feelings and positive benefits be quantified? I've found several interesting reports to share.

                        Harvard Health Letter (Reference 1) proposes that spending time outside might have some health benefits. The authors suggest several: improved Vitamin D levels, more exercise, increased happiness, improved concentration and faster healing. In particular, British researchers have found that exercising in the presence of nature has added benefit, especially for mental health. They suggest that just five minutes daily of this "green exercise" brings improved self-esteem and mood.

                        One study (Reference 2) followed the health of senior persons aged 70 and living independently. Over several years, those who went out of the house every day had better health status on several markers than those who did not. The study took place in the city of Jerusalem, Israel, and destinations or natural surroundings of the daily outings were not recorded.

                        Another project (Reference 3) sought to improve the well-being of seriously ill mental health patients. A hospital unit in Great Britain cared for long-term clients with difficult problems and social relations, persons with little hope. Staff members sought to use a therapy similar to the Outward Bound adventure movement, which has successfully enhanced the skills and teamwork experiences of youth in a nature situation. These mental health professionals designed and used an outdoor program, taking clients on carefully planned treks in nature. Responses from the clients were very positive, suggesting stronger communication, personal growth and freedom.

                        A pilot study of veterans with PTSD (Reference 4) involved a different type of outdoor recreation program. Participants went on a two-day, three-night fly fishing excursion on the Green River in Utah. Several study measurements were used, taken before, after and follow-up. This group-based nature therapy program showed improvements in attentiveness, positive mood and sleep quality for participants. Additionally these veterans had significant and sustained reductions in anxiety, depression and PTSD symptoms.

                        Richard Louv, former columnist for the San Diego Union-Tribune, published a book ten years ago entitled Last child in the woods. Louv advocates for play time out in nature for children, and he feels strongly that the common ADHD conditions of today's urban kids could be improved with time outdoors in natural areas. References in his book as well as more recent sources support this idea. There are many options to combat what he terms "nature-deficit disorder." Louv's book suggests providing urban natural spaces as well as childhood experiences of nature camp, natural parks and so on. His more recent book The nature principle presents similar ideas for all of us. “The future will belong to the nature-smart—those individuals, families, businesses, and political leaders who develop a deeper understanding of the transformative power of the natural world and who balance the virtual with the real. The more high-tech we become, the more nature we need.”

                        woodw Cowell1
                        Woodwardia fimbriata in the redwoods, Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, Santa Cruz Mountains, CA. Photo credit: Kathie Russell.

                        And so, I present my opinion here that we benefit in many ways and on many levels when we enjoy nature in general, and ferns in the wild specifically as well as ferns we grow. We should all of us, of all ages, abilities and opportunities, enjoy the outdoors in our gardens, parks and natural areas.

                        balboaP Penta1
                        Pentagramma triangularis in Balboa Park, growing east of Park Boulevard not far from the Fern Society meeting location. There are many walking trails in the Park, covering both natural areas and landscaped park land. Photos this page credit: Kathie Russell.

                        References:
                        1. A prescription for better health: Go alfresco (2010) Harvard Health Letter, 35(9).
                        2. Jacobs, J. M., Cohen, A., Hammerman-Rozenber, R., Azoulay, D., Maaravi, Y., & Stessman, J. (2008). Going outdoors daily. J. Aging Health, 20(3), 3259-272.
                        3. Vella, E. J., Milligan, B., & Bennett, J. L. (2013). Participation in outdoor recreation program predicts improved psychosocial well-being among veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder: A pilot study. Military Medicine, 178(3), 254-260.
                        4.
                        Surridge, J., McKie, J., Housden, J., & Whitt, D. (2004). Wild at heart: tapping into the restorative power of the great outdoors. Mental Health Practice, 7(7), 20-26.
                        5. Louv, R. (2005). Last child in the woods: Saving our children from nature-deficit disorder. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.
                        6. Louv, R. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://richardlouv.com/

                        The ferns and the rabbits, the
                        streams and the trouts, the fir
                        trees and the squirrels, the
                        primroses and the violets …
                        – these are the best medicine.
                        Charles Spurgeon, 1834 - 1892
                        Minister, New Park Street Chapel, London

                        Climb the mountains and get
                        their good tidings. Nature's
                        peace will flow into you as
                        sunshine flows into trees.
                        The winds will blow their
                        own freshness into you, and
                        the storms their energy,
                        while cares will drop off like
                        autumn leaves.
                        John Muir, 1838-1914
                        Our National Parks. 1901

                        Another watering option

                        An old but new idea for watering a specific plant or garden area is the olla. These were used by native peoples of the arid Southwest. Water from the jug is slowly released, soaking into the soil. Ollas can be part of the design of the garden and remain in their desired location to be refilled when needed. They may be positioned above or below soil level.

                        olla1
                        Ollas for sale at a local nursery. A seven quart size sells for about $30. Various shapes and styles may be purchased, or creative gardeners may wish to design their own.


                        Native Woodwardia fern

                        MDO woodw jpg1
                        Woodwardia fimbriata growing naturally in a creek bed, Montana de Oro State Park, San Luis Obispo County CA. Photos this page credit: Kathie Russell.

                        Woodwardia fimbriata, know as the Giant Chain Fern, is the largest of the California ferns. It grows throughout the Coast ranges and Sierras, but is never common. These large ferns are found in the redwood forests and in the Sierras in places such as Sequoia National Park and Yosemite Valley and along the Merced River. Plants are found as far north as British Columbia, Canada, and tolerate snow and quite a bit of cold. They can grow very near the ocean as well. In more southern areas of California, look for plants along streams and seeps, as Woodwardia fimbriata requires water throughout the year.

                        A large fern, Woodwardia fimbriata has tall arching fronds growing out from a woody central rhizome covered in brown scales. The green stipe is about one-third of the frond length. The blade is pinate-pinnatifid and lance-shaped. Chains of sori are parallel to the midvein on the underside, and show above, suggesting the common name Chain Fern. In redwood forests, fronds may extend eight feet. In less ideal growing areas, fronds generally still grow to four feet or more.

                        woodw USD1
                        Several plants of Woodwardia fimbriata are growing well on the north side of a building on the campus of University of San Diego. This plant remains attractive even with a position in partial sun.

                        It is reported that native California Indians used the fibers in basketry. This Woodwardia does not show reddish new frond growth nor develop bulbils on fronds as some other cultivated species like W. orientalis.

                        In San Diego County, Woodwardia fimbriata is found naturally in moist, shaded areas of Palomar, Cuyamaca and Laguna Mountains and several other locations.

                        woodw at WAN1
                        Woodwardia fimbriata plants are available at local nurseries. Gallon size container grown Woodwardias are readily found. at modest cost. This larger specimen plant is about $30 at Walter Anderson Nursery.

                        As a native fern, the Giant Chain Fern Woodwardia fimbriata is a lovely addition to the San Diego area garden. It can be used included in a native plant garden if water is provided, or can be planted in a prominent position in a fern-filled garden anywhere in the County. Plants achieve a good size when container grown as well. Woodwardia fimbriata remains green and attractive throughout the year.

                        References:
                        1. Beauchamp, R. M. (1986). A flora of San Diego County, California. National City, Calif: Sweetwater River Press.
                        2. Grillos, S. (1966). Ferns and fern allies of California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
                        3. Olsen, S. (2007). Encyclopedia of garden ferns. Portland, OR: Timber Press.
                        4. Rodin, R. J. (1960). Ferns of the Sierra. Yosemite: Yosemite Natural History Association.

                        Wish List

                        Olsen&Steffen1

                        Anyone who has walked through
                        a fern-laden forest path can
                        attest to the calming lushness
                        ferns provide. As we observe
                        this scenery, however, its
                        simplicity disappears into an
                        array of subtle details. With
                        light passing through, fronds
                        glow with a brilliant flash of
                        green, new foliage unfurls to
                        reveal more tones and colors unnoticed at first glance, and
                        each frond is composed of a multitude of patterns.
                        Richie Steffen and Sue Olsen
                        Plant lover's guide to ferns. 2015

                        2015 December Annual Meeting and Holiday Party

                        This year’s party is on Thursday, December 17. Cost is $3 per person; please bring cash or check. Guests are welcome. Delicious ham and turkey will be provided by the Society, as well as beverages, rolls and butter. We ask each household to bring a side dish or dessert (with serving utensil) to feed 8-10 people as well as your own tableware. Room 101 is reserved for us starting at 5pm. Please set out your dishes ahead so we can begin the dinner at 6:30. Following our meal we will hold elections and Installation of Officers for 2016.

                        Nominations

                        The Nominations Committee nominates Fern Society members for election to fill the positions of officers and board members for the coming year 2016. These nominations are presented at the November meeting, and additional nominations are accepted from the floor at the November meeting only, with prior consent of the person being nominated. Elections are held at the Annual Meeting of the San Diego Fern Society in December. This process follows the Fern Society Bylaws. This year Nancy Hoyt, Paula Couterier and Kathy Thomson served on the Nominations Committee and have provided the following slate:

                        President Kathie Russell
                        1st Vice President OPEN
                        2nd Vice President Bill Brannock
                        Secretary Amna Cornett
                        Treasurer Jay Amshey
                        Board Members: Bruce Barry
                        Bob Charlton
                        Richard Lujan
                        Past President (automatically serves on the board)
                        Don Callard

                        NOTE: Additional nominations will be accepted from members at the November meeting (with prior consent).

                        Meeting Calendar 2015

                        November 19
                        December 17 (Annual Meeting)

                        Board Meetings
                        Second Thursday of January, March, May, July, September, November

                        2016 Fern Show August 20-21

                        2016 Meeting Schedule:
                        Jan 21 July 21
                        Feb 18 Aug 18
                        Mar 17 Sep 15
                        Apr 14 Oct 20
                        May 19 Nov 17
                        Jun 16 Dec 15
                        (subject to change for special events)



                        San Diego Fern Society Officers

                        President
                        Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
                        1st Vice President OPEN
                        2nd Vice President
                        Bill Brannock wbrannock410@aol.com
                        Secretary
                        Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com
                        Treasurer
                        Jay Amshey coastbiomaterials@cox.net
                        Board Members:
                        Bruce Barry
                        Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                        Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net
                        Richard Lujan
                        Past President
                        Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

                        Website
                        www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                        Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                        Fern Society email
                        sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com

                        Membership
                        Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting
                        or mail to:
                        San Diego Fern Society
                        2350 Jennifer Ln
                        Encinitas CA 92024

                        San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                        The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                        * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                        * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                        * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                        The Society aims
                        * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                        * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                        * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                        * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                        * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.

                        Volume XXXIX, Number 11
                        October 2015


                        Fern Society meets October 8


                        San Diego Fern Society will meet on the second Thursday of the month,
                        October 8,
                        in Casa del Prado Room 101, Balboa Park. This is a change from our usual meeting day, as we accommodate the shows for other clubs. There are over 30 organizations sharing the Casa rooms.

                        In October we will view photos of desert ferns and habitat, and learn how ferns, which naturally require at least some water, have amazingly established themselves in harsh hot and dry climate areas. Although San Diego is expecting and hoping for generous seasonal rains, gardeners may be encouraged to know that fern growing can continue with whatever drought we experience. Kathie Russell will share regarding desert ferns. Others who have grown xeric ferns are invited to share their experiences with these fascinating ferns.

                        If our plant shipment arrives, those attending will receive a started xeric fern to take home. Also, there will be planting of fern starts for the club. Please bring clean 4 inch plastic pots. Your leftover containers can be reused by the Fern Society.

                        Report on September Meeting

                        Bob Charlton discussed growing
                        Davallias for the program in September. Bob's lovely Davallia ferns were impressively displayed at both the San Diego County Fair and the August Fern Show, as well as at this meeting. He is quite successful with these plants in San Diego. Some starter pieces of Davallia rhizome were available. Bob also donated and demonstrated assembly of a simple drip watering system with timer, and raffled the supplies following the meeting.

                        Fall color in ferns

                        bracken Inyo1
                        Bracken Fern,
                        Pteridium aquilinum, growing in full sun and showing fall colors. Photo taken in the Sierra Nevada mountians in late September at 7000 feet elevation, Inyo National Forest, CA. Photo credit: Kathie Russell.

                        The Fern Genus Bolbitis

                        Plants of Bolbitis typically grow along streams, in soil or on tree trunks. They have creeping rhizomes and dimorphic fronds, that is, sterile and fertile fronds are different. The sterile fronds are simple in shape or one to two-pinnate. Fertile fronds have long stipes, so are much taller than sterile ones. Most plants are small to medium in size. The Bolbitis genus contains about 85 species, and is found in tropical areas around the world. Some species develop small bulblets on the leaves.

                        Bolbitis heteroclita has a tiny form that is popular for terrariums. Plants were formerly known as Edanyoa difformis and are native to Philippines. This small variety should be considered a cultivar, and can be purchased from aquarium suppliers. In an aquarium, grow it on a rock or piece of wood rather than in the gravel.
                        A fern from Malaysia was formerly known as
                        Bolbitis simplicifolia, but is also now considered a cultivar of B. heteroclita. Plants are medium in size and need moist to moist-wet mix. Blades are narrowly triangular and may have dentate lobes. The frond tip may be whip-like and have a bud at the tip. Other Bolbitis heteroclita ferns show variable forms sometimes named as cultivars such as 'tenuissima' which has differing asymmetrical fronds even on the same plant. Don DeLano of LAIFS found that suppliers often sold plants of Microsorum pteropus, Java Fern, instead of the advertised B. heteroclita.

                        bolbitis fronds1
                        Fronds of Bolbitis heteroclita. These fronds are upright, about six inches tall. Below, detail of bulbils.

                        bolbitis bubils1
                        Bolbitis heudelotii, another tender fern, grows in rocks or soil. It can be used in aquariums as it is found in nature along streambanks prone to flooding. Fronds may develop different forms whether above water or submerged.

                        bolbitis heudelotii Zaire1
                        Frond of
                        Bolbitis heudelotii, growing in equatorial Africa. Photo credit: Zaire, Creative Commons Attribution, Wikimedia Commons. Photos credit: Kathie Russell.

                        A tropical American species
                        Bolbitis portoricensis, is a larger plant. It may grow on rocks in a stream. Again, this fern can be submerged in an aquarium or grown in the air in a container if kept wet. Frond blades may have buds at the tips.

                        Tryon (Reference 2) suggests 14 species in the Americas, two of which are high-climbing plants. Other
                        Bolbitis species are found in tropical Africa, southern India eastward to China and southern Japan, and also northern Australia and islands.

                        References:
                        1. Hoshizaki, B. and Moran, R. (2001).
                        Fern grower's manual. Portland, OR: Timber Press.
                        2. Tryon, R. and Tryon, A. (1982).
                        Ferns and allied plants with special reference to tropical America. New York: Springer-Verlag.
                        3. What's been happening at the meetings... (2015).
                        LAIFS, 42(3), 92.

                        Further study on water conservation

                        The fall season in San Diego often brings extremely dry conditions, with the dreaded Santa Ana winds. Many ferns benefit from humidity and some really will not survive long in extreme dryness, even when watered. For fern growers in dry climates, one solution is growing ferns in terrariums and various humidity structures. An enclosed greenhouse or even a partly open lath structure can enhance humidity for large ferns. Water misters and water sprinkled over gravel below the plants may increase the humidity. Trees and plant groupings maintain their environment together, reducing the need for water.

                        Elaph nigrescens1
                        Elaphoglossum nigrescens growing in a former aquarium to keep conditions humid. This plant grows naturally in tropical Central and South America. The Bolbitis heteroclita pictured on page 1 also grows in a repurposed aquarium. Photo credit: Kathie Russell.

                        Terrariums and enclosed glass or plexiglass structures can maintain desirable humidity with very little use of extra water. Depending upon how tightly enclosed, the humidity house may require just minimal water to maintain. Sealed terrariums can go months before requiring water and maintenance. As always, members and friends of the Fern Society are welcome to share their stories of growing beautiful ferns with low use of water. Send your experiences and ideas to sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com.

                        More on Fern Show 2015:

                        Most Unusual


                        Elaphoglossum ferns are usually medium in size. Fronds generally have simple, entire blades. That is, the fronds are not divided, lobed or toothed. These fronds do not show the pinnate forms often associated with a ferny appearance. Rather, Elaphoglossums are sometimes called Paddle Ferns. Plants are found in the tropics and subtropics around the world, with the majority of the approximately 500 species in the Americas.

                        Elaphoglossum fern fronds are in a cluster, showing well in baskets or pots. Some, like the Elaphoglossum herminieri which received the award for Most Unusual in the 2015 San Diego Fern Show, display an attractive metallic hue, a striking blue-green. Others have unusual hairs or scales, such as Elaphoglossum crinitum. This fern was in our 2015 display at the San Diego County Fair, grown by Amna Cornett. The rhizomes of Elaphoglossum species are often covered with scales. Hydathodes may be visible, enlarged vein tips on the upper surface of the frond which secrete water and minerals.

                        Elaphoglossum herminieri, this year's Most Unusual in Show, was grown by Don Callard. Fronds may extend up to 3 feet long with striking blue-green, leathery blades and minute star-shaped scales on both surfaces. Plants are native to Puerto Rico and tropical America. The rarely seen fertile fronds are much shorter than the sterile fronds, and are rounded in shape.

                        This plant is best grown in a protected area such as a greenhouse, where warmth and humidity provide the needed growing environment. Some other
                        Elaphoglossums will tolerate San Diego area temperatures but still benefit from partial cold protection in winter.
                        References:
                        1. Hoshizaki, B. and Moran, R. (2001).
                        Fern grower's manual. Portland, OR: Timber Press.
                        2. Tryon, R. and Tryon, A. (1982).
                        Ferns and allied plants with special reference to tropical America. New York: Springer-Verlag.
                        3. Moran, R. (1998).
                        The genera of neotropical ferns. Institute of Systematic Botany, Bronx, NY: New York Botanical Garden.

                        Dons Elaphoglossum herminieri1
                        View of fronds showing unusual color,
                        Elaphoglossum herminieri, Most Unusual in Show 2015, grown by Don Callard. Photo credit: Kathie Russell.


                        Balboa Park Botanical Building
                        Past and Present


                        program1
                        Above, cover of the official program, Panama California International Exposition, San Diego 1916. Following, view inside the Botanical Building from this official program. Panama California-Exposition Digital Archive, www.balboapark.org/old2015/historicphotos; accessed September 20, 2015.

                        bot bld old photo1
                        A report has come through San Diego Botanical Garden Foundation, the parent organization for the groups in Balboa Park such as San Diego Fern Society, that planning is in process to renovate and revitalize the Botanical Building.

                        Stenochlaena tenuifolia1
                        More recent view inside the Balboa Park Botanical Building.
                        The climbing fern Stenochlaena tenuifolia is growing up a tree in the middle of photo. This fern is often mis-labeled as Stenochlaena palustris. The trunk of a tree fern is visible in the foreground. Photo credit: Kathie Russell.

                        botanical21
                        Ferns such as
                        Woodwardia blend with flowering plants inside the Balboa Park Botanical Building. Photos this page credit: Kathie Russell.

                        Polystichum setosum1
                        The Balboa Park Botanical Building plantings include ferns from cool, moist areas such as this
                        Polystichum (above), and even a desert fern, Astrolepis sinuata (following) which seems to be growing well in the lath structure with all the humidity-loving plants. Last photo: a tree fern shows new fiddleheads in the Botanical Building.

                        astrolepis sinuata1

                        Fern hobbyist growers are encouraged to visit the Botanical Building in Balboa Park now, to view the extensive collection of ferns and other plants. Many of these are overgrown, giving a jungle appearance. Renovation will undoubtedly change things. Ferns have been used in the structure from the beginning a hundred years ago, and fern growers look forward to enjoyment of a continuing display which includes ferns.

                        fiddle tree1

                        Meeting Calendar 2015
                        October 8
                        November 19
                        December 17 (Annual Meeting)

                        Board Meeting
                        Room 104, 7:30 pm, Tuesday November 3

                        2016 Fern Show August 20-21

                        2016 Meeting Schedule:
                        Jan 21 July 21
                        Feb 18 Aug 18
                        Mar 17 Sep 15
                        Apr 14 Oct 20
                        May 19 Nov 17
                        Jun 16 Dec 15
                        (subject to change for special events)



                        San Diego Fern Society Officers

                        President
                        Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
                        1st Vice President OPEN

                        2nd Vice President
                        Bill Brannock wbrannock410@aol.com

                        Secretary
                        Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com
                        Treasurer
                        Jay Amshey coastbiomaterials@cox.net

                        Board Members:
                        Bruce Barry
                        Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                        Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net
                        Richard Lujan

                        Past President
                        Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

                        Website
                        www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                        Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                        Fern Society email
                        sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com

                        Membership
                        Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting
                        or mail to:
                        San Diego Fern Society
                        2350 Jennifer Ln
                        Encinitas CA 92024



                        San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                        The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                        * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                        * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                        * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                        The Society aims

                        * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                        * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                        * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                        * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                        * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.

                        Volume XXXIX, Number 10
                        Fern Society September

                        San Diego Fern Society will meet on Thursday September 17 in Casa del Prado Room 101, Balboa Park. Bob Charlton will show photos and discuss growing Davallias. These lovely ferns were impressively displayed at both the San Diego County Fair and the recent Fern Show. Some starter pieces of Davallia rhizome will be available at the meeting. Also, Bob will demonstrate assembling a simple drip watering system and then raffle the system with timer.

                        Report on August Meeting

                        Those attending in August enjoyed a presentation on collecting and using
                        rainwater given by Chuck Miller. The Millers have an extensive rainwater system in place and enjoy a green yard including ferns and trees, on a low water budget.

                        Further study on water conservation

                        Most San Diego area fern growers are interested in water conservation while maintaining their ferns and other plants. One company offering installation, and also showing products and information on rainwater use is: www.h2o-me.com

                        Rain barrels may be purchased on the internet from several retailers. A company located in El Cajon offers larger rainwater tanks: www.newraingutters.com



                        greywater diagram1
                        Poster demonstrating a home greywater system, on display at the 2015 San Diego County Fair. Note the subsurface emitters for safe use of greywater. Photo credit: K. Russell.



                        Fern Show 2015

                        For the recent 2015 Fern Show, 9 exhibitors showed over 80 plants for judging. There were about 10 additional displays of ferns and groupings of ferns, and also posters and photos of ferns.

                        Judges worked in pairs to evaluate the plants, and also assisted with determination of correct plant names. Consignment sales and sale of ferns from the fair and donations went quite well. A very big THANK YOU goes out to all the exhibitors, judges and helpers at the Fern Show. Growing beautiful plants is just one part of the Show. Fern Society members and friends worked to facilitate transportation, setting up the room, registering ferns, arranging, judging, ribboning, refreshments for volunteers, show hosting, selling, and dismantling all at the end. It is truly a team effort.


                        Most Unusual Award
                        Elaphaglossum herminieri Don Callard


                        1Dons Elaphoglossum herminieri detail copy
                        Frond detail of Elaphagossum herminieri, Most Unusual Fern in Show, grown by Don Callard. Fronds may grow up to 3 feet long with striking blue-green, leathery blades and minute star-shaped scales on both surfaces. It is native to Puerto Rico and tropical America.


                        Robin Halley Memorial Award
                        Best Fern (not a Platycerium)
                        Davallia pyxidata Bob Charlton


                        D pyxidata sm1
                        Davallia pyxidata, awarded Best Fern in Show, grown by Bob Charlton. Below: frond detail.
                        detail sm1
                        Photos credit Kathie Russell.

                        Division Awards

                        2 Microsorum sp Don Callard
                        7 Davallia pyxidata Bob Charlton
                        8 Polypodium pyrrholepis Kathie Russell
                        9 Microsorum grossum Kathie Russell
                        10 Phyllitis scolopendrium Don Callard
                        14 Goniophlebium subauriculatum Bob Charlton
                        15 Drynaria rigidula 'Whitei' Paula Couturier
                        16 Asplenium australasicum 'Ruffles' Richard Lujan
                        19 Platycerium willinckii Don Callard
                        20 Platycerium 'Bloomii' Walt Meier
                        21 Platycerium madagascariense Don Callard
                        22 Terrarium multi sp Amna Cornett
                        Shirley Callard Memorial Award
                        Best Platycerium
                        Platycerium madagascariense Don Callard

                        P madagascariense1
                        Platycerium madagascariense, awarded Best Platycerium in Show, grown by Don Callard. Below: view from above.

                        top view1



                        Ferns for a dry year:

                        Xeric Ferns
                        by Bob Halley, 2001, edited

                        I know, it should be "xerophytic", but the diminutive is so commonly used that I thought I'd use it here. In either case it refers to a group of ferns that live in very arid places where you would never expect a fern to live. One thinks of ferns as living in damp shady spots but many of them live in the sands of the desert or in the rocks and rubble of barren hillsides. They use a number of different stratagems to accomplish this.

                        Many xeric ferns live in quick draining sandy soil or rocky shale which delivers the occasional water to their roots and also prevents the formation of stagnant water which can just as quickly rot their roots A number of the xerics live in areas where the annual rainfall is condensed into a couple of months in the dead of winter. These plants produce new fronds very rapidly after the first rain, then the sori will mature and dehisce, shedding their spores, before the heat of summer can shrivel the plants in preparation for the next year's rains. Many of these plants live on the shady side of rocks or boulders where their roots can seek the cool damp shade under the rocks.

                        Some xerics have the entire plant covered with short hairs or scales which, by reducing air motion, create a little humid microclimate next to the pinnules so that the dryness does not so badly affect the plant. Many of these same plants also curl their pinnules inward when the dry weather comes to further reduce the area of evaporation. Some of these, like the resurrection fern, Pleopeltis polypodioides (until 1993 Polypodium polypodioides) will curl up tightly and then spring back to their normal shape in the presence of water.

                        A few of the plants in this group have the underside of their pinnules coated with a powdery substance known as farina. This coating is usually white or gold or silver, so that it increases the reflectivity while sealing off the pores from the low humidity.
                        These drought resistant ferns are difficult to classify. In 1979, Dr. John Mickel of the New York Botanical Garden placed most of them together into the genus Cheilanthes. As a result, they have come to be known as Cheilanthoids. More recent studies have established several genera. The term Cheilanthoids, however, remains in use.

                        Members of this group, however named, grow on every continent except Antarctica. Some are found in the true desert. Others may be found on cliffs or open hillsides, but all seek places where there is bright light and usually, very little rainfall. Not unexpectedly, many are found in the Southwestern United States and Mexico and at least ten species are native to San Diego County. You can find several of them as close at hand as Mission Trails Park.

                        Following the outline in the Flora of North America, there are some 40 genera world-wide with about 13 of them in this country. The largest group is still the genus Cheilanthes with about 150 species world-wide, although it may be further divided at a later date. Recent studies have placed some Cheilanthes in separate genera, forming Aspidotis, Argyrochosma and Astrolepis. The genus Notholaena has been reestablished. In the United States we also have the genera Bommeria, Pellaea and Pentagramma. Elsewhere in the world we must include at least the genera Adiantopsis, Doryopteris, Gymnopteris, Hemionitis, Paraceterach, Pityrogramma, Pleurosorus and Quercifilix. Some of these, like the Pellaeas, are not so staunchly drought-resistant as the others. These ferns prefer locations with partial sun and good drainage, but not long term drought.

                        Our climate here in Southern California gives us a great opportunity to grow these fascinating plants. The major requirement is reminiscent of an old real estate axiom. It is "drainage, drainage, drainage!" Members of this group should be planted in volcanic scree or in coarse sand mixed with gravel –any mix which will drain quickly – and should have good run-off from the sub-strata. If planted in containers, the pot should be deeper than for most ferns with many drainage holes. Plants should be fed sparingly. Many like alkaline soil and will want the occasional addition of lime. Interestingly, although these plants have adapted to arid conditions with only occasional precipitation, they do not demand these conditions. They will be happier with more regular watering, but the roots must never be allowed to stay wet. The books all caution against overhead watering and getting the leaves wet, but the experience of nurserymen and growers in the Pacific Northwest would indicate that this is not that important. It is the underground part of the fern that is fussy.

                        References:
                        1. Hoshizaki, B. and Moran, R. (2001). Fern grower's manual. Portland, OR: Timber Press.
                        2. Jones, D. (1987) Encyclopaedia of ferns. Portland, OR: Timber Press.
                        3. Witham, H. (1972). Ferns of San Diego County. San Diego: San Diego Society of Natural History.
                        4. Mickel, J. T. (1979). The fern genus Cheilanthes in the continental United States. Phytologia, 41, 431-437.

                        Calendar for 2016

                        Fern Society 2016 Meeting Schedule:
                        Jan 21 July 21
                        Feb 18 Aug 18
                        Mar 17 Sep 15
                        Apr 14 Oct 20
                        May 19 Nov 17
                        Jun 16 Dec 15
                        (subject to change for special events)
                        2016 Fern Show and Sale
                        Saturday/Sunday August 20-21

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                        View of 2015 Fern Show.


                        More on Balboa Park History

                        As noted last month, years of use and neglect left the original building in the location of Casa del Prado in very sad shape. In 1968 voters approved a bond measure to reconstruct Casa del Prado.
                        Architect Richard George Wheeler prepared plans to re-create the Food and
                        Beverage Building as a combination Garden Center and home for youth
                        cultural groups. Casa del Prado was officially dedicated on November 14, 1971. The reconstructed building consisted of north and south structures separated by an open arcaded court. A second patio was set inside the south building, which is lined by a two-story arcade. The new building was of concrete with a tan-tinted stucco veneer, a better load-bearing and more durable material than the original plaster and hemp. The south building of the Casa del Prado has been occupied by clubs, a library, and exhibit rooms, space for senior citizens, and rehearsal rooms for music, dance and drama groups such as San Diego Youth Ballet, Symphony, Chorale and Junior Theater. Performances are held in the north building theater.

                        Since reopening in 1971 the Casa del Prado has served a wide spectrum of the San Diego community. San Diego Botanical Garden Foundation and San Diego Floral Society occupy four rooms and comprise more than 35 member organizations. Adult and youth groups are under San Diego Civic Arts Association and the sponsorship of the San Diego Park and Recreation Department. As with botanical groups, designated nonprofit organizations are not charged for facility use. The general public can attend botanical exhibits, rent assembly rooms and enjoy major park events in the outdoor patios.

                        Source: Amero, R.W. Balboa Park History. balboaparkhistory.net


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                        View of Casa del Prado Room 101 during 2015 Fern Show. All shows are open to the public at no charge. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                        Opportunity with Master Gardeners

                        UCCE Master Gardener Program of San Diego County is seeking adults interested in gardening to educate the public and answer questions on home gardening. Master Gardeners in Training will participate in a 50-hour program over five months during 2016. Upon completion, Master Gardeners must fulfill volunteer and education hours for recertification each year. Apply at: www.mastergardenerssandiego.org

                        For further information, attend the Master Gardener Open House on Wednesday, September 16, 10am to noon, War Memorial Building, Balboa Park.

                        Meeting Calendar 2015

                        September 17
                        October 8 (2nd Thursday of the month)
                        November 19
                        December 17 (Annual Meeting)

                        Board Meetings
                        Room 104, 7:30 pm, Tuesday November 3



                        San Diego Fern Society Officers

                        President
                        Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
                        1st Vice President OPEN
                        2nd Vice President
                        Bill Brannock wbrannock410@aol.com
                        Secretary
                        Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com
                        Treasurer
                        Jay Amshey coastbiomaterials@cox.net
                        Board Members:
                        Bruce Barry
                        Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                        Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net
                        Richard Lujan
                        Past President
                        Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

                        Website
                        www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                        Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                        Fern Society email
                        sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com

                        Membership
                        Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting
                        or mail to:
                        San Diego Fern Society
                        2350 Jennifer Ln
                        Encinitas CA 92024

                        San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                        The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                        * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                        * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                        * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                        The Society aims
                        * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                        * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                        * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                        * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                        * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.

                        Volume XXXIX, Number 9
                        August 2015

                        Fern Society August 13


                        San Diego Fern Society will meet on Thursday August 13 in Casa del Prado Room 101, Balboa Park. We will learn about collecting and using rainwater from Chuck Miller. The Millers have a system in place and will share their experiences. We plan open discussion of your ideas and experiences on rainwater, reuse of water and techniques to conserve water while also properly caring for ferns and other plantings. Note that the August 13 meeting is the second Thursday of the month in order to prepare for the show on August 15-16.

                        Report on July Society Event

                        On Saturday July 18, members and friends enjoyed a potluck and patio visit at Bob and Patty Charlton's home. Bob showed guests his techniques for watering container ferns which are hanging and on stands in his patio. He uses an automated watering system with drip lines and mini-sprayers, and uses wire inserts in the water tubes to stiffen the lines, holding them in place.

                        IMG_05301
                        Photo credit, Bob Charlton

                        July 18 was a day of thunderstorms and heavy rain, very usual San Diego weather. Just a small group came for this event, although all stayed dry, even outdoors, and the day was truly refreshing to people and plants.

                        Invite your Friends to the Show

                        The announcement which Bob Charlton prepared is available to you by email, so that you can invite your gardening friends to the Show and Sale.
                        Reminder: Sales are in cash.

                        Plants for the Show


                        Ferns for the August Show competition must be plants you have owned and cared for during the previous three months. These ferns do not need to be rare, tropical nor large. It is important to show the public a sampling from the large variety of ferns which thrive in San Diego. Consider sharing your favorite ferns with our guests. Choose ferns from your collection which are growing well, groom these ferns and check for pests before bringing to Room 101. Please follow instructions on page 5.
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                        Announcement for Fern Show 2015. Credit: Bob Charlton.


                        Ferns for a Dry Year

                        Unknown1
                        The fern Astrolepis sinuata, also called Chelianthes sinuata, survives quite well on low water. This plant is truly a xeric fern, growing in the Mojave Desert of California and the desert area around Phoenix AZ. It is found naturally from the southwestern US southward into Central and South America and islands.

                        A sinuata FH1
                        The xeric fern Astrolepis sinuata growing naturally near Phoenix Az. Photo taken in the month of February. Photo this page credit: K. Russell.

                        Astrolepis ferns, with the common name Star-scale Cloak Ferns, are distinct from Cheilanthes by having small star-shaped scales, less than a millimeter across. However in the horticultural trade this plant may be sold as Cheilanthes sinuata. Fronds are grey green and furry above with the star-shaped scales and have whitish undersides.

                        A sinuata underside1
                        Same plant Astrolepis sinuata showing the underside of frond.

                        Plants are clustered and upright in form, one to two feet tall. Astrolepis sinuata can form a colony, and even grow in full sunlight and strong heat. If this fern goes dry, it will revive with rainfall. Plants are known to grow in limestone places, and are semi-hardy to cold, easily at home in the San Diego area.

                        Although a xeric fern, A. sinuata tolerates regular garden watering. It makes a fern choice for a rock garden or wall, or even a succulent garden or a sunny spot. Plants can also be kept in a container. These ferns are frequently available in local nurseries under the name Cheilanthes sinuata, at modest cost.

                        astrolepis sinuata sm1
                        A plant of Astrolepis sinuata growing well in the Balboa Park Botanical Building, San Diego.

                        References:
                        1. Hoshizaki, B. and Moran, R. (2001). Fern grower's manual. Portland, OR: Timber Press.
                        2. Munz, P. A. (1965). A California Flora. Berkeley: University of California Press.
                        3. Epple, A. O., & Epple, L. E. (1995). A field guide to the plants of Arizona. Mesa, AZ: LewAnn Pub.
                        4. montereybaynsy.com/plants



                        For Sale: Microgramma ferns

                        These small epiphytes are popular terrarium ferns. About twenty species of Microgramma are known, most from the New World tropics with a couple of species from Africa. All have scaly long-creeping rhizomes, often branched. Fronds are simple and entire. Microgramma ferns are small creeping plants most often growing on trees. They are part of the Polypodiaceae family and in older literature may have the Polypodium genus name.

                        microgramma jar1
                        Microgramma megalophylla and Microgramma reptans growing together inside a large plastic jar. M. megalophylla has the larger fronds. Fertile fronds are on the left, the longest about nine inches. Sterile, smaller fronds are in the center of photo. The smaller, vining M. reptans is seen in the center and to the right. Photo credit: Kathie Russell.

                        Microgramma megalophylla is the largest species of the genus, and is native to South America. Fronds may be up to 20 inches long. Plants tightly adhere to trees or rocks in lowland and lower montane forests. Starts of this plant were shared at a Fern Society meeting in the past, and there should be some for sale at the August Show. Bring a little $cash$.

                        More on Balboa Park History

                        The original building of today's Casa del Prado where the San Diego Fern Society meets was called Varied Industries and Food Products Building which was the 1935 Food and Beverage Building.

                        This building was the largest of the exposition buildings. It was elaborately done with pavilions, arches, an upper loggia, columns and decorations of seeds, fruits, vegetables, cherubs, human figures, crowns and more. To the east of the building were the citrus orchards and model farm. Among the exhibits during the first exhibition were Towle Maple products company's sugar and syrup in a log cabin, California Cactus Company showing use of cactus in candy, and a Kellogg's cereal exhibit.

                        After the exhibition, many wanted to keep the structures, but the Varied Industries and Food Products building was to be eliminated. World War I intervened before the structure could be removed, and it was used for military barracks.

                        From 1919 to 1930 the structure became part of the San Diego County Fair. Then the later California-Pacific International Exhibition of 1935-1936 used the building for Foods exhibits similar to the original use in 1915.

                        When the US entered World War II, the Red Cross used the space, and apparently hospital wards were there.

                        San Diego Public Library moved into the structure temporarily from 1952 to 1954 while the (then new) Downtown Public Library was built. Meanwhile, the condition of the structure was deplorable. The Librarian later wrote that the building was populated with an amazing assortment of wildlife—squirrels, bees, doves, flies, lost cats and dogs, lizards, fleas, termites, spiders and mice. In 1968 voters approved a bond measure to reconstruct the building.

                        Source: Amero, R.W. Balboa Park History. balboaparkhistory.net

                        Displays at the Show

                        At the Fern Show, look for the 2015 Fair display signs, ribbons and some fair photos.

                        We also plan a photo spot among a grouping of ferns with a fountain and garden decor.



                        Teaching about Water for Ferns

                        At the coming Show and Sale this month, it is important to help our guests learn how to grow ferns, especially if they purchase plants or ask about their own garden ferns. Most of those asking questions already have the idea that ferns need shade and think ferns require a great deal of water.

                        Since San Diego's climate has little real cold, that is not usually a growing consideration. Certainly there are many ferns including some plants for sale which need a tropical environment. These should be grown with protection from winter cold. Ferns in this category include some of the Platyceriums and some which do well in terrariums or indoors.

                        For ferns to thrive they certainly need appropriate light. Putting a Boston Fern in a partially dark indoor situation means that the plant will not live too long. Ferns can be grown indoors but almost all need strong indoor light without hot sun. Favored locations include a north facing window or a window with a light filtering curtain. Artificial lighting is one solution, using balanced light sources including both the red and blue parts of the visible light spectrum.

                        Probably more visitors to the Fern Show will have questions about watering. Most of the ferns sold in our area do not require large quantities of water, but rather careful attention to watering. Growers know that there isn't a precise answer to how often to water a fern. Plants need more water during hot and dry times, and less in cooler weather. Most ferns need less water when they are not growing much, especially in winter. How quickly the soil mix dries depends on the container size, type, or planting location. Growers should check the new plant for dryness and learn how often to water that specific fern.

                        Very few ferns like to grow in wet, boggy soil. A mix with excellent drainage is preferable, which is why you see Perlite or equivalent used in fern soil mix.
                        In the garden, ferns again do best in planter beds with good drainage. Raised beds prepared with ammended soil mix generally perform better than locations of heavy clay.

                        Water should soak the root area of the fern. In a container, it is important to water the plant well and let it drain. If the fern has wilted or dried out completely, soak it to just below soil level in its container in a bucket of water for a few minutes, then drain. Containers must have drainage holes and well-draining mix.

                        A common issue for ferns is becoming waterlogged, especially in heavy soil or containers with inadequate drainage. If soil remains wet several days after watering, the plant may have been over-watered. The fern may be yellow or grow poorly. Fronds might wilt due to rotted roots. If caught soon enough, the plant may be removed, the soft rotted roots trimmed off, and replanted in fresh soil mix.

                        The roots need air since they use oxygen. Overwatering suffocates the roots and promotes the growth of harmful bacteria and fungi. This is a common cause of fern failure.

                        Reference:
                        1. Hoshizaki, B. and Moran, R. (2001). Fern grower's manual. Portland, OR: Timber Press.

                        Selling Your Plants at the Fern Sale

                        Members may sell ferns and specialty plants at the Sale, following the policies of the Fern Society and San Diego Botanical Garden Foundation. All sales are under the San Diego Fern Society, not the individual. Sellers need to email or inform a board member regarding intention to sell. Sellers should assist with the Show and Sale.



                        Entering Plants in the Fern Show

                        Entrants may bring in Show plants from Thursday afternoon through 5pm Friday. Entries are accepted from Fern Society members and non-members alike. Plants must be free of pests and pest damage prior to their arrival. After the Thursday Fern Society meeting, there will be time to ask questions and consult resource books for plant identification. Show plant registration forms may be prepared Thursday. For those who have time constraints on Friday, this is the best opportunity.

                        Ferns for Show competition must be plants the entrant owned and cared for during the previous three months. Ferns which were acquired more recently, or are not to be judged, may be entered for Display Only. Ferns must be trimmed, containers clean, and ready for placement by 5pm Friday. Plants that are not display-ready for the Show are not accepted. Any late plants will not be entered in judging. Show plants must remain for the duration, until 4pm on Sunday.

                        San Diego Fern Society Show Rules

                        1. Entry of plants should be completed by 5pm on Friday, with plants ready for display (groomed and neat). Plants may be brought Thursday evening, or Friday from 2pm to 5pm. Plants may not enter the show on Saturday. Exhibitor will prepare entry form with plant names. It is important to determine names ahead of time. Ask for assistance well in advance.
                        2. Judging will take place on Saturday, 8:30am until noon. The Show room will open to the public around noon, or earlier if ready. All displays must remain until 4pm on Sunday.
                        3. Plant owners must take their plants out of the room after the 4pm close on Sunday, or make arrangements.
                        4. The Show is open to entries by the general public.
                        5. An exhibitor may enter any number of plants, and any number in the same class.
                        6. Plants may be entered for competition or for display only.
                        7. All plants entered for competition must have been owned and grown by the competitor for at least 90 days prior to the Show.
                        8. Plants must be groomed and containers must be tidy. Only clean, disease and pest-free plants will be accepted into the Show room. If a plant has any sign of disease or infestation it will be immediately removed from the area.
                        9. Use of leaf polish is not permitted.
                        10. Previous winners: Plants which have been awarded Best Fern of Show (non-Platycerium) and Best Platycerium of Show may not be entered for competition. (They may be entered for display). No individual plant may win Most Unusual Plant award more than once. Plants which have won Division awards during the past three years must be entered in Division 30.

                        2012 show1

                        Meeting Calendar 2015

                        August 13 (2nd Thursday of the month)

                        August 15-16
                        San Diego Fern Show and Sale



                        September 17
                        October 8 (2nd Thursday of the month)
                        November 19
                        December 17 (Annual Meeting)

                        Board Meetings
                        Room 104, 7:30 pm, Tuesday September 1, November 3


                        San Diego Fern Society Officers

                        President
                        Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
                        1st Vice President OPEN
                        2nd Vice President
                        Bill Brannock wbrannock410@aol.com
                        Secretary
                        Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com
                        Treasurer
                        Jay Amshey coastbiomaterials@cox.net
                        Board Members:
                        Bruce Barry
                        Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                        Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net
                        Richard Lujan
                        Past President
                        Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

                        Website
                        www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                        Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                        Fern Society email
                        sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com

                        Membership
                        Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting
                        or mail to:
                        San Diego Fern Society
                        2350 Jennifer Ln
                        Encinitas CA 92024

                        San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                        The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                        * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                        * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                        * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.


                        The Society aims
                        * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                        * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                        * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                        * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                        * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.

                        Volume XXXIX, Number 8
                        July 2015

                        Saturday July 18
                        Fern Society Social Event


                        Save Saturday July 18 to enjoy a casual social event with fern friends. We will have a potluck-style meal, with grill available if you would like to cook. Meet at the patio of Bob and Patty Charlton and while there enjoy viewing the many ferns and other plants. This is an opportunity for Fern Society members and friends to relax after the busy Fair time and before the August Show and Sale. There will not be a regular meeting.

                        Report on June Meeting

                        In June, we enjoyed a photo tour of Bloedel Reserve, a renowned garden and forest preserve on Bainbridge Island, Washington State. Photos included the Japanese Garden and Moss Garden, a Bird Refuge area, wetlands and forests and the estate's landscaped garden area. The Bloedel Reserve is very green and very ferny. It is open to the public throughout the year.

                        Prepare Plants NOW for the Show

                        Coming up, sooner than you think, is our annual Fern Show and Sale. Having a free show for the public is part of the San Diego Botanical Garden Foundation agreement with the City of San Diego for use of facilities in Balboa Park. We will have our Fern Society meeting on the second Thursday of the month, August 13, in order to prepare for the show on August 15-16.

                        In July, it is time to consider your plant care for the Show. Ferns for the August Show competition must be plants you have owned and cared for during the previous three months. Choose ferns from your collection which are growing well, perhaps your own personal favorites.

                        Groom these ferns and check for pests. Control any pests using the least toxic methods. Now is the time to trim off fronds which are damaged to allow room for fresh growth. Some ferns may display best with a new container. Give the potential Show entries good lighting and adequate water, while protecting them from harsh summer conditions.

                        show sm1
                        Announcement for Fern Show 2015. Credit: Bob Charlton.



                        a print copy1
                        A very large Asplenium on display at the Container Exhibit, San Diego County Fair. Plant owner Don Callard received a Noteworthy Plant recognition for this well-grown fern. Photo credit: R. Russell.

                        Noteworthy Plants at the Fair


                        The two exhibits of the Fern Society at the San Diego County Fair most certainly had great plants. Judges chose several as Noteworthy, including plants grown by Amna Cornett, Paula Couterier, Don Callard, Don Nelson, Bart Keeran and Bob Charlton. A photo of Platycerium grande was included in the June Fern World.

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                        Amnas cycad sm1
                        Two Davallia fejeensis 'Major' plants were recognized, and the Cycad Zamia kickxii. Photos: K. Russell.


                        Paulas A goudeyi sm1
                        elaph close sm1
                        Asplenium goudeyi, and Elaphoglossum crinitum.



                        whisk fern sm1
                        Psilotum nudum, is not a true fern but has the common name, Whisk Fern. Photos this page: K. Russell.

                        At the August Fern Show, look for the Fair display signs, ribbons and some photos.

                        Ferns for a Dry Year

                        The commonly grown Nephrolepis cordifolia, sometimes called the Sword Fern, turns out to survive quite well on low water. These plants sometimes naturalize in the Southwest although they aren't usually invasive since they do require some water. But Nephrolepis cordifolia is quite tolerant of our climate, and grows in bright shade or partial to full sun, with pinnate fronds sometimes to 30 inches tall. Fronds are light green in strong light and deeper green in full shade. A better outdoor fern than Nephrolepis exaltata and its Boston fern cultivars, N. cordifolia has generally upright fronds that remain attractive in hot, cold or dry weather.

                        There are many cultivars to provide variety, such as the one found growing in the late Mildred Murray's yard in Encinitas, now shared with us by Dean Turney. Known locally as N. cordifolia 'Mildred Murray,' or sometimes as 'Plumosa', these plants can be started by dividing off the runners with new growth that are common as the plant spreads.

                        Popular varieties available in the nursery trade are 'Lemon Buttons', a smaller plant, and 'Kimberly Queen' or 'Western Queen.' 'Lemon Buttons' is suitable as a border fern in garden beds and its smaller size makes it easier to manage. 'Pom-pom' has highly divided, tasseled frond ends and becomes pendant, looking best in a container with room to spread over the sides.

                        Plants of Nephrolepis cordifolia multiply readily in favorable conditions in the garden. They grow in rocky areas and even on trees. Tolerant of local soils, expect and plan for N. cordifolia to spread around in the garden. To contain it, either remove spreading runners or choose an attractive pot or large patio planter for this fern, and provide good drainage. Commonly grown and needing just minimal care, Nephrolepis cordifolia is certainly useful to San Diego growers with limited water.

                        References:
                        1. Hoshizaki, B. and Moran, R. (2001). Fern grower's manual. Portland, OR: Timber Press.
                        2. Olsen, S. (2007). Encyclopedia of garden ferns. Portland, OR: Timber Press.

                        mildred murray sm1
                        Fronds of Nephrolepis cordifolia 'Mildred Murray.'

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                        Tip of frond of Nephrolepis cordifolia 'Pom-pom.' Both photos credit: K. Russell.

                        More on Balboa Park History


                        Greenhouse
                        A steel and glass greenhouse extended from the back of the Botanical Building lath structure in 1915 and for many years following. Inside were tropical plants including ferns Platycerium, Lygodium, Goniophlebium and Nephrolepis.

                        Source: Amero, R.W. Balboa Park History. balboaparkhistory.net

                        Summer Dormant Ferns

                        A fern grower may carefully provide good conditions for ferns, with the right amount of shade and water, but still watch a fern decline. This can be a concern and bring the question of what is wrong. In some cases the answer is, nothing. There are quite a few ferns which become dormant or nearly dormant in summer.

                        Gardeners more easily understand winter dormancy; the leaves on a tree turn color and fall in autumn, it is cold (and snowy somewhere) in winter, and plants grow again in spring. For many ferns, the same pattern occurs, especially in temperate climates. However seasonal change it not limited to this pattern. In tropical monsoonal climates, there may be a dry period when ferns dry up, only to grow out green again after rain. This is the pattern for some Platycerium ferns, making them a challenge to grow in San Diego.

                        Many ferns that are native to San Diego County deserts, mountains and coastal areas dry up when there is no rain. A person out to observe native ferns will find little of interest in summer. Then again, sometimes rain falls in the Anza-Borrego Desert and brings out green ferns, even in the hot month of August.

                        Several Polypodium ferns are winter green and summer dormant. The local native Polypodium californicum follows this pattern. After months without rain, there will be no green. However, extra water will not change the pattern and fronds will turn yellow and fall off even when plants are well-watered.


                        dormant poly cal julyone1
                        California native fern Polypodium californicum 'Sarah Lyman' entering time of summer dormancy in Kathie's garden, July 1. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                        Polypodium formosanum, known for its attractive and interesting green rhizomes, similarly will lose fronds in summer. This fern is found naturally on tree trunks and rocks in China, Japan and Taiwan. Expect new growth at the end of the summer and the green fronds to persist through the winter and spring.

                        Polypodium glycyrrhiza, a Pacific Northwest native, commonly grows on big leaf maple trees, and occasionally on rocks. It adds green to the winter landscape, but will lose fronds sometime in midsummer. Some growers report that new fronds come out almost immediately. Since many Polypody ferns hybridize, growers should consider dormancy in their plants and maintain them through the dormant state. The advice seems to be, keep dormant or seemingly dead fern plants in a shady corner for a year or two and watch what may happen.

                        References:
                        1. Hoshizaki, B. and Moran, R. (2001). Fern grower's manual. Portland, OR: Timber Press.
                        2. Olsen, S. (2007). Encyclopedia of garden ferns. Portland, OR: Timber Press.

                        Entering Plants in the Fern Show

                        Entrants may bring in Show plants on Thursday August 13, the second Thursday of the month. Entries are accepted from Fern Society members and non-members alike. Plants must be free of pests and pest damage prior to their arrival. After the Thursday Fern Society meeting, there will be time to ask questions and consult resources for plant identification. Show plant registration forms may be prepared Thursday. For those who have time constraints on Friday, this is the best opportunity.

                        Ferns for Show competition must be plants the entrant owned and cared for during the previous three months. Ferns which were acquired more recently, or are not to be judged, may be entered for Display Only. Friday afternoon from 2pm to 5pm is registration of show plants. Plant owner must determine the names of plants entered in the Show. Ferns must be trimmed, containers clean, and everything ready for placement by 5pm Friday. Plants that are not display-ready for the Show are not accepted. Any late plants will not be entered in judging. Show plants must remain for the duration, until 4pm on Sunday.

                        Selling Your Plants at the Fern Sale

                        Members may sell ferns and specialty plants at the Sale, following the policies of the Fern Society and San Diego Botanical Garden Foundation. Sellers need to email or inform a board member regarding intention to sell. Sellers should assist with the Show and Sale.

                        Meeting Calendar 2015

                        July 18 Saturday Social Event
                        (patio of Bob and Patty Charlton)

                        August 13 (2nd Thursday of the month)
                        August 15-16
                        San Diego Fern Show and Sale


                        September 17
                        October 8 (2nd Thursday of the month)
                        November 19
                        December 17 (Annual Meeting)

                        Board Meetings
                        Room 104, 7:30 pm, Tuesday July 7, September 1, November 3


                        San Diego Fern Society Officers

                        President
                        Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
                        1st Vice President OPEN
                        2nd Vice President
                        Bill Brannock wbrannock410@aol.com
                        Secretary
                        Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com
                        Treasurer
                        Jay Amshey coastbiomaterials@cox.net
                        Board Members:
                        Bruce Barry
                        Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                        Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net
                        Richard Lujan
                        Past President
                        Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

                        Website
                        www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                        Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                        Fern Society email
                        sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com

                        Membership
                        Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting
                        or mail to:
                        San Diego Fern Society
                        2350 Jennifer Ln
                        Encinitas CA 92024

                        San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                        The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                        * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                        * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                        * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                        The Society aims
                        * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                        * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                        * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                        * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                        * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.

                        Volume XXXIX, Number 7
                        June Fern Society Meeting

                        On Thursday June 18 we will enjoy a photo tour of Bloedel Reserve, a renowned public garden and forest preserve on Bainbridge Island, Washington State. The 150 acres include a Japanese Garden, Moss Garden, Reflection Pool and estate home. There is a Bird Refuge area and wetlands. The Bloedel Reserve is very green and very ferny.

                        Report on May Meeting

                        In May, rather than a standard Fern Society meeting, we visited the garden of Society member Don Callard on Saturday May 16. Don has grown Platycerium ferns for many
                        years, including all the species and many cultivars. His collection of various ferns and other plants is very unique and interesting.

                        Don's platy1
                        Platycerium in the collection of Don Callard.

                        Below:
                        View of greenhouse.
                        Photo credit: K. Thomson.


                        Dons greenhouse1


                        Pyrrosia long1
                        Pyrrosia longifolia crested variety, viewed during garden visit at Don Callard's plant house. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                        Memberships

                        The annual membership fee is $12 for a single or household membership, through December 2015. See Jay Amshey or mail to the address on page 6.

                        Plant Table in June

                        Expect a colorful plant table of small Rex Begonias from our local A&G Nursery. Bring a little cash for this opportunity to expand your growing options, while giving tribute to the Balboa Park Botanical Building and supporter Alfred D. Robinson, well-known begonia grower of a century ago.

                        San Diego County Fair:
                        A Walk in the Park

                        The Fern Society is currently showing two exhibits in the Garden Show. A specially constructed lath structure provided by the Fair shows our tribute to the Balboa Park Botanical Building. Fair guests view the botanical collection through the open walls and doorway facade. The Society assembled an amazing botanical collection for this display. The exhibit is along the east wall of the garden office building.

                        Platyceriums and Pyrrosias

                        This year's Fern Society Container Exhibit at the Fair shows Platyceriums and Pyrrosias to the public, along with other plants from the same geographic areas. Look for the Container Exhibit, faced with redwood lattice and Plexiglas windows, against the south wall of O'Brien Hall.

                        The Container Exhibit shows the public a sampling of Pyrrosias, sometimes known as Felt Ferns, grown in the San Diego area, as well as the ever-popular Platyceriums. Neither Platyceriums nor Pyrrosias have what might be called a ferny appearance. Also, both genera include several species which are partially drought tolerant and cold hardy, in spite of their rain forest origins. Pyrrosias are small or medium in size, and most have simple, entire fronds. They have star-shaped hairs on the frond blade. Most need just moderate water.

                        hastata hairs1
                        Pyrrosia hastata leaf, close view of the characteristic hairs on the frond surface. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                        Remember to retrieve the plants you have loaned to the Fair exhibits on Monday July 6 through Wednesday. If you are unable to get there, make advance arrangements with someone. The exhibits dismantle very quickly.


                        af2r-main-290px1


                        Ferns for a Dry Year

                        The genus Chelianthes is known for low water needs. Some of these lovely green ferns actually grow in the deserts of the Southwest. Chelianthes lanosa is not a desert fern, but grows in nature in the mid-western to eastern US. It is found growing in the ground in rocky areas, including sandstone, granite and limestone. Sometimes xeric ferns, those of dry areas, are hard to find. Since Chelianthes lanosa is sold at modest cost in local nurseries, it is certainly of interest to San Diego growers.

                        Chelianthes lanosa is considered easy to grow. The fronds are narrow-triangular to lanceolate and two-pinnate-pinnatifid. They grow upright and show hairy surfaces and sori around the margins. Give plants medium-high light and plant in well-drained mix, not too wet.

                        Cheilanthes lanosa1
                        Cheilanthes lanosa in containers, for sale at a local nursery. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                        References:
                        1. Hoshizaki, B. and Moran, R. (2001). Fern grower's manual. Portland, OR: Timber Press.
                        2. Olsen, S. (2007). Encyclopedia of garden ferns. Portland, OR: Timber Press.
                        3. Flora of North America, hosted at efloras.org.

                        Views from the Fair: Container Plants

                        container1
                        Platycerium grande from the collection of Don Callard, along with other Platyceriums and Pyrossias (lower), exhibited in the Container Garden at San Diego County Fair 2015. Below: View of Container Exhibit, a different exhibit style than in previous years. Photos credit: R. Russell.


                        wide view1
                        Views from the Fair: Tribute to
                        Balboa Park Botanical Building

                        pond chalk1
                        San Diego County Fair Garden Show, Tribute to Balboa Park Botanical Building, facade with the Lily Pond done in chalk in foreground. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                        More on Balboa Park History

                        The Botanical Building was envisioned by Alfred D. Robinson, president of the San Diego Floral Society, as a giant lath palace in the center of an enormous botanic garden. Carleton Winslow drew up plans for a massive greenhouse in Spanish style. Eventually plans were modified to a lath house rather than a Spanish palace. It consisted of a narrow rectangle with dominant central dome and with two barrel vaults on each side. Steel frames held up stained and bent redwood lath.

                        Palms, bamboo, banana trees, and aralia grew in the main building. Vitis, isolepsis, crotons, dracaenas, philodendrons, and anthuriums grew inside a glass wing in the back.

                        Source: The making of the exposition, 1909-1915. sandiegohistory.org.


                        side view1
                        San Diego County Fair Garden Show, Tribute to Balboa Park Botanical Building, looking inside the lath structure. The Garden Department constructed the structure and provided orchids and palms to close off the ends. All other plant material loaned by members of the Fern Society and purchased from our local nursery supplier. Photo credit: K. Russell.


                        IMG_66741
                        California native ferns in an oil painting by Kathy Thomson, displayed in the Reflections show supporting Paralyzed Veterans of America. The model plant for this painting was in Nevada County CA, in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Lyceum Theater Lobby, San Diego, May 2015. Photo credit: R. Russell.

                        Summer Social in July

                        Mark your calendar for Saturday July 18 to enjoy a casual social event with fern friends. We will have a potluck-style meal, with grill available if you would like to cook. We will meet at the patio of Bob and Patty Charleton, and while there enjoy viewing the many ferns and other plants. This is an opportunity for Fern Society members and friends to relax after the busy Fair time and before the August Show and Sale.

                        Fern Show in August

                        The Show is soon upon us, even as the Fair is still in progress. It is important to give special care to the ferns you might enter in the Show. Inspect these for pests and control any problems using the least toxic methods. Now is the time to trim off fronds which are damaged to allow room for fresh growth. Some ferns may benefit from a new container. Give the potential Show entries good lighting and adequate water, while protecting them from harsh summer conditions.

                        Judging for the Fern Show

                        The Fern Society Board will plan the judging arrangements for the coming Show at the next Board Meeting on July 7. If you have ideas and suggestions for the judging standards, please give your written ideas to a Board member, or email a few days in advance to: sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com

                        The Fern Society aims to have an equitable and productive Fern Show, with functional and effective judging standards and process. We also want to encourage the Show guests in the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                        Members may sell ferns and specialty plants at the Sale, and will need to follow the policies of the Fern Society and San Diego Botanical Garden Foundation. Again, email the Society or inform a Board member of your intention to sell, so that a copy of the sales policy can be sent to you in advance. Sellers should plan to assist with the Show and Sale.

                        show 20151
                        Announcement for Fern Show 2015. Credit: Bob Charlton.

                        Meeting Calendar 2015

                        June 18
                        July 18 Saturday Social Event
                        August 13 (2nd Thursday of the month)
                        August 15-16
                        San Diego Fern Show and Sale
                        September 17
                        October 8 (2nd Thursday of the month)
                        November 19
                        December 17 (Annual Meeting)



                        Board Meetings
                        Room 104, 7:30 pm, Tuesday July 7, September 1, November 3


                        San Diego Fern Society Officers

                        President
                        Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
                        1st Vice President OPEN
                        2nd Vice President
                        Bill Brannock wbrannock410@aol.com
                        Secretary
                        Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com
                        Treasurer
                        Jay Amshey coastbiomaterials@cox.net
                        Board Members:
                        Bruce Barry
                        Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                        Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net
                        Richard Lujan
                        Past President
                        Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

                        Website
                        www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                        Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                        Fern Society email
                        sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com

                        Membership
                        Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting
                        or mail to:
                        San Diego Fern Society
                        2350 Jennifer Ln
                        Encinitas CA 92024



                        San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                        The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                        * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                        * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                        * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                        The Society aims
                        * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                        * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                        * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                        * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                        * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture

                        Volume XXXIX, Number 6
                        May Fern Society Garden Visit

                        In May, rather than a standard Fern Society meeting, we will visit the garden of Society member Don Callard. Enjoy this garden visit on Saturday May 16 at 2pm. San Diego members please bring light snacks, and let our guests from out of the area enjoy this afternoon gathering with us. As most know, Don has grown Platycerium ferns for many years, including all the species and many cultivars. His collection is very unique and interesting. Don has visited Southeast Asia and other areas of the world, learning about the ferns and other tropical plants.

                        Report on April Meeting

                        In April, Fern Society attendees viewed photos of the glasshouse and growing areas at the Huntington Gardens. Bill Ganger, Bruce Barry and Bart Keeran have been on tours given by Dylan Hannon, Curator of the Conservatory and Tropical Collections. He specializes in rainforest and cloud forest plants. Bruce Barry shared his photos and impressions. Additional photos were provided by Bill Ganger.

                        Memberships

                        The annual membership fee is $12 for a single or household membership, through December 2015. Mail to San Diego Fern Society, 2350 Jennifer Ln, Encinitas CA 92024 .

                        San Diego County Fair

                        The Fern Society again plans two exhibits in the Garden Show. A newly constructed lath structure will be provided by the Fair, a tribute to the Balboa Park Botanical Building. The structure will have open viewing windows for the public, and will back up against the east wall of the garden office building. The Garden Department has arranged for some plants; however the Fern Society will need to supply many ferns and associated shade plants to fill out the central botanical display.

                        Plantings in the Botanical Building in Balboa Park currently include many ferns, and also bromeliads, begonias, palms, hoyas and cycads. Those who loan plants for exhibit will be showing off their specimens to a million visitors, literally. Fair guests will not go inside the lath structure, so plants will be moderately protected from damage, and from wind and sun.

                        Please let a board member know what plants you can share for the Fair, including the botanical name(s). Exhibit preparation is May 18 to May 30. Trees and large plants should be brought Wednesday May 27 through Friday. Plants must be groomed and free of pests and pest damage before coming to the Fair. Ferns and smaller plants will be placed Saturday morning May 30, when helpers are especially needed.

                        Focus on Pyrrosia Ferns

                        This year's Fern Society Container Exhibit at the Fair will show Platyceriums and Pyrrosias to the public. Platyceriums are always a favorite, and will be on display in the Container Exhibit and perhaps also in the Landscape Exhibit lath structure. Look for the Container Exhibit, faced with redwood lattice, against the south wall of O'Brien Hall. We need to provide an educational sign to enhance this display.

                        The purpose of the Container Exhibit will be to show the public a sampling of Pyrrosias, sometimes known as Felt Ferns, grown in the San Diego area. Neither Platyceriums nor Pyrrosias have what might be called a ferny appearance. Also, both genera include several species which are partially drought tolerant and cold hardy, in spite of their rain forest origins. Pyrrosias are small or medium in size, and most have simple, entire fronds. They have star-shaped hairs on the frond blade. Most need just moderate water. Of the 50 or more species of Pyrrosias, just one, Pyrrosia lingua, is suggested for gardeners by all of the authors below.

                        Gillean Dunk (Reference 1) includes information on growing P. rupestris, an Australian native. Since this species is also listed in Reference 2, it is known in cultivation but perhaps is not readily found in the US. This fern was one of the Australian natives growing in Jamie North's living sculptures, viewed by photo at a San Diego Fern Society meeting in 2014. P. rupestris is a small fern with long-creeping rhizomes. Fronds are dimorphic, with fertile fronds longer and narrower, up to 8 inches, than the sterile fronds which are about 3 inches long. It is semi-tender.

                        Pyrrosia rupestris1
                        Pyrrosia rupestris has the common name Rock Felt Fern. Photo above shows a dense growth of fern, and photo following, a closer view of the plant against a tree. Both photos T.M. Tame ©The Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust. From New South Wales flora on PlantNet.

                        Pyrrosia rupestris on tree1

                        Martin Rickard (Reference 5) has grown several Pyrrosias in England, sheltered but not in a heated greenhouse. He suggests that gardeners try P. eleagnifolia, P. polydactylis and P. sheareri as well as the more commonly found P. lingua. These grow on trees or rocky areas in nature. When grown in containers, Pyrrosias thrive in well-drained planting mix. John Mickel (Reference 3) notes that Pyrrosias are rarely grown outdoors in the US where frost occurs, but that several species are adaptable and can survive freezing and dryness. P. lingua, P. eleagnifolia and P. polydactyla are considered to be quite drought tolerant.

                        Pyrrosia sheareri1
                        Pyrrosia sheareri grown by Gary Bourne and displayed at San Diego Fern Show in 2013. Photo credit: K. Russell.


                        Eight Pyrrosias are listed for gardeners to grow by Sue Olsen (Reference 4). P. hastata, a native of Korea and Japan, can grow in the ground in mild climates and is appropriate for a rock garden. It also readily adapts to container culture with well-drained mix. Look at a frond of Pyrrosia hastata, as well as a young frond of Platycerium bifurcatum, using a magnifying glass to view the stellate hairs. These star-shaped hairs are characteristic of both Platyceriums and Pyrrosias.

                        Pyrrosia sheareri1
                        Pyrrosia hastata in a rock garden in the Balboa Park Botanical Building. Note the newly emerging fronds (left center in photo above). Photos this page credit: K. Russell.

                        Pyrrosia polydactyla1
                        Container grown Pyrrosia polydactyla displayed at San Diego Fern Show 2014 by Walt Meier.

                        Pyrrosia polydactyla has palmate fronds, like fingers. Native to Taiwan, the fronds have six to eight lobes. This plant will grow about a foot tall in the garden or in containers. Plants are semi-tender to cold. When quite dry the fronds curl up, but open with watering.

                        P. linearifolia has blade-shaped fronds up to 3 inches long. It is epipetric, from China, Korea and Japan, and is somewhat hardy to cold. Plants adapt to container culture and remain small. P. piloselliodes is a miniature plant native to India, Malaysia, Philippines, and Indonesia. Fronds are dimorphic, with small roundish sterile fronds and longer fertile fronds up to 5 inches. Pyrrosia piloselliodes is suitable for terrariums. In nature it is found on mossy tree bark. Another terrarium Pyrrosia is the similar P. nummulariifolia, also from south and southeastern Asia.

                        P piloselloides 20111
                        Pyrrosia piloselliodes grown by Don Callard and displayed at San Diego Fern Show in 2011.

                        Pyrrosia rasamalae is another fern of the southeastern Asia tropics, including Philippines. Its roots form clumps against rock or bark in forest or open areas, preferring part shade. Fronds are about a foot long and slender. Gardeners may grow it on a plaque like a Platycerium.

                        The Pyrrosia which seems to be most widely cultivated is Pyrrosia lingua. It grows in subtropical climates and some temperate areas if protected. P. lingua has simple, lanceolate fronds, which may extend 20 inches but more commonly about 10 inches. It is native to south and southeastern Asia. The plant spreads by creeping rhizomes and is easy to divide. It may be grown in pots, baskets, on plaques or in the ground. Bright shade and just moderate water are needed. P. lingua has several cultivars which can enhance a garden.

                        lingua sm1
                        Pyrrosia lingua growing in the ground. These fronds are up to 20 inches tall. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                        For further options of Pyrrosias which may be encountered in cultivation, along with cultural information, see Reference 2.

                        Walts monstrifera131
                        Pyrrosia lingua "Monstrifera" shown by Walt Meier in 2013 Fern Show. Photo credit: W. Meier.

                        monstrifera sm1
                        Pyrrosia lingua "Monstrifera" frond. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                        P lingua Eboshi1
                        Pyrrosia lingua "Eboshi" frond. This plant is growing in the Balboa Park Botanical Building. Photo credit: K. Russell.


                        Pyrrosia lingua cristata1
                        Pyrrosia lingua "Cristata" frond in the Balboa Park Botanical Building. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                        References:
                        1. Dunk, G. (1994). Ferns: A comprehensive guide to growing ferns for the home gardener. Sydney, N.S.W., Australia: Angus & Robertson.
                        2. Hoshizaki, B. and Moran, R. (2001). Fern grower's manual. Portland, OR: Timber Press.
                        3. Mickel, J. (1994). Ferns for American gardens. New York: Macmillan.
                        4. Olsen, S. (2007). Encyclopedia of garden ferns. Portland, OR: Timber Press.
                        5. Rickard, M. (2002). The Plantfinder's guide to garden ferns. Portland, OR: Timber Press.

                        p long by JohnSnyder 20131
                        Pyrrosia longifolia grown by John Snyder and displayed at San Diego Fern Show 2013. Photo credit: K. Russell.



                        af2r-main-290px1

                        San Diego County Fair
                        Friday June 5 to Sunday July 5



                        Balboa Park History:
                        The Model Farm


                        A model farm and orchard including 700 citrus trees were planted for the 1915 Panama California Exposition in Balboa Park. The farm was complemented by an up-to-date farm house, to demonstrate that anyone in San Diego could live off the land and still enjoy modern conveniences. Following the Exposition, the farm was supposed to continue as an advertisement under the care of the existing farm manager. However, by January of 1917, the Southern California Counties Commission which had established the farm sold it along with other buildings and grounds to the City of San Diego for $1.

                        Source: balboaparkhistory.net




                        Los Angeles International Fern Society

                        LAIFS Show
                        June 13-14

                        Saturday 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
                        Sunday 9:00 am - 4:00 pm


                        Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden
                        310 N Baldwin Avenue, Arcadia CA
                        (one block south of the 210 Freeway)



                        Meeting Calendar 2015

                        May 16 (Saturday) Garden Visit
                        June 18
                        July 18 Social Event
                        August 13 (2nd Thursday of the month)
                        August 15-16
                        San Diego Fern Show and Sale
                        September 17
                        October 8 (2nd Thursday of the month)
                        November 19
                        December 17 (Annual Meeting)

                        Board Meetings
                        Room 104, 7:30 pm, Tuesday May 5, July 7, September 1, November 3


                        San Diego Fern Society Officers

                        President
                        Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
                        1st Vice President OPEN
                        Secretary
                        Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com
                        2nd Vice President
                        Bill Brannock wbrannock410@aol.com
                        Treasurer
                        Jay Amshey coastbiomaterials@cox.net
                        Board Members:
                        Bruce Barry
                        Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                        Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net
                        Richard Lujan
                        Past President
                        Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

                        Website
                        www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                        Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                        Fern Society email
                        sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com

                        Membership
                        Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting
                        or mail to:
                        San Diego Fern Society
                        2350 Jennifer Ln
                        Encinitas CA 92024

                        San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                        The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                        * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                        * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                        * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                        The Society aims
                        * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                        * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                        * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                        * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                        * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.

                        Volume XXXIX, Number 5
                        April Fern Society Meeting

                        On April 16 we will enjoy photos of the Glasshouse at Huntington Garden in San Marino. The Huntington showcases collections of art and rare books, but is especially known for its extensive gardens. Dylan Hannon, Curator of the Conservatory and Tropical Collections, gave tours recently showing rainforest and cloud forest plants. Bill Ganger, Bruce Barry, Bart Keeran and perhaps others of our members have been on these tours. The program will be Huntington photos and sharing.

                        May Garden Visit

                        In May, rather than a standard Fern Society meeting, we will visit the garden of Society member Don Callard. Save Saturday May 16 for this special opportunity. We will meet at Don's yard at 2pm, viewing his plants and enjoying snacks and friendship. As most know, Don has grown Platycerium ferns for many years, including all the species and many cultivars. He has also visited the Philippines, Thailand and many other interesting areas, learning about the ferns and other tropical plants. His collection is very unique and interesting.

                        Report on March Meeting

                        Kathy Thomson shared her photos of two types of gardens with artistic elements of special note. In China, gardens are designed as special places, with purposefully arranged views and spaces. Kathy showed many locations where rocks were prominently displayed, much as statues or other art might be used in Western gardens. (Rocks might be the new low-water garden feature for California.) Kathy also photographed a local neighbor's healing garden, sharing the story of an individual who created a special place for herself and others.

                        After the program the Society held the Spring Garden Sale, selling repurposed garden items and plants at modest cost.

                        Memberships

                        The annual membership fee is $12 for a single or household membership, through December 2015. See Jay Amshey or mail to the address on page 6.

                        A Lath House for Del Mar

                        As the year long Centennial for Balboa Park continues, we will soon have the San Diego County Fair in the celebration. The organizations from San Diego Botanical Garden Foundation in Balboa Park are especially encouraged to participate this year. Commemorations to Balboa Park are planned in the Garden Exhibit, including an organ with an Organ Pavilion structure (concerts with Dr Carol Williams at 5pm), a chalk art Lily Pond (installation June 5-7), a California Tower sculpture by the Sculptors Guild of Spanish Village, a tribute Alcazar Garden display by San Diego Horticultural Society and working artists from Spanish Village. During the Fair, a special event will be the International Hospitality Day with participation of the Balboa Park International Cottages (June 25).

                        The Fern Society has been a long standing participant in the Fair, and we have registered again for two exhibits in the Garden Show. Our larger exhibit is to be in a newly constructed lath structure provided by the Fair, a tribute to the Balboa Park Botanical Building. The lath structure will have open viewing windows for the public. The Garden Department has arranged for some trees and orchids to go inside the structure, and the Fern Society will need to supply many ferns and associated shade plants to fill out the central botanical display.

                        Fern Society members in the San Diego area should visit the Botanical Building in Balboa Park this spring, and notice the combinations of plants there. Bromeliads and Begonias are important; there are Palms and Hoyas as well. Those who loan plants for exhibit will be showing off their specimens to a million visitors, literally. Guests will not go inside the lath structure, so plants will be moderately protected from damage, and from wind and sun.

                        Exhibit preparation is May 18 to May 31. Helpers are especially needed May 30.

                        The Fern Society container exhibit at the Fair is planned to show Platyceriums and Pyrrosias. Only these two fern genera have stellate hairs on the leaf blade or frond, so they are considered to be closely related. There can by Platyceriums in the lath structure, but the public will have a better view of them in the container exhibit. Staghorn Ferns are always popular.

                        Individuals may enter Staghorn Ferns and foliage plants in Division 2003. Entries must be submitted online at www.sdfair.com/entry by Friday, May 1.

                        Growing Begonias with Ferns

                        This year the Fair display will provide a perfect venue for showing ferns with companion plants such as begonias. Many of our members grow begonias and their expertise will be useful for the lath house display. In general, begonias thrive in similar conditions to the ferns which are popular in Southern California.

                        Robinson1
                        Plaque in the Botanical Building, Balboa Park.

                        As reported last month, Alfred D. Robinson, an English immigrant and world-renowned begonia expert, was the visionary behind the lath structure building. It is said that he originated the idea of using a lath house for growing tropical plants in subtropical or temperate environments. He is known for hybridizing and cultivating numerous begonias as well as other plants.

                        angel wing1
                        An Angel Wing Begonia, 'Bloody Mary,' grown by Amna Cornett, showing colored leaf. Photos credit: K. Russell.

                        Spring Color

                        B brasiliense frond1
                        b brasiliense1

                        Blechnum brasiliense, offered in a local nursery, showing the bronze pink new growth. Photos this page credit: K. Russell.

                        A medium to large fern, Blechnum brasiliense forms a trunk-like stem with age, making a small tree fern. Purchase when there are young fronds to determine the coloration. Plants are semi-tender to cold, and need to be kept moist.

                        Reference:
                        1. Hoshizaki, B. and Moran, R. (2001). Fern grower's manual. Portland, OR: Timber Press.

                        Native Ferns in Spring

                        Unless San Diego is blessed with rain in April, by May native ferns will be drying. Some mountain areas may have green ferns into summer.

                        two on flume trail1
                        Pellaea andromedifolia, the Coffee Fern and Cheilanthes newberryi, Newberry's Lip Fern, growing along the Flume Trail. Photo taken during the month of May when grasses are already dried. The Flume Trail is near El Monte County Park just east of Lakeside. The trail crosses the area of the redwood flume which used to carry water from the Cuyamaca Mountains to La Mesa a century ago, but no longer remains.

                        pentagramma1
                        Pentagramma triangularis, the Silverback Fern, along the Flume Trail. A green flowering plant shares the rock crevice with the fern. Surroundings are dry in May.

                        Pest Control for Ferns

                        It has been reported that coffee grounds can be used to prepare a bug spray. Since small amounts are non-toxic to pets and children, this environmentally friendly pest control should be further explored. A spray made from coffee grounds is inexpensive and is believed to kill garden bugs. Coffee grounds sprinkled around plants may also improve the soil and reduce pests.

                        One source suggests using a little liquid dish detergent along with coffee grounds to make a bug spray for plants. Since ferns are sensitive to toxic poison sprays, alternate pest control methods are preferred. Anyone who experiments with this method, please report your results to the Fern Society at a meeting or by email to sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com

                        Stamps for Gardeners

                        The US Postal Service has Forever fern stamps available for your mailing needs. Order online from store.usps.com/store/
                        There are five different ferns, all native to North America.


                        Fern+Stamp+20151

                        Plants of Interest

                        The Aglaomorpha ferns are large epiphytes which form a cluster or nest of fronds. In nature, organic debris collects in the plant. Fourteen species are known, and the hybrid x Aglaonaria robertsii is often cultivated.

                        Aglaomorpha coronans is easy to grow in San Diego as it thrives in both humid and drier environments. Fronds are stiff and pinnatifid, with brown areas at the base. Plants can grow large and prefer high light and good drainage.

                        Some growers plant this fern in the ground, but it thrives in a basket. It is native to South and Southeastern Asia. One small-sized cultivar is 'Angeli', with fronds extending just about 12 inches. A cultivar recently available in local nurseries is 'Jim'.

                        agl Jim1
                        A coronans %22Jim1'

                        Aglaomorpha coronans 'Jim.' Photos credit: K. Russell.

                        Early Years at Huntington Gardens

                        William Hertrich, a young landscape gardener, set out from New England in 1903 to visit relatives in California. That same year, Henry Huntington purchased the San Marino Ranch, a working ranch with citrus, nut and fruit orchards, alfalfa crops, a small herd of cows, and poultry. By the end of the following year, Hertrich was working on the San Marino Ranch. He first established a drainage system for the extensive property. Soon the perennial need of Southern California became his work focus – water supply and reservoir storage. In the early years he was able to complete the lily ponds. Since the family resided in San Marino during the winter months, Hertrich engineered a heating system for one large pond and grew tropical water lilies, including the giant-leaved Victoria, which could then flower into mid-January.

                        Mr Huntington was interested in a tropical look for his gardens, so a palm garden was begun. Collection was slow, with palms coming from Southern California nurseries as well as sources in the eastern US, Europe and Japan. Huntington and Hertrich decided to introduce palms from different parts of the world and test their suitability as landscape material for California home gardens and parks. Nearly 150 species and varieties were successfully grown, but very cold years would always reduce the extensive palm collection. Tropical plants suffered greatly in years such as 1913 which had a low temperature of 20º F, and no truly tropical species survived.

                        Starting in 1908, glass houses were constructed for tropical plants. At first these were for orchids, a favorite of Mrs Huntington. Then rare tropical palms, ferns, anthuriums and ornamentals were cultivated in these shelters. Vegetables were grown in small greenhouses as well for the family to enjoy during the winter.

                        William Hertrich tells interesting tales of acquiring rare cycads, attempts to reduce the gopher population, finding suitable stone for the rockery garden, and establishing the Japanese Garden. Reading his stories and viewing historic black and white photos of the property in the early years, in the book listed below, makes an excellent preview to the gardens today.

                        conservatory H1
                        Huntington Conservatory. www.huntington.org

                        Today The Huntington features garden areas specializing in camellias, herbs, roses, palms, desert plants, subtropicals and Australian plants. There is a Chinese Garden and a garden for children, a Jungle Garden, lily ponds, Conservatory, Japanese Garden, Ranch Garden and a Shakespeare garden. The San Marino Ranch, after more than a hundred years of care, is truly a treasure and is open to the public.

                        jungle H1
                        www.huntington.org

                        Reference:
                        1. Hertrich, W. (1949). The Huntington Botanical Gardens 1905-1949. San Marino, CA: Huntington Library.



                        Los Angeles International Fern Society

                        LAIFS Show
                        June 13-14

                        Los Angeles County Arboretum, Arcadia CA




                        Meeting Calendar 2015

                        April 16
                        May 16 (Saturday) Garden Visit
                        June 18
                        July Social Event
                        August 13 (2nd Thursday of the month)
                        August 15-16
                        San Diego Fern Show and Sale
                        September 17
                        October 8 (2nd Thursday of the month)
                        November 19
                        December 17 (Annual Meeting)

                        Board Meetings
                        Room 104, 7:30 pm, Tuesday May 5, July 7, September 1, November 3


                        San Diego Fern Society Officers

                        President
                        Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
                        1st Vice President OPEN
                        Secretary
                        Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com
                        2nd Vice President
                        Bill Brannock wbrannock410@aol.com
                        Treasurer
                        Jay Amshey coastbiomaterials@cox.net
                        Board Members:
                        Bruce Barry
                        Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                        Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net
                        Richard Lujan
                        Past President
                        Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

                        Website
                        www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                        Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                        Fern Society email
                        sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com

                        Membership
                        Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting
                        or mail to:
                        San Diego Fern Society
                        2350 Jennifer Ln
                        Encinitas CA 92024

                        San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                        The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                        * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                        * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                        * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                        The Society aims
                        * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                        * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                        * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                        * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                        * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.

                        Volume XXXIX, Number 4
                        March Fern Society Meeting

                        March 19 brings Art in the Garden, a chance to get artistic gardening ideas for the coming season. Garden esthetics and art are important in planning for the San Diego County Fair, the August Fern Show, and for the fern grower's home and patio. Kathy Thomson will share this special presentation for our enjoyment and inspiration.

                        This month also will be our Spring Garden Sale immediately following the program. Based upon past years, attendees can expect a variety of interesting plants, as well as plant stands, containers, books and more to be available. Plan to attend and take home some garden treasures at budget prices. The Fern Society's version of the spring clean-up yard sale brings creative reuse of garden items and benefits us all.

                        At this event, you may sell your own ferns, specialty plants and surplus garden items on consignment with the Fern Society. Please read and follow the sales policy on page 4. Also, ferns may be donated to the Society for the Garden Sale.

                        Membership Renewal Time

                        The annual membership fee is $12 for a single or household membership, through December 2015. See Jay Amshey or mail to the address on page 6.

                        Report on February meeting

                        To begin our February meeting, attendees played a Valentine Gift Exchange game, with plants and items useful for a gardener. Then Amna Cornett demonstrated how to put together a terrarium. She explained the items used, terrarium plants and care. Those attending were able to purchase appropriate plants and create their own small terrarium.

                        Fern Society 2015 Budget

                        At the March meeting members will vote on the Fern Society Budget for 2015, presented by the board to the membership and published on page 5. Please be prepared with any questions.

                        Balboa Park Centennial:
                        Botanical Building Tours


                        During the yearlong centennial celebration of 2015, Park guests may enjoy the historic Botanical Building. Special this year are 45 minute docent-led tours to explain the origins, design and horticulture of the Park’s jewel, its 1915 lath house. Alfred D. Robinson, English immigrant and world-renowned begonia expert, was the visionary behind the building. Tours are given on the second and fourth Friday of each month at 11am. Meet at the south end of the Lily Pond. The free tours are open to the public.

                        San Diego County Fair

                        This year for 2015, San Diego County Fair (known informally as the Del Mar Fair) will be "A Fair to Remember." Coordinating with the Fair theme, the Garden Show will be "A Walk in the Park." The Fair is themed as a celebration of World's Fairs and Balboa Park, honoring the Balboa Park Centennial. Dates of the Fair are Friday June 5 to Sunday July 5.

                        Organizations from Balboa Park are encouraged to participate, and the Fern Society is registered for two exhibits. Our gardens will be located in an area focused on Balboa Park, with a Container Exhibit and a unique Landscape Exhibit within a lath house structure. There are many new features in the Garden area this year, so it should be a pleasure supporting this celebration.

                        Our exhibits will need plants loaned from members and friends. We will use medium to large shade-tolerant plants in the lath structure, such as palms, ficus, philodendron and others found in the Balboa Park Botanical Building. We will feature ferns, expecting this lath structure with its shade and wind protection to provide a nearly perfect environment for the subtropical ferns we enjoy in San Diego.

                        Adiantums, the Maidenhair Ferns
                        Text by Sherry Worthen, originally printed in Fern World February 2011

                        Adiantums, or Maidenhair Ferns, reign as undisputed queens of the ferns, according to David Jones. They are known for their fine, billowy fronds and dark brown or black shiny stipes. Their native habitats include Central and South America, Southeast Asia, South Africa and China. Nearly all prefer open forests or margins of rainforests, with high light and well-drained, moist soil.

                        There are many (over 200) cultivars of maidenhairs. All come from three species: Adiantum raddianum, A. capillus-veneris, and A. tenerum. Look at a fertile frond. You can tell from which species it comes by these guidelines. The sporangia on A. raddianum are all reniform (kidney-shaped). A. capillus-veneris and its cultivars have elongate, slightly concave indusia. A. tenerum ferns also have elongate indusia, usually much more shallow, but they are not concave, and the pinnae of A. tenerum are usually more inflated.

                        Several Adiantum varieties can be commonly found in gardens and nurseries. A. raddianum 'Pacific Maid' grows rapidly, is fan-shaped, with crowded pinnae. A. raddianum 'Fritz Luthii' has triangular-shaped fronds with overlapping pinules. A very similar species is A. raddianum 'Ocean Spray,' whose fronds are nearly flat with pinnules all in one plane. A lovely maidenhair is A. peruvianum, the Silver Dollar Fern, so named because it has large rhombic-shaped pinnules. Adiantum trapezeforme looks very similar, but has strongly serrated petioles. Another species, A. macrophyllum, has even larger segments, and is quite impressive to behold.

                        A macrophyllum1
                        An Adiantum showing dramatic color, given the name A. macrophyllum 'Peaches and Cream.' Photo credit: K. Russell.

                        The Adiantum capillus-veneris species is readily available in nurseries and is easy to grow. The rolled edges of each petiole can be clearly seen on these ferns. This forms the indusium (or spore case) and encloses the sporangia. (It is actually a false indusium. A true indusium on a fern is a part of the under-surface epidermis growth.) This rolled edge of the petioles is a characteristic feature of the maidenhairs.

                        The Adiantum aethiopicum is quite an aggressive fern which will spread right across a pot and escape wherever it has the opportunity, commonly out the drainage holes. It is native to every state in Australia, and will do well in an exposed area of the garden. Both A. hispidulum (also called Rosy Maidenhair for its pink new growth) and A. pedatum have clustered fronds that resemble hands. But the fronds of A. pedatum grow in a more circular pattern. A western US form is Adiantum aleuticum.

                        Adiantum aleuticum1
                        Adiantum aleuticum, the Western Maidenhair. These ferns grow naturally in moist areas with light shade. Most populations are in coastal areas from Alaska to California, but not as far south as San Diego County. Photo taken in Washington Park Arboretum, Seattle, Washington. Photos this page credit: K. Russell.

                        There are several varieties of Maidenhair Fern that are dramatically different in one way or another. The Adiantum formosum is a medium to large sized fern with large, triangular fronds spaced quite far apart on the creeping rhizome, giving it an airy look. Some species are desired for their small, very fine segments, such as A. raddianum 'Gracillimum' and 'Micropinnulum.' Adiantum tenerum 'Farleyense' has very ruffled, crowded, arching fronds; so does A. capillus-veneris 'Imbricatum,' or Green Petticoats, a challenging fern to grow.

                        There are up to ten variegated varieties of Adiantums. The A. raddianum 'Variegatum' fern has marbled green and cream-white petioles; it is a slow growing cultivar. Other varieties of Maidenhair may have tessellate, double, clustered, or crested forms. These are often more difficult to find and to grow.

                        Adiantum caudatum looks best in a hanging basket. This fern has long one pinnate fronds up to 20” long, whose tips can bear buds capable of becoming new plants.

                        trailing maidenhair1
                        Adiantum caudatum, offered in a local nursery, showing the orange-vermilion new growth. This plant likes warm and humid growing areas but can thrive in Southern California. New plants may form on the tips of the trailing fronds.

                        A venustum1
                        Adiantum venustum, the Hymalayan Maidenhair. Evergreen in cool mild winter areas, this species from the forested mountains of Asia is shown growing in an island garden of Puget Sound, Washington State. It can be used for ground cover in favored conditions.

                        Another unusual Maidenhair is the Adiantum reniforme, which has small, kidney-shaped entire-margined petioles along a short, creeping rhizome. This difficult-to-grow native of Africa likes low light and moist potting soil.

                        The frond surfaces of Maidenhairs are covered with fine cilia (hairs) which repel water. But finely segmented cultivars may rot if watered from above. Adiantums are perfectly happy in shallow containers, enjoy a very open soil mixture, and like lime in the soil. Circulating air is better for them than a still, overly-humid environment, and may account for the scattered spore often taking residence in other fern pots of a greenhouse. Gardeners inevitably learn that Maidenhairs will not tolerate drying out completely. The only hope for an Adiantum that became too dry is to give it a complete “haircut” and to try and bring it back to life with new growth from the roots. Adiantums will greatly enhance any garden.

                        References:

                          Benefits of indoor plants

                          Studies have shown that keeping plants in worker offices brings many benefits. Plants take up carbon dioxide in photosynthesis, and release oxygen. Significantly, they also absorb VOCs, volatile organic compounds (undesirable air pollutants such as formaldehyde). Just three plants in an office achieves the desired reduction in total VOCs. Twelve different indoor plant species have been tested, and all have this useful effect of reducing air pollutants.

                          Sometimes the concern is raised of whether indoor plants might bring undesirable mold spores. With careful testing, no toxic molds were found with the office plants in this study. The overall concentration of mold spores indoors was well below the outdoor concentrations, so it seems unlikely that indoor plants bring mold.

                          In a large study of Australian government workers, indoor plants brought clear reductions in feelings of stress, anxiety, depression, anger, fatigue, confusion and overall negativity among the participants. The study used standard, internationally recognized psychological instruments, finding reductions of these negative feelings by 30 to 60%. Those workers without indoor plants tended toward stress, up to a 20% increase. Having indoor plants clearly demonstrated a benefit of worker well-being and improved work performance.

                          What does this mean for members of the San Diego Fern Society? We might as well place ferns and other plants everywhere we can, at the office, at home, and gifted to friends and family. From large indoor "trees" to small terrarium plants, we can and should add green plants to our environment.

                          Reference:

                            Spring Garden Sale this Month

                            Bring a little cash to enjoy the sale following our March program. This is our opportunity to creatively reuse the gardening items many of us collect. These gardening treasures are too good to throw out, but no longer needed and can be offered to others. This sale provides a great opportunity to buy and sell plants between Fern Society members. You may donate some ferns and specialty plants to the sale, or sell them on consignment. As always, make sure any plants you bring are in clean containers or mounted or bagged, trimmed and free of pests. A correct plant name is desirable. All plants and items must be tagged with seller name and price.

                            You may either donate to the Fern Society or sell on consignment any of these:
                            (No pesticides or toxic substances are allowed.)

                            Consignment sales policy:
                            Plants and sale items shall be clearly tagged with seller name and price; 60% of sales price will go the seller and 40% to the San Diego Fern Society. You do not need an inventory list since everything must be tagged. Payment to sellers will be made within 30 days.

                            More native ferns

                            In winter and early spring, San Diego's native ferns are green and just waiting out there for your visit. In the County areas of San Diego you can see several native ferns, usually on a walk or hike. The ferns in the photos below were not found on the hike in Mission Trails Regional Park reported last month. Rather, they grow at Silverwood Wildlife Sanctuary, an Audubon Society property near Lakeside, in the foothills. Over 300 species of native plants are found there, along with over 100 species of birds and numerous other wild creatures. This land completely burned in the 2003 Cedar wildfire and now shows the habitat recovery of chaparral. The Sanctuary is open 9am to 4pm on Sundays and is staffed by friendly volunteers. There is no admission charge but donations are helpful.

                            Ferns tend to thrive below hills and cliffs, so climbing is not necessary. Notice the rock in the photos behind each of these ferns, as fern roots may better take up moisture in this environment.

                            Aspidotis in hills1
                            Aspidotis californica, sometimes called the Lace Fern, Silverwood Wildlife Sanctuary, San Diego County. This species grows in many areas of California and shows finely divided, lace-like fronds. Photos this page credit: K. Russell.

                            Chi cleveland in hills1
                            Cheilanthes clevelandii, the Cleveland's Lip Fern, Silverwood Wildlife Sanctuary, San Diego County. This fern species was found by Daniel Cleveland, an early plant collector and amateur student of native ferns in the late 1800s. Note the dark green color and rocky habitat.

                            Reference:

                              San Diego Fern Society 2015 Budget

                              INCOME

                              Advertising 75.00
                              Donations 200.00
                              Dues 300.00
                              Plant sales (other than Show) 500.00
                              Plant table income 100.00
                              Prizes & Awards (fair) 1200.00
                              Show income: Plant sale 1800.00

                              TOTAL INCOME $ 4175.00

                              EXPENSES

                              Assn. Dues:
                              SD Botanical 100.00
                              SD Floral 40.00
                              Bank charges 180.00
                              Exhibit expenses 300.00
                              Fern World:
                              Postage 100.00
                              Printing 300.00
                              Meeting plant cost 100.00
                              Party costs 50.00
                              Program (honoraria) 400.00
                              Sale Plants (paid to sellers) 1300.00
                              Show expense:
                              Misc. expense 100.00
                              Plants 300.00
                              State tax 150.00

                              TOTAL EXPENSES $ 3420.00
                              Net positive $ 755.00

                              Meeting Calendar 2015


                              March 19 Garden Art and
                              Spring Garden Sale
                              April 16
                              May Garden Visit
                              June 18
                              July Social Event

                              August 13 (2nd Thursday of the month)

                              August 15-16
                              San Diego Fern Show and Sale

                              September 17
                              October 8 (2nd Thursday of the month)
                              November 19
                              December 17 (Annual Meeting)
                              Board Meetings
                              Room 104, 7:30 pm, Tuesday May 5, July 7, September 1, November 3

                              San Diego Fern Society Officers


                              President
                              Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
                              1
                              st Vice President OPEN
                              Secretary
                              Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com
                              2
                              nd Vice President
                              Bill Brannock wbrannock410@aol.com
                              Treasurer
                              Jay Amshey coastbiomaterials@cox.net
                              Board Members:
                              Bruce Barry
                              Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                              Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net
                              Richard Lujan
                              Past President
                              Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

                              Website
                              www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                              Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                              Fern Society email
                              sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com

                              Membership
                              Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting
                              or mail to:
                              San Diego Fern Society
                              2350 Jennifer Ln
                              Encinitas CA 92024


                              San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                              The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                              * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                              * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                              * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.


                              The Society aims
                              * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                              * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                              * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                              * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                              * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to the culture of ferns.


                              Volume XXXIX, Number 3

                              FEBRUARY FERN SOCIETY

                              February double delight of events:


                              Valentine Gift Exchange. Bring a wrapped or bagged small fern or garden item, possibly to use in a terrarium. All who bring something will play a gift exchange game and take something special home.

                              Terrarium Talk. Amna Cornett will demonstrate how to put together a terrarium. If possible, bring your own container, such as a clear glass or plastic jar or small aquarium.

                              The supplies and mix for the terrariums will be provided, and there will be a few terrarium plants for sale at the meeting. You may bring your own plants if you wish. Optional decorative items for terrariums are interesting shells, rocks, wood pieces or natural items which can endure humidity. It's also fine to use a small ceramic piece, similar to aquarium decor. 

                              Plants for February

                              Small ferns and plants suitable for terrariums will be about $3, so bring cash.

                              Membership Renewal Time

                              The annual membership fee is $12 for a single or household membership, through December 2015. See Jay Amshey or mail to the address on page 6.

                              Report on January Platycerium Night

                              This program was conducted in round-table style, led by Bill Brannock. Platycerium growers, some with many years of experience, shared propagation methods and growing techniques. San Diego area growers were able to ask questions and watch a demonstration of dividing off pups. Platycerium ferns were available.

                              Balboa Park Centennial

                              Balboa Park will be a special place throughout the year in commemoration of the Panama-California Exposition of 1915. When San Diego was preparing for the Exposition, City Park was not thought to be a distinctive name for the location of such an internationally prestigious event. In 1910, Park Commissioners decided to rename City Park as Balboa Park, honoring Spanish-born Vasco Nuñez de Balboa, the first European to view the Pacific Ocean while exploring Panama. The extensive landscaping the Exposition brought to the Park earned the Panama-California Exposition the designation, "Garden Fair."
                              In addition to the historic Botanical Building,

                              postcard1
                              the adjacent Lily Pond was built for the 1915-16 Exposition. The view of the Botanical Building with the Lily Pond in the foreground is one of the most photographed scenes in Balboa Park.

                              During World War II, most structures in the park were used by the military. The Lily Pond became a rehabilitation pool for the US Navy. More recently in 2012 the Lily Pond was badly damaged and required extensive repairs and renovation. Cindy Benoit, who we know as Garden Show Coordinator of the San Diego County Fair, was part of the redesign/replanting effort. Stop by the Lily Pond this month to see tulips in the front display planter.

                              Reference:
                              Balboa Park website, Balboa Park Online Collaborative. www.balboapark.org/info/history

                              Terrariums for Ferns

                              terr mix1
                              An interesting terrarium featuring begonias. US Botanic Garden, Washington DC. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                              David Jones (Reference 1) suggests that a terrarium should be a sealable container of glass or clear plastic. This retains humidity and allows for growing tender plants. As a decorative indoor plant container, the terrarium may become an attractive conversation piece. Persons of all ages and abilities can plant and enjoy a terrarium, even with limited space. Terrariums provide a special environment for ferns which are difficult to grow in the garden, expanding the fern enthusiast's growing options.

                              Both references listed below recommend using sterilized mix. Many terrarium growers include layers of perlite or pebbles and charcoal below the mix. The soil mix should be evenly moist but not too wet, as moisture will not be lost after the container is closed. Compact ferns are recommended, although a terrarium can also be used to grow up sporelings. Fern Society member Phyllis Bates liked baby tree ferns in terrariums, though they must be taken out after a time.

                              For larger terrariums Adiantum hispidulum and the smaller cultivars of A. raddianum may be planted. Chips of limestone and shells can be used with some of the Adiantums and Aspleniums and other ferns needing calcium. Jones also lists a few ferns which may be grown in a terrarium but need a dry environment. Most San Diego growers are probably not seeking the dry environment for ferns, as we have it naturally. However, a xeric fern terrarium is an interesting idea to explore.

                              Elaph1
                              Elaphaglossum nigrescense in a terrarium
                              shown by Amna Cornett, Fern Show 2014.
                              Photo credit: K. Russell.
                              Some suggested terrarium ferns are small Adiantums, Asplenium trichomanes, Blechnum penna-marina, Cystopteris fragilis, Davallia parvula, Doryopteris palmata, Hemionitis species, Lemmaphyllum microphyllum, miniature varieties of Nephrolepis exaltata, small varieties of Pyrrosia such as P. rupestris, Tectaria zeylanica, Trichomanes species, and Vittaria lineata, as well as the Selaginellas. These ferns do not all flourish in the same conditions, so growers will want to learn about the horticultural needs of the various plants.

                              Microgramma lycopodioides1
                              Microgramma lycopodioides, US Botanic Garden, Washington DC. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                              Note that fertilizer is not usually suggested for terrarium ferns that are growing well. Lighting should be adapted to requirements of the plants used. Direct sun is not recommended.

                              Water balance will be discussed at the coming meeting, but a terrarium with high humidity will show moisture condensation on the glass. If the terrarium is accidentally overwatered, the cover can be left off to allow moisture to escape. Water with high mineral content, such as that from the municipal water supplies in Southern California, should not be used in a terrarium. Use of rain water or bottled water labeled for distilled uses will avoid an undesirable mineral accumulation in the terrarium.

                              microgramma vaccinifoliajpg1
                              Microgramma vacinnifolia in a terrarium shown by Amna Cornett, Fern Show 2014. Photo is taken through the glass. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                              amna terr1
                              A mixed planting of small ferns and non-ferns in a terrarium shown by Amna Cornett, Fern Show 2011. Note that the ground level as prepared with mix is lower in front and higher in back. Decorative items and contrasting types of plant foliage and flowers are used. Photo credit: K. Russell.
                              Finding the right plants for a fern terrarium may take resourcefulness. Sometimes very interesting plants are sold at the fern shows in San Diego and Los Angeles. Nurseries and home stores generally sell appropriate plants and are likely to have a few choices. The small ferns sold in the indoor plant section may grow in a terrarium while small, and be trimmed back occasionally. When these plants get too large, they may be removed for planting in a larger container, and new small plants added.

                              Amna's terr fern1
                              Fern growing over an interesting wood piece in a terrarium of Amna Cornett. Photo is taken through the glass. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                              Fern Society growers are welcome to share their sources for terrarium plants at the February meeting. Also, some plants are easy to divide and the surplus plants can be sold or shared. Aquarium stores are another source of specialty plants, and online sellers of plants and suppliers for vivariums will expand the plant options.

                              References:

                                Hiking to see native ferns

                                In winter and early spring, San Diego's native ferns are green and just waiting out there for your visit. Everything depends upon rain, but this year seems to be fine for the ferns.

                                Right here in the City of San Diego we have a fern hike for everyone. Yes, you can see native ferns even if walking and traditional hiking is not your choice. Mission Trails Regional Park has a paved route that accommodates cars, bicycles, pedestrians, baby strollers, dogs on leash, you name it!

                                To start, drive to the Mission Trails Visitors Center, open daily 9am to 5pm. From Interstate 8, travel north on Mission Gorge Road. Turn left into the park just after the Jackson Drive intersection. The Visitors Center has exhibits and an accessible and labeled native plant garden. To hike, enter the open gate and follow the Father Junipero Serra Trail. This route is one way for vehicles, so if driving you will exit near the historic Old Mission Dam in about two miles. When walking or bicycling you may return back to the Visitors Center or have a pick up arranged at the end of the route.

                                There are many young non-fern plants that have a frond leaf shape. Let's just call them weeds and look further.

                                Designating locations by speed humps and signs, after the first hump, notice a trailhead to Oak Grove on the right, and a recently burned area under restoration. After the second hump and the speed limit sign, view Pentagramma triangularis, the small Silverback Fern. The underside of fronds will be white, and recently curled up fronds show the white side. After the third hump there is a small parking area and the first Climbers Loop trailhead. Watch for signs marking "Area Closed" and "Not a Trail". These small drainages are good viewing locations for ferns. You should see Polypodium californicum, known as the California Polypody, and Pentagramma triangularis. After the second "Area Closed" sign look for Pellaea andromedifolia, the Coffee Fern, with pinnules in the shape of coffee beans. Young fronds are green while older fronds may be darker.

                                pentagramma1
                                Pentagramma triangularis, the Silverback Fern, along Father Junipero Serra Trail, Mission Trails Regional Park, San Diego. Photos this page credit: K. Russell.

                                Following the fourth hump there is a small parking spot and a "Keep Out - Wildlife Habitat" sign. Look for more Pentagramma triangularis, Polypodium californicum, and Pellaea andromedifolia. At the fifth hump there is more parking for the second Climbers Loop trailhead. You should see Cheilanthes newberryi near the start of the Climbers Trail.

                                newberry1
                                Cheilanthes newberryi along Oak Canyon Trail, Mission Trails Regional Park.

                                After the sixth hump, note Sellaginella along the banks, and midway between the seventh and eighth humps, at a Falling Rock sign, there is a small section of Adiantum jordanii. There is no vehicle stopping place along this area.

                                poly1
                                Polypodium californicum, the California Polypody, along Father Junipero Serra Trail, Mission Trails Regional Park.

                                Most of the species can be seen in the first half mile or so along Father Junipero Serra Trail, but there is always more territory to explore. Once you find some ferns you may be surprised at how many there are. You may enjoy other areas of the park with ferns also, especially Oak Canyon Trail.

                                coffee1
                                Pellaea andromedifolia , the Coffee Fern, along Father Junipero Serra Trail, Mission Trails Regional Park.

                                You'll need to take this opportunity soon as a few short weeks without rain will mean the end of this winter/spring fern season.


                                Meeting Calendar 2015


                                February 19 Terrarium Talk
                                March 19 Spring Gardener's Sale
                                April 16
                                May 21
                                June 18
                                July (Social event to be determined)
                                August 13 (2nd Thursday of the month)

                                August 15-16
                                San Diego Fern Show and Sale


                                September 17
                                October 8 (2nd Thursday of the month)
                                November 19
                                December 17 (Annual Meeting) Board Meetings
                                Room 104, 7:30 pm, Tuesday March 3, May 5, July 7, September 1, November 3


                                San Diego Fern Society Officers

                                President
                                Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com

                                1
                                st Vice President OPEN

                                Secretary
                                Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com

                                2
                                nd Vice President
                                Bill Brannock wbrannock410@aol.com

                                Treasurer
                                Jay Amshey coastbiomaterials@cox.net

                                Board Members:
                                Bruce Barry
                                Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                                Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net
                                Richard Lujan

                                Past President
                                Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

                                Website
                                www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                                Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                                Fern Society email
                                sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com

                                Membership
                                Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting
                                or mail to:
                                San Diego Fern Society
                                2350 Jennifer Ln
                                Encinitas CA 92024

                                San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                                The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                                * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                                * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                                * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                                The Society aims
                                * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                                * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                                * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                                * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                                * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.

                                Volume XXXIX, Number 2

                                JANUARY FERN SOCIETY

                                The first meeting of the New Year 2015 will be held January 15 at 7:30pm in Room 101, Casa del Prado, Balboa Park. Platycerium Night is one of the most popular meetings of the year. Both long time fern growers and other gardening friends will enjoy learning about the ever popular Staghorn Ferns.

                                We are planning this meeting in round-table style, learning growing techniques and propagation methods. The San Diego Fern Society has several Platycerium growers including experts with many years of experience with these unique ferns. Our focus is on how to grow healthy, beautiful plants in the San Diego area. Bring your questions, and you may even bring in a plant for growing advice.

                                Plant table for January

                                We expect to have Platycerium ferns available from local growers and Fern Society members. Bring some cash for your opportunity to take home a Staghorn Fern (or maybe several). This is an ideal time to enhance your Platycerium collection. (We are unable to accept credit/debit cards).

                                Membership Renewal Time

                                The annual membership fee is $12 for a single or household membership. This covers your enrollment from January through December 2015. See Jay Amshey or mail to San Diego Fern Society 2350 Jennifer Ln. Encinitas CA 92024.

                                Keep the Fern Society up to date on your preferred mailing and email addresses and phone number.

                                Report on December Annual Meeting and Party


                                The final meeting for 2014 of the San Diego Fern Society was held on December 18. Attendees enjoyed ham and turkey, many side dishes and desserts, as well as a plant to take home. The Annual meeting included election and installation of the 2015 officers.

                                Balboa Park Centennial

                                Balboa Park will be a special place throughout the year 2015, in commemoration of the Panama-California Exposition of 1915. Since none of us were alive in 1915, we can both look back and look ahead as we enjoy the celebration.

                                One of the important results of the 1915 Exposition was construction of the Balboa Park Botanical Building, the lath house. Alfred D. Robinson, then president of the San Diego Floral Association, was behind this idea. He is known for growing begonias and positively impacting the horticulture of San Diego. The structure he envisioned was built, but in a reduced size, and remains an important attraction in Balboa Park today.

                                Platycerium madagascariense:
                                A Distinctive Fern


                                The island of Madagascar has a unique flora which includes many endemic plants, that is, plants found only in Madagascar. Nearly 300 fern species are reported to be endemic to Madagascar, which represents over half of the species of ferns growing there. Apparently there are four species of Platyceriums found naturally on the island, and one bears the Madagascar name. It grows in the central part of the island, at elevations of 1000-2000 ft in moist forests.

                                Platycerium madagascariense is distinctive in form. A medium sized plant, it has shield fronds with an unusual surface shape described as being like a waffle. The veins follow ridges with little valleys between. These shield fronds are thin and light green at first, then turn darker green. The upper area of the shield fronds does not make an open basket so the plants do not collect organic debris like some species. In nature, ants live in the shield fronds among the loose layers. An orchid, Cymbidiella rhodochila, often roots in this Platycerium.

                                P madagascariense closer1
                                Close view of shield fronds of Platycerium madagascariense. The ridges follow veins, both the main veins and the cross veins. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                                Fertile fronds are wedge-shaped, shallowly forked one to three times with spore patches at the tips. As new shield and fertile fronds continue grow, the base of the plant becomes more spherical in shape.

                                A tender plant, P. madagascariense is challenging to grow in cultivation. Some US growers feel that it tolerates both fairly hot (as in South Florida summers) and cold temperatures, briefly down to freezing, but generally this is not suggested. Most growers would consider high humidity to be very important and suggest growing this fern in a greenhouse environment.

                                Since the shield frond layers are not tightly packed, water drains quickly and plants can easily dry out. These plants may be expected to need more frequent watering than other Platyceriums. The natural tendency of the plant to host ants and other pests is a problem, although insecticides can be effective. In nature, Platycerium madagascariense has a dormant period, which hobbyist growers find challenging. In short, this is a very special fern for the dedicated Platycerium enthusiast.

                                P madagascariense Div1
                                Platycerium madagascariense at the San Diego Fern Show 2014. This plant was grown and displayed by Don Callard. Note the plant base is somewhat spherical and the fertile fronds are wedge-shaped. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                                References:
                                  Angiopteris evecta,
                                  the Giant Fern or King Fern
                                  Angiopteris evecta (G. Forst.) Hoffm.
                                  Special to the San Diego Fern Society, by Sjef Pistoor of the Netherlands Fern Society.

                                  The Portuguese island of Madeira is known as “Island of Flowers,” but it could also be mentioned as “Island of Ferns.” Scattered across the island you can see ferns growing in the most surprising places. Many of these ferns are also well known in the Netherlands, like Blechnum spicant and Pteridium aquilinum (Bracken), which is very common on Madeira. My last visit was in September 2014.

                                  One of the places worth visiting because of the occurrence of ferns is the “Jardim Municipal,” a small park in the capital Funchal. In this park a number of tree ferns are planted, which now have reached a nice height and have become real eye-catchers. I think those are specimens of Cyathea cooperi. Much more interesting for me however, is a large specimen of Angiopteris evecta (see picture 1). I had visited this park before and I knew this fern was growing there. At that time I took pictures of the fern, but because I did not know this species very well, I did not notice its special characteristics. This time I did observe these details. Also, to my great surprise, I discovered yet another special fern species in this small park. At first I thought it was a younger and smaller specimen of A. evecta, because superficially the fronds are somewhat similar. But on closer inspection it appears to be a species of Cibotium with its characteristic golden-brown hairs on the rhizome, a fern I only knew from books. This article only deals with Angiopteris evecta, the Giant or King Fern in the English literature.

                                  This species was described in 1786 by Georg Forster as Polypodium evecta. In 1796 Georg Franz Hoffmann placed it in the genus Angiopteris, in the Marattiaceae family. The genus Angiopteris includes about 100 species which are native to Madagascar, Southeast Asia, Japan, Australia, and the islands in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. Of this genus, A. evecta is the only species that occurs in Australia. The Marattiaceae family is placed in a separate order (Marattiales) with its own class (Marattiopsida). The family includes about 260 species in six genera, of which Marattia and Angiopteris are the best known, and many extinct genera, known as fossils from the Carboniferous period about 300 million years ago.

                                  photo 11
                                  Picture 1: Angiopteris evecta in the “Jardim Municipal” in Funchal, Madeira. The fern is situated on the bank of a small duck pond. Photos by Sjef Pistoor. All rights reserved.

                                  A. evecta is one of the largest ferns on earth. This is not so much by its height as by its fronds which can reach a length of 8 metres. This species is native to the eastern and northern part of Australia, New Guinea, Polynesia, Micronesia and Melanesia. In many countries it has been introduced as an ornamental or a food plant. On Hawaii, Jamaica and in Costa Rica, this species is widely spread and naturalized, and now it poses a threat to the native flora. It grows in tropical environments with an average annual temperature of 19-27 ºC (66-80 ºF), an annual rainfall of 1050-5500 mm (40-200 in) and at elevations of 0-1500 m
                                  (0-5000 ft). Its natural habitats are moist forests and rainforests, near waterfalls, creeks and ravines, always near water. Its vast size means that A. evecta must live in very wet environments to maintain sufficient turgor to keep spreading the huge fronds.
                                  The plant has a rhizome, shaped as a solid, slightly spherical, black stem, which can be up to 150 cm (60 in) high and 100 cm (40 in) wide (see picture 2). The inside of the rhizome is quite fleshy. The outside is woody and covered with large dark-brown, leathery scales around the point of attachment of the stipes. These scales are borne in pairs and actually are flattened and rounded, ear-shaped, support leaves or stipulae, which can be 10-20 cm (4-8 in) long (see picture 3).

                                  photo 2 copy1
                                  Picture 2: The large spherical rhizome of A evecta. The plant in the picture actually is a double plant with a large and a slightly smaller rhizome.

                                  photo 31
                                  Picture 3: This picture clearly shows the stipulae, both at the young frond and at the stipes. In the foreground two stipulae surround a leaf scar.

                                  photo 41
                                  Picture 4: Part of a frond with the swollen bases of the pinnae.

                                  The smooth green stipes are thick and fleshy. They can be up to 2 m (6 ft) long with a thickness of 6 cm (2 in). The base of the stipe is swollen. At this place old leaves break apart from the rhizome, leaving the two stipulae on the stem. The blade can be 5-7 m (16-22 ft) long and about 3 m (10 ft) wide. The blade is bipinnate. The pinnae are approximately 1 m (3 ft) long and 30 cm (1 ft) wide and have 30-60 pinnulae on both sides of the rachis. The alternately arranged, line-shaped, leathery pinnulae are 10-15 cm (4-6 in) long and 1.5-2.5 cm (1/2 to 1 in) wide; their margins are serrated. The pinnae and pinnulae may have a swollen base too (see picture 4). The sporangia are grouped together in two rows of 7-10 sporangia along the ends of the veins of the pinnulae. Together they form a band of brown sporangia just below the edge. Indusia are lacking. The sporangia open by means of a slit perpendicularly on the vein, in order to release the enormous amount of spores (see pictures 5 & 6).

                                  Propagation of A. evecta can occur through sexual and asexual reproduction. Sexual reproduction occurs through spores which are dispersed by the wind. The spores must be very fresh to germinate. This species has spread by means of spores from gardens and parks, sometimes with the help of people. Asexual reproduction takes place by means of the squamous stipulae on the rhizome. These stipulae have some adventitious buds which, under favourable conditions, can grow into new plants. This can also be done under artificial conditions as people cut or break off stipulae and take them to other places to grow them there. Under natural conditions pieces of the rhizome with stipulae may break off and quickly grow into new plants in wet environments.

                                  photo 51
                                  Picture 5: Lower side of two pinnulae with brown bands of adjacent rows of sporangia.


                                  picture 61
                                  Picture 6: Close up view of the sporangia rows with their slit-shaped opening.

                                  In addition to its ornamental value, A. evecta is also used as food plant. The rhizome is a good source of starch. It is very likely that this species was introduced in Jamaica for that purpose in the 18
                                  th century, as a source of starch for the slaves on the sugar plantations. But because extracting the starch from the rhizome was difficult and time consuming, this form of starch production has fallen into disuse.

                                  On some of the Caroline Islands (Palau, Pohnper and Yap) in the western Pacific, this fern is one of the ingredients of secret family medicines. Its components would help against headaches and back pain, could dissipate fever, and ensure that the mind comes to rest when tired. Also, they would help in dealing with spiritual illnesses sent by sorcerers to someone to make him or her sick or even to kill them. And diseases, caused by bad spirits of all kinds, are treated with (parts of) this fern too. Further, it is used to prevent evil intentions of jealous people. Additionally, the large leaves are used as roofing of temporary huts and to sleep on. Finally, the fronds are part of garlands on some of the islands of Hawaii.

                                  In addition to taking pictures, I also took along with me a few pinnulae with sporangia. I sowed the spores five days later in plastic trays with sterilized soil. However, there are two problems with raising young sporophytes of A. evecta from spores. The first is that the spores are short-lived and must be sown when as fresh as possible. I hope five days is soon enough. The second problem is that the gametophytes (prothallia) live in symbiosis with mycorrhizal fungi. That seems to me an insurmountable problem using as I did a sterilized substrate, unless the right fungi or fungal spores were already on the spores, sporangia or other tissue of the fern, in which case I have sown them along with the ferns spores. I am very curious if there will be some development.

                                  Addendum: Now it is the end of December 2014. The spores were sown on the 27
                                  th of September 2014. In both trays a large number of heart-shaped prothallia have developed, both large and small ones. So, the spores were fresh enough. Young sporophytes however, have not yet developed.

                                  Literature resources:

                                    Meeting Calendar 2015


                                    January 15 Platycerium Night.

                                    February 19 Terrarium Talk. Learn how to prepare a terrarium for your special ferns and other treasures. Valentine Gift Exchange. Bring a wrapped or bagged small fern or garden item, possibly to use in a terrarium. All who bring something will play a gift exchange game and take something special home.

                                    March 19 Spring Gardener's Sale. Plants and useful garden items may be donated or sold on consignment at the jumble sale for fern lovers.

                                    San Diego Fern Society Officers

                                    President
                                    Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
                                    1
                                    st Vice President
                                    OPEN
                                    Secretary
                                    Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com
                                    2
                                    nd Vice President
                                    Bill Brannock wbrannock410@aol.com
                                    Treasurer
                                    Jay Amshey coastbiomaterials@cox.net
                                    Board Members:
                                    Bruce Barry
                                    Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                                    Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net
                                    Richard Lujan
                                    Past President
                                    Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

                                    Website

                                    www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                                    Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                                    Fern Society email
                                    sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com

                                    Membership
                                    Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting
                                    or mail to:
                                    San Diego Fern Society
                                    2350 Jennifer Ln
                                    Encinitas CA 92024

                                    San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                                    The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                                    * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                                    * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                                    * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                                    The Society aims

                                    * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                                    * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                                    * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                                    * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                                    * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.

                                    Volume XXXIX, Number 1

                                    DECEMBER FERN SOCIETY


                                    Annual Meeting and Party

                                    The final meeting for 2014 of the San Diego Fern Society will be held on Thursday, December 18. The Fern Society meets in Room 101 of Casa del Prado in Balboa Park at 6:30 pm for the Annual Meeting and Party. Arrive around 6 pm to enjoy the company of fellow ferners and share festivities and the good food. After dinner we will conduct the election followed by the installation of officers; however there is no other program.

                                    Dinner Party Plans

                                    This month we start early, at 6:30 pm, for our Annual Meeting and Party. Plan to arrive around 6 pm. Family members and guests are welcome. Following the election and installation of the 2015 officers, each family will receive a fern to take home.

                                    The Fern Society party has the nominal cost of $3 per person. Please bring your cash payment that evening. Delicious ham and turkey will be provided, as well as beverages, rolls and butter. Each household should bring a side dish or dessert (with serving utensils) to feed 8-10 people, and preferably bring your own plates and silverware. Doors open at 5:30 for set-up and the dinner begins at 6:30. Please come by 6 pm to set out food so that we can eat our special dinner promptly.

                                    Report on November Meeting

                                    For late fall our program was on tropical ferns, just in time for San Diego's cool season. Those present shared tips on maintaining tropical/subtropical ferns over the winter. We viewed photos of tropicals from the rain forests of the world. Kathie Russell shared information and photos about blue color in ferns, including the rare iridescent blue ferns of the tropics. Attendees also enjoyed a plant table of tropical and subtropical ferns.

                                    Membership Renewal Time

                                    The annual membership fee is $12 for a single or household membership. This covers your enrollment from January through December 2015. See Jay Amshey or mail to the address on page 6.


                                    Nominations for 2015
                                    San Diego Fern Society Officers


                                    President
                                    Kathie Russell
                                    1
                                    st Vice President OPEN
                                    2
                                    nd Vice President
                                    Bill Brannock
                                    Secretary
                                    Amna Cornett
                                    Treasurer
                                    Jay Amshey
                                    Board Members:
                                    Bruce Barry
                                    Bob Charlton
                                    Bill Ganger
                                    Richard Lujan
                                    Past President (automatically serves on the board) Don Callard

                                    Ferns in the shorter days of winter

                                    Green plants, including ferns, need light to produce the sugars that sustain life. In the darker months of winter, there is noticeably less light available. The metabolism and behavior of most living things changes significantly between day and night. Circadian rhythms are the biological changes of the 24 hour daily cycle. In recent years, studies in molecular genetics have explored cell mechanisms corresponding to this clockwork (See Reference below).

                                    pictum
                                    Athyrium niponicum 'Pictum', Japanese Painted Fern, Washington Park Arboretum, Seattle WA. This colorful garden fern generally dies back in winter and grows again in spring. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                                    Length of daylight has long been known to control seasonal responses in plants. Flowering is an obvious seasonal feature, but germination, growth and development such as cell elongation are also important.

                                    In the November meeting, we shared ideas for sustaining tropical ferns through winter. Protection from cold, such as in a greenhouse, is needed for some tender ferns. Terrariums can sustain small tropical ferns in their preferred environment. Outdoor and patio ferns can be sheltered together, under trees or shadecloth. Plants which are not actively growing do not need as much water, and good drainage is very important.

                                    There are many ferns which die back completely in winter, such as the Lady Fern Athyrium felix-femina, a popular temperate climate garden fern. Athyrium niponicum 'Pictum', the Japanese Painted Fern (photo on left), grows well in San Diego but may go completely dormant in winter even in our mild climate. Gardeners need to remember where these ferns were planted and let them grow again in spring.

                                    Many subtropical ferns show strong growth in late winter. Old fronds can then be trimmed off. For the Adiantums, known as Maidenhair Ferns, those with small leaflets can be cut back entirely before the new fiddleheads develop (photo below).

                                    Some fern plants look so hopeless in December or January that the gardener is tempted to toss them out. However, the winter season will pass and ferns which die back in winter will hopefully grow again. This is a normal cycle for many plants, and gardeners need to tolerate and even enjoy the seasonal changes.

                                    Reference:
                                    McClung, C. R. (2006). Plant circadian rhythms. Plant Cell, 18; 792-803.
                                    DOI 10.1105/tpc.106.040980

                                    A hispidulum1
                                    Spring rosy pink growth of Adiantum hispidulum, known as the Rosy Maidenhair, grown in San Diego County. Photo credit: B. Russell.

                                    If it's winter here, it must be summer somewhere ... Australia, anyone?

                                    When is it cold and dreary in North America, some US travelers wish to holiday in warmer climates. One option is the southern hemisphere where seasons are opposite our area. Some ferns we grow in San Diego are native to Australia, and summer is approaching right now.

                                    In the book Flora of Australia, over 450 pages are devoted just to ferns and lycophytes. The traveler would need quite an extended vacation to get around to all these ferns.

                                    Maidenhair Ferns are represented in Australia with eight species. Adiantum capillus-veneris grows naturally through much of Australia, but only on limestone or sandstone rocky areas. This fern also is found in the US, including California, and similarly will be found in alkaline conditions in North America.


                                    A capillus AZ
                                    Luxuriant growth of Adiantum capillus-veneris, Southern Maidenhair or Venus's Hair, found growing naturally on travertine limestone in Arizona. Photo credit: K. Russell.
                                    Another Maidenhair Fern which gardeners cultivate in the US is Adiantum hispidulum. It grows in widespread regions of Australia, as well as Africa to Asia and islands. This plant grows well in the ground and brings the bright pink spring color of new growth to the fern garden (See photo on page 2). Both of these plants are readily available from local nurseries.

                                    About 30 species of Asplenium ferns are found spread along coastal areas in Australia. Eight of these are endemic, that is, growing naturally only in Australia. Many plant hobbyists have grown the Birds Nest Ferns, especially Asplenium australasicum and A. nidus. These two species can be distinguished by noting that the A. australasicum midrib has a strong keel shape on the underside of the frond, rather than rounded as in A. nidus. Nurseries in the US are likely to carry Asplenium australasicum since it shows many interesting frond variations, such as ruffles or wavy edges. It is also slightly more cold tolerant than A. nidus. In Australia these Birds Nest Ferns grow on tree trunks, or on rocks. Understanding the natural growth habit helps the gardener cultivate these plants, which need excellent drainage. Roots do not require a large container. Plants can be grown directly in the ground as well.

                                    Another Australian Asplenium fern is the Mother Fern, Asplenium bulbiferum. The subspecies gracillimum is found in Australia, and two subspecies grow in New Zealand. Many Asplenium ferns hybridize readily, leading to interesting variations. The plants sold in the nursery trade are apparently all of hybrid origin, and have been designated Asplenium X lucrosum. Most gardeners are not concerned about the exact name, but rather just like to grow the Mother Fern with its plantlet baby ferns on the fronds.

                                    An Australian native that San Diego gardeners often grow is a tree fern. The most commonly grown species is Sphaeopteris cooperi, alternate name Cyathea cooperi. Here it is known as the Australian Tree Fern. As readers may recall from a meeting program this fall, Cyathea tree ferns have scales covering the base or entire stipe of the fronds. The sori (containing the spores) are found on or near the veins of the frond. This species grows readily in our area and coastal California, tolerating occasional short periods of cold down to about 20º. When planting give the Australian Tree Fern room, as it grows rapidly. It is common to find a plant crowded into a tight garden spot where it has outgrown the space. Plants thrive in medium to high light and even sometimes nearly full sun. The cultivar 'Brentwood' is desirable. The base of the rhizome (the trunk) is covered with roots and thus watering the trunk in dry weather is suggested. Australia has 12 species of Cyathea tree ferns, eight of which are endemic, found only in Australia. The others are shared with New Zealand or New Guinea or other islands.

                                    Another tree fern which is commonly planted along the West Coast of the US is Dicksonia antarctica. Plants of this genus have hairs rather than scales. They tolerate cooler temperatures than the Australian Tree Fern, growing naturally in southern Australian areas and Tasmania in forests where rain is plentiful. Tasmanian Tree Fern is the common name. Three species of Dicksonia are listed for Australia.

                                    vittaria.elongata.fronds
                                    Vittaria elongata growing in wetlands near the Hull River, a tropical area of North Queensland, Australia. Photo credit: Dave Kimball, Creative Commons, www.davekimble.org.au/rainforest/catalog.htm.
                                    Plants of the genus Vittaria are commonly called the Shoestring Ferns. Most are tropical but some grow in subtropical or warm temperate regions. In Australia, Vittarias are found in damp, shaded habitats, and there are two species. Vittaria elongata is in cultivation. In addition to Australia, it grows naturally in the Old World tropics from Africa to China and islands. It can be found on mossy tree trunks, fallen logs and rocks and cliff faces. Plants are considered tender and need high humidity and good drainage.

                                    The majority of Australia's ferns grow primarily in the coastal areas, especially on the eastern side. However, there are also ferns in the inland deserts. The Cheilanthes genus is represented by 15 species. One of these, Cheilanthes sieberi, is found throughout much of Australia. Its common name, Poison Rock Fern, alludes to the health issues it causes when eaten by sheep and cattle.

                                    Cheilanthes
                                    A fern identified as Cheilanthes sieberi, Poison Rock Fern, growing in full sun on Hawksbury Sandstone, near Lane Cove River, Australia. Photo credit: Peter Woodward, Creative Commons.
                                    Australia is home to several species of Platyceriums, the Staghorn Ferns. The Flora of Australia lists Platycerium superbum, P. veitchii, P. hillii and P. bifurcatum. All grow in the Australian states of Queensland and some in New South Wales, so the traveler with an interest in Platyceriums in nature should visit those areas. Queensland is the more tropical state. San Diego's climate suits these Platyceriums when growers include the obvious requirement of supplemental water. Growing Platycerium ferns will be the topic of the upcoming January 2015 meeting.

                                    p veitchii
                                    Platycerium veitchii growing in open sun on rocks, Australia. Photo credit: Australian Plant Image Index, Australian National Botanic Gardens.

                                    References:

                                      December Nights 2014

                                      fern tree
                                      A Festival of Trees, the display of San Diego Floral Association at December Nights, December 4 and 5, Balboa Park. Bart Keeran used Platycerium plants and Bird of Paradise flowers from Fern Society members and ferns from a local nursery, along with some creative engineering, to make a tree display of ferns. Photo credit: Bart Keeran.


                                      Meeting Calendar 2014

                                      December 18 Annual Meeting and Party

                                      Coming in 2015


                                      January 15 Platycerium Night. We expect to have this meeting in round-table style, learning growing techniques and propagation methods for the ever-popular Staghorn Ferns. The San Diego Fern Society has several Platycerium growers including experts with many years of experience who have extensively cultivated these unique ferns.

                                      February 19 Terrarium Talk. Learn how to prepare a terrarium for your special ferns and other treasures. Valentine's Gift Exchange. Bring a wrapped or bagged small fern or garden item, possibly to use in a terrarium. All who bring something will play a gift exchange game and take something special home.
                                      March 19 Spring Gardener's Sale. Plants and useful garden items may be donated or sold on consignment at the jumble sale for fern lovers.

                                      Board Meeting January 6, Room 104



                                      December 18, 2014
                                      San Diego Fern Society
                                      Annual Meeting and Party





                                      San Diego Fern Society Officers

                                      President
                                      Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
                                      1
                                      st Vice President and Secretary
                                      Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com
                                      2
                                      nd Vice President
                                      Bill Brannock wbrannock410@aol.com
                                      Treasurer
                                      Jay Amshey coastbiomaterials@cox.net
                                      Board Members:
                                      Bruce Barry
                                      Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                                      Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net
                                      Richard Lujan
                                      Past President
                                      Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

                                      Website
                                      www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                                      Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                                      Fern Society email
                                      sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com

                                      Membership
                                      Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting
                                      or mail to:
                                      San Diego Fern Society
                                      2350 Jennifer Ln
                                      Encinitas CA 92024

                                      San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                                      The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                                      * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                                      * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                                      * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                                      The Society aims

                                      * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                                      * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                                      * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                                      * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                                      * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.


                                      Volume XXXVII, Number 12

                                      NOVEMBER FERN SOCIETY MEETING

                                      The November meeting of the San Diego Fern Society will be held Thursday, November 20, 2014. The Society will meet at 7:30pm in Casa del Prado Room 101, Balboa Park. While most of the country is in the season of winter, in San Diego we continue to enjoy ferns and other garden delights. This month we will explore tropical ferns, just in time for San Diego's cool season. We will share our tips on caring for tropical/subtropical ferns, and view photos of intriguing tropicals from the rain forests of the world. Kathie Russell will share about blue color in ferns, including the rare iridescent blue ferns of the tropics.

                                      Report on October Meeting

                                      On October 9 we were privileged to view closeup photos of tree fern details, with explanation of how to identify them, by Jay Amshey. See summary and additional photos on page two.

                                      Plant table for November

                                      Plans for November call for a tropical-themed plant table. We expect to have several small tropical/subtropical ferns. Bring $3 cash for your opportunity to take home a fern.

                                      Refreshments for November

                                      Chuck Carroll and Kathie Russell will provide refreshments, giving us a time to snack and socialize following the meeting.

                                      Balboa Park December Nights

                                      This annual celebration will be held on Friday and Saturday, December 5 and 6. As a free community event, December Nights features dance and music, delicious foods, arts and shopping, and a live Nativity tableau at the Organ Pavilion. Casa del Prado Room 101 will again showcase the Festival of Trees presented by San Diego Floral Association, with a fragrant display of fresh trees decorated by the various clubs and societies. Our Fern Society constructs a "tree" entirely of living ferns, under the direction of Bart Keeran. You will want to see our new Islands themed fern tree, so plan to assist Bart or to visit during December Nights. The Festival theme is The Panama Canal Opens – San Diego Welcomes the World. Museums are open 5-9pm. Special events throughout the park are Friday 3-11pm and Saturday noon-11pm.

                                      Membership Dues for 2015

                                      $12 will pay for a single or a household membership for 2015. Please bring cash or check to the December or January meeting so we can start off our year will memberships fully paid. Alternately you may mail your membership dues to the address on page six. We appreciate your loyalty, friendships, and investment in the San Diego Fern Society.
                                      Review: Tree fern identification

                                      Tree ferns are divided into two major groupings, Cyatheaceae and Dicksoniaceae. In order to identify a tree fern, it is important to first consider the details of scales and hairs.

                                      The Cyatheaceae, considered the largest group of tree ferns, have scales. This family includes ferns of the genera Alsophila, Cyathea and Sphaeropteris. The Australian Tree Fern, Sphaeropteris cooperi, is in this group, and is the most commonly grown tree fern in our area. An alternate name is Cyathea cooperi. There are scales on the stipe, easily seen as some are 1 1/2 inches long, linear-triangular and whitish. There are also shorter scales less than an inch long which are dark and straight. S. cooperi has characteristic round leaf scars where the fronds drop off.

                                      scales Aust
                                      Sphaeopteris cooperi showing scales. This tree fern is growing in the San Diego area. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                                      Dicksonia antarctica, the Tasmanian Tree Fern, is grown in San Diego and also further north along the California coast. It is characterized by hairs on the trunk and stipe. Cibotiums, such as Cibotium glaucum of Hawaii, also have hairs.
                                      In addition to scales or hairs, spore patterns identify tree fern species. Dicksoniaceae have marginal sori whereas the Cyatheaceae sori are not on the pinna margin. These ferns may need to be mature before sori are produced.
                                      In Hawaiian and Tasmanian tree ferns, both Dicksoniaceae, note the frond shape. The Hawaiian is broad at the base and the Tasmanian tapers to the stipe.

                                      Dicksonia antarctica
                                      Dicksonia antartica fiddlehead showing hairs, growing in Mount Field National Park, Tasmania, Australia. Photo credit: J.J. Harrison, Creative Commons.

                                      treef thorns panama
                                      Tropical tree fern with thorny spines. This plant, growing in the rain forest of Panama, would be identified in the Cyatheaeceae group. Photo credit: T. Russell.

                                      References:
                                        Tropical views from Fern Show 2014

                                        Elaph nigrescens
                                        Elaphaglossum nigrescens in a terrarium. Shown by Amna Cornett at San Diego Fern Show, August 2014. Elaphaglossums grow the tropics and subtropics, mostly in the Americas. Nearly all species have simple and entire fronds, as above. They generally grow on trees in the rainforests, and are recommended for terrariums or humid indoor locations. This species is from Brazil. Note the narrower and longer fertile fronds. Photos this page credit: K. Russell.

                                        P madagascariense Div callard copy
                                        Platycerium madagascariense. Shown by Don Callard. Note the distinctive shield fronds on this tropical Staghorn fern found naturally only in Madagascar. This plant may experience a dormant period as it would in nature, making it challenging to maintain for local growers.

                                        Pyr nummulariifolia Gary
                                        Pyrrosia nummularifolia. Shown by Gary Bourne. The Pyrrosias, sometimes known as the Felt Ferns, have star-shaped hairs. This plant is found in South and Southeastern Asia including islands. It is a tender plant, needing protection in the San Diego area. P. nummularifolia is ideal for terrariums. The sterile fronds are roundish and the fertile ones longer and narrower.

                                        Reference:
                                        Hoshizaki, B. and Moran, R. (2001). Fern grower's manual. Portland, OR: Timber Press.
                                        Tropical diversity of fern species

                                        Summarized from Robbin Moran's discussion of Tropical Diversity, chapter 27 in A Natural History of Ferns, Reference 1 below.

                                        The tropical lands of the world support amazing numbers of life species, including ferns. Studying life forms present, and moving from the icy regions of the North and South Poles into the middle latitudes, there is a great increase in species numbers. In the tropics the number of species is overwhelmingly greater than in polar and middle latitude regions. This is generally found for species counts of birds, mammals, reptiles and flowering plants.

                                        The numbers of fern species generally follow this pattern, called the latitudinal diversity gradient. As an example, moving southward in eastern Asia there are about 42 different ferns and lycophytes on Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula, 140 on Hokkaido and 430 on Honshu Island, Japan, 560 on Taiwan, 960 in the Philippines and 1200 in Borneo. Moving southward in the northern hemisphere in America, there are approximately 30 species in Greenland, 98 in New England, 113 in Florida, 652 in Guatemala and 1250 in Ecuador. For these two examples the number of species found in the tropics is 30 times that in the cold higher latitude.

                                        Costa Rica, just one small tropical country, has about 1100 species of ferns and lycophytes, nearly three times as many as the United States and Canada. Within Costa Rica, patterns of fern distribution can be also be studied by elevations. In lowland sites and high mountains, there are generally a lower number of species found than at 3000 feet or middle elevations. For a further discussion of elevation gradient, see Reference 2.

                                        Rainfall has a definite influence on species richness. Tropical rain forests show greater numbers of fern species than dry forests. Regions which receive rainfall throughout the year show more species than those with a dry season.

                                        Mountains are by far the most diverse areas for ferns. This may be related to the different habitats, which are affected by elevation, temperature, clouds, rain, exposure and soils.

                                        As to the inquiry of why there are so many species in the tropics, Robbin Moran states, there is no simple answer.

                                        References:
                                          Angiopteris evecta
                                          Mixed tropical ferns including Angiopteris evecta (far left), which is native to Polynesia. These plants are growing in a climate-controlled rainforest environment at the US Botanic Garden, Washington DC. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                                          Nominations

                                          The Nominations Committee nominates Fern Society members for election to fill the positions of officers and board members for the coming year 2015. These nominations are presented at the November meeting, and additional nominations are accepted from the floor at the November meeting only, with prior consent of the person being nominated. Elections are held at the Annual Meeting of the San Diego Fern Society in December. This process follows the Fern Society Bylaws. This year Paula Couterier and Kathy Thomson served on the Nominations Committee and have provided the following slate:

                                          President
                                          Kathie Russell
                                          1
                                          st Vice President OPEN
                                          Secretary
                                          Amna Cornett
                                          2
                                          nd Vice President
                                          Bill Brannock
                                          Treasurer
                                          Jay Amshey
                                          Board Members:
                                          Bruce Barry
                                          Bob Charlton
                                          Bill Ganger
                                          Richard Lujan
                                          Past President (automatically serves on the board)
                                          Don Callard

                                          December Annual Meeting and Holiday Party

                                          This year’s party is on Thursday, December 18. Cost is $3 per person; please bring cash or check. Guests are welcome. Delicious ham and turkey will be provided by the Society, as well as beverages, rolls and butter. We ask each household to bring a side dish or dessert (with serving utensil) to feed 8-10 people as well as your own tableware. Room 101 is reserved for us starting at 5pm. Please set out your dishes ahead so we can begin the dinner at 6:30. Following our meal we will hold a brief meeting of Installation of Officers for 2015.

                                          Meeting Calendar 2014

                                          November 20
                                          December 18 Annual Meeting and Party

                                          Coming in 2015

                                          January 15 Platycerium Night. We expect to have this meeting as in round-table style, learning growing techniques and propagation methods for the ever-popular Staghorn Ferns. The San Diego Fern Society has several Platycerium growers including experts with many years of experience who have extensively cultivated these unique ferns.

                                          February 19 Terrarium Talk. Learn how to prepare a terrarium for your special ferns and other treasures. Valentine's Gift Exchange. Bring a wrapped or bagged small fern or garden item, possibly to use in a terrarium. All who bring something will play a gift exchange game and take something special home.

                                          March 19 Spring Gardener's Sale. Plants and useful garden items may be donated or sold on consignment at the jumble sale for fern lovers.


                                          San Diego Fern Society Officers

                                          President
                                          Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
                                          1
                                          st Vice President and Secretary
                                          Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com
                                          2
                                          nd Vice President
                                          Bill Brannock wbrannock410@aol.com
                                          Treasurer
                                          Jay Amshey coastbiomaterials@cox.net
                                          Board Members:
                                          Bruce Barry
                                          Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                                          Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net
                                          Richard Lujan
                                          Past President
                                          Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

                                          Website

                                          www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                                          Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                                          Fern Society email

                                          sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com

                                          Membership

                                          Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting
                                          or mail to:
                                          San Diego Fern Society
                                          2350 Jennifer Ln
                                          Encinitas CA 92024

                                          San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                                          The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                                          * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                                          * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                                          * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                                          The Society aims

                                          * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                                          * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                                          * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                                          * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                                          * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.



                                          Volume XXXIX, Number 11

                                          Meeting Date in October

                                          For the month of October, the Fern Society will meet on the second Thursday of the month, October 9. Occasionally our meeting date is shifted to accommodate the shows of other groups using Room 101.

                                          OCTOBER FERN SOCIETY MEETING

                                          The October meeting of the San Diego Fern Society will be held Thursday, October 9, 2014. The Society will meet at 7:30pm in Casa del Prado Room 101, Balboa Park.

                                          In October we will be privileged to view closeup photos of tree ferns, with explanation of how to identify them. Each genus of tree fern has unique characteristics, little clues which allow us to categorize these ferns. Jay Amshey has taken photos and studied the tree ferns that are frequently grown.

                                          Report on September Meeting

                                          September brought us a program on the primary study garden of the Hardy Fern Foundation, which is located in Federal Way, Washington state. The Hardy Fern Foundation was formed in 1989 in the Seattle area, growing and forming relationships with fern enthusiasts around the world. This garden is part of the Rhododendron Species Garden, in a forest of Douglas fir and red cedar trees. Photos taken by Kathie Russell of the ferns included both local native ferns and ferns from around the world.

                                          Nominations for 2015

                                          A Nominations Committee is forming to nominate the officers and board members for the coming year 2015. Fern Society members interested in serving on the Committee should contact a board member at the October meeting, or email in advance to:
                                          sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com

                                          Also, suggestions for officer and board positions may be given to the Committee. The nominations will be presented at the November general meeting, and elections are held at the Annual Meeting of the San Diego Fern Society in December.

                                          Society Finance Audit

                                          Don Nelson checked the financial records for the San Diego Fern Society year 2013, and found the records in order. Thank you, Don, for helping with this important detail.

                                          What is a tree fern?


                                          Somehow fern growers know what a tree fern is, but the term is somewhat arbitrary. Generally, a tree fern is any fern with a large erect rhizome. Fronds are coiled when young and uncurl as they grow. Tree ferns do not have flowers, but reproduce by spores. Sporangia which contain the spores can be found on the underside of the fronds.

                                          Reference:
                                          Large, M.F., & Braggins, J.E. (2004). Tree ferns. Portland, OR: Timber Press.
                                          Helecho gigante, a tree fern of Puerto Rico

                                          In Puerto Rico, tree ferns are frequently found in the rainy mountains. Cyathea arborea, known as Helecho gigante, is the most common species. About five other species of trunked ferns are found in Puerto Rico also. Cyathea arborea is described as having a slender, unbranched brown trunk, scaly but without spines, and showing large oval leaf scars. The crown may have 10 to 18 large spreading fronds which are 3-pinnate and extend 6 to 10 feet long. Sporangia are small, brown and ball-shaped, about 1/16 inch in diameter, found in two rows on the undersides of the leaf segments of the frond and containing the spores. New plants may grow from spores under favorable conditions.

                                          Puerto Rico frond1
                                          Cyathea arborea, showing lower fertile frond surface (above) and upper surface (below), with a drawing of the tree fern structure. Source: Common trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, page 29, Reference listed below.
                                          Most people consider Helecho gigante, the common tree fern of Puerto Rico, to be quite attractive. It grows as a small evergreen tree up to 30 feet or more tall. Fronds have a light brown axis which is scaly at the base, with many secondary axes as much as 2 feet long and yellow-green in color. The pinnules are rounded with wavy-toothed edges.

                                          The lower part of tree fern trunks are often covered with smaller plants such as mosses, liverworts and ferns. Many small black roots project at the base of the tree fern trunk. These fern trunks are durable, with a hard black outer layer 1/8 inch or more thick. Inside the trunk is softer pith with brown bundles to conduct water and nutrients and provide stability. Trunks resist decay. The Carib Indians used them to carry fire, which can be maintained for hours in a tree fern trunk.

                                          Tree ferns thrive in the more open areas, including along constructed roads. Although these tree ferns are considered quite beautiful, they are seldom cultivated in Puerto Rico. It is reported that small ferns can be transplanted successfully and grown in moist areas in a garden.

                                          Cyathea arborea grows in low to high mountain forests of Puerto Rico and other islands, and eastern Mexico. The common name in Puerto Rico in Spanish is Helecho gigante, the Giant Fern, and also Helecho arbóreo.

                                          Reference:
                                          Little, E. L., & Wadsworth, F. H. (1964). Common trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands (Agriculture Handbook No. 249, pp. 28-29) (USA, Department of Agriculture, Forest Service). Washington, DC: US Department of Agriculture. http://academic.uprm.edu/~jmari/arbolesprvi1.pdf

                                          Which tree fern?

                                          Australian1
                                          Unfurling frond of Sphaeropteris cooperi, the Australian tree fern. Photo credit: Kathie Russell. Tree Ferns for Cool Climates

                                          In nature, tree ferns live in tropical to warm temperate climate areas with adequate moisture. For very cold or dry locations, a tree fern needs glasshouse protection. However, there are some species from high elevation regions or temperate climates, such as New Zealand, which are more cold tolerant.

                                          Mark Large and John Braggins suggest that Sphaeopteris cooperi and Cyathia woollsiana from Australia are moderately cold tolerant, as are C. dealbata and C. colensoi from New Zealand. One tree fern from Central and South America, Lophosoria quadripinnata, has been grown outdoors as far north as Scotland, but is not commonly grown in the US.

                                          Dicksonia antarctica, D. fibrosa and D. squarrosa survive in coastal areas of Britain and Ireland. Dicksonia antarctica, native to Australia and Tasmania, is commonly available in nurseries and can survive frost. Growers report that temperatures of 20º F will kill the fronds within a week, but the trunk survives and plants recover. John Mickel notes that Dicksonia antarctica and other tree ferns grow

                                          in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. He recommends daily spraying of the trunk in hot weather, as roots are produced in the crown and grow down the trunk.

                                          Dicksonia antarctica is frequently grown in coastal England and Ireland. Small plants are kept in conservatories for the winter. Larger tree ferns need a strategy for survival over winter outdoors. Martin Rickard believes that the bud tissue in the crown needs protection. He packs the crown of the fern with straw up to about 6 inches above the trunk to reduce ice buildup and rotting. He suggests that plants less than 4 feet tall also receive insulation around the trunk. Rickard recommends Cyathea australis for a different cold tolerant tree fern choice.

                                          GoldenGate ferns1
                                          Dicksonian antarctica grove in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco.
                                          Photo credit: Paul Downey, under Creative Commons.



                                          References:


                                            More views from Fern Show 2014

                                            Psilotum complanum 'Malysia'1
                                            Psilotum complanum 'Malaysia'. Psilotum complanum has wider, more flattened branches than the commonly grown Psilotum nudum. Psilotums, formerly known as fern allies, lack roots or vascularized leaves. These plants are found in tropical and subtropical areas, growing on trees or in the ground, with just these two species. Shown by Gary Bourne at San Diego Fern Show, August 2014. Photo credit: Kathie Russell.

                                            Reference:
                                            Hoshizaki, B. and Moran, R. (2001). Fern grower's manual. Portland, OR: Timber Press.

                                            asplenium detail1
                                            Frond detail (above) and plant (below) of Asplenium 'Silver Wings', a cultivar from the Philippines. Asplenium ferns are found world wide, with about 650 species. Asplenium australasicum is slightly more cold hardy than Asplenium nidus, and shows great variation in fond shape. Don has found that plant collectors in the Philippines seem to value the various interesting frond types. Shown by Don Callard at San Diego Fern Show, August 2014.
                                            Photos credit: Kathie Russell.
                                            Asp 'silver wings' Ph10i

                                            Meeting Calendar 2014

                                            October 9 (2nd Thursday of the month)
                                            November 20
                                            December 18 (Annual Meeting)

                                            December 18, 2014
                                            San Diego Fern Society
                                            Annual Meeting and Party


                                            San Diego Fern Society Officers

                                            President
                                            Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com

                                            1
                                            st Vice President and Secretary
                                            Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com

                                            2
                                            nd Vice President
                                            Bill Brannock wbrannock410@aol.com

                                            Treasurer
                                            Jay Amshey coastbiomaterials@cox.net

                                            Board Members:
                                            Bruce Barry
                                            Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                                            Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net
                                            Richard Lujan

                                            Past President
                                            Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

                                            Website
                                            www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                                            Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                                            Fern Society email
                                            sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com

                                            Membership
                                            Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting
                                            or mail to:
                                            San Diego Fern Society
                                            2350 Jennifer Ln
                                            Encinitas CA 92024

                                            San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                                            The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                                            * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                                            * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                                            * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                                            The Society aims
                                            * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                                            * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                                            * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                                            * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                                            * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.


                                            Volume XXXIX, Number 10

                                            SEPTEMBER FERN SOCIETY MEETING

                                            The September meeting of the San Diego Fern Society will be held Thursday, September 18 2014. The Society will meet at 7:30pm in Casa del Prado Room 101, Balboa Park.

                                            In September we will visit by photos the primary study garden of the Hardy Fern Foundation. Their interesting collection of ferns is located within the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden in Federal Way, Washington. Sue Olsen, author of Encyclopedia of garden ferns, is part of this organization. The garden opened in 1980 and includes native and exotic ferns. The Victorian Stumpery garden was planted in 2009 with ferns and rhododendrons, the largest such public display in the world.

                                            Ferns coming your way in September

                                            The public's loss is your gain when you attend our September Fern Society meeting. Bonus ferns left after the Show will be available at the minimal costs of $2 for a 4" plant and $4 for a 6" plant. We will have several species and varieties on the plant table, and draw names for opportunity to buy. Bring some cash for this great clearance sale event.

                                            NEWS AND NOTES

                                            Meeting Date Change in October


                                            For the month of October, the Fern Society will meet on the second Thursday of the month, October 9. Occasionally our meeting date is shifted to accommodate the shows of other groups using Room 101.


                                            Memberships


                                            $12.00 will pay for a single or a household membership in the San Diego Fern Society, through December 2015. See a board member or mail to the address on page 6.

                                            Report on August Meeting

                                            In August we had a short program on fern shows from other fern societies and organizations, to see what has been happening at other shows and botanical displays recently. One group, Birmingham Fern Society, displays and judges their ferns by placing a cut frond into a bottle of water, an interesting way to view a sample from large ferns planted in the ground.

                                            Thank you to Fern Show helpers

                                            The Show and Sale requires a great deal of cooperation and assistance from our members and friends. A message of thanks goes out to the volunteers who set up and took down the Show equipment, who grew and then shared their ferns in the Show, and who assisted with the Sale and consignment sale. We especially appreciate our judges and other Show staff for their part in the weekend. Even serving as a host in the Show room and greeting the guests is an important role. Thank you to all.

                                            Future Programs

                                            Jay Amshey is preparing a program to teach us about some species of tree ferns, and especially how to distinguish the genera. He has been photographing the spore patterns and frond details to provide close up views. Other possible future programs are growing Davallias and planting and maintaining ferns in a terrarium. We expect to study desert ferns and tropical/subtropical ferns as well.

                                            Officer Nominations for 2015

                                            A Nominations Committee is forming to nominate the officers and board members for the coming year 2015. Members interested in serving on the Committee should contact a board member at the September meeting, or email in advance to:
                                            sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com

                                            Also, suggestions for officer and board positions may be given to the Committee. The nominations will be presented at the November general meeting, and elections are held at the Annual Meeting of the San Diego Fern Society in December.

                                            Focus on Award Winners

                                            Platyceriums are always of interest to guests at the Fern Show, both fern growers and members of the public. This year a Platycerium hybrid caught attention. This particular cross originated in Charles Alford's greenhouse in Florida several years ago. Although he has made many crosses over the years, Charles says this one was a volunteer with unknown parents. He grew the original plant to maturity and has since grown others from spore. The plant also produces pups, and several growers have successfully taken the pups and remounted them. Charles had DNA tests done on the plant, but only one parent, P. andinum, could be identified. The other parent could possibly be P. stemaria based upon the shape of the shield fronds, but that is just a guess. The plant grows well in San Diego but is kept in a greenhouse since its cold tolerance is not established. Because it is a unique cultivar that was "created" in his greenhouse, Charles felt he could name the plant, and chose to name it P. Callard.

                                            platy1
                                            Platycerium hybrid, named Platycerium 'Callard'. Fern Show 2014. Shown by Don Callard. All photos from Show in this newsletter credit: Kathie Russell.
                                            As noted in a previous issue, the subtopical beauty, Drynaria rigidula 'Whitei' is a desirable patio fern for San Diego area gardeners. It is considered semi-tender but benefits from strong light and well-drained moss or mix. Smaller fronds collect humus and should not be overwatered. This plant has been grown by several members of the San Diego Fern Society and always gets attention. Note that two different plants received recognitions this year. Apparently this cultivar of Drynaria rigidula produces no spores. A previous issue of Fern World told that the species plant Drynaria rigidula, native to southeastern Asia, can often be found in Australia with a python curled up in the nest of fronds.

                                            frond1
                                            Frond detail, Drynaria rigidula 'Whitei', Fern Show 2014. Shown by Don Callard.

                                            Humata sp 'Cat Hand' shows an unusual rhizome form and small young red-bronze fronds. The exact hybrid or species of the plant is not known. It will be interesting to watch this plant develop over a period of time. Perhaps we can view it at a future meeting Show & Tell, and learn more.

                                            Humata is an alternate name for certain small Davallias such as Davallia tyermannii, D. facinella, D. heterophylla, D. parvula and D. repens. The plant on display is presumed to be a variety or hybrid from these.

                                            humata1
                                            Cultivar or hybrid of Humata, named Humata sp 'Cat Hand'. Fern Show 2014. Shown by Bob Charlton.

                                            Reference:
                                            Hoshizaki, B. and Moran, R. (2001). Fern grower's manual. Portland, OR: Timber Press.

                                            Fern Show 2014

                                            This year, twelve exhibitors showed 132 plants for our public show. Those of you who attended were treated to a great set of ferns, all grown in the San Diego area. Most are kept in patios and gardens, and some benefit from special protection such as a greenhouse. Six individuals were awarded the Trophy and Division recognitions.

                                            Best Fern in Show
                                            (not a Platycerium)
                                            Drynaria rigidula 'Whitei'
                                            Exhibited by Don Callard

                                            Best Platycerium in Show
                                            Platycerium 'Callard'
                                            Exhibited by Don Callard

                                            Most Unusual in Show
                                            Humata sp 'Cat Hand'
                                            Exhibited by Bob Charlton

                                            Fern Sale 2014

                                            Our Sale of ferns from A&G Nurseries was augmented with consignment sale of ferns and specialty plants by several members. Profits covered Show expenses with a bit to spare, and many guests went home with a beautiful fern.

                                            Division Awards

                                            Div 1 Davallia mariesii Bob Charlton

                                            Div 2 Davallia sp (small) Bob Charlton

                                            Div 7 Davallia solida Bob Charlton

                                            Div 8 Elaphoglossum sp Bart Keeran

                                            elaph1
                                            Elaphaglossum sp. Fern Show 2014. Shown by Bart Keeran.

                                            Div 9 Adiantum microphyllum Gary Bourne

                                            Adiantum1
                                            Adiantum microphyllum. Fern Show 2014. Shown by Gary Bourne.

                                            Div 10 Aspenium 'Silver Wings' Philippines Don Callard

                                            Div 11 Nephrolepis exaltata 'Suzie Wong' Tanya Bourne

                                            Div 12 Blechnum gibbum Don Callard

                                            Div 14 Lygodium japonicum Gary Bourne

                                            Div 15 Drynaria rigidula 'Whitei' Bob Charlton

                                            Div 16 Asplenium goudeyi Gary Bourne

                                            Div 17 Nephrolepis falcata Richard Lujan

                                            Div 18 Didymochaena trunculata Tanya Bourne

                                            Div 19 Platycerium willinckii Don Callard

                                            Div 20 Platycerium 'Talnadge' Don Callard

                                            Div 21 Platycerium madagascariense Don Callard

                                            Pyrrosia1
                                            Pyrrosia polydactyla. Fern Show 2014. Shown by Walt Meier.

                                            Stumperies for Ferns

                                            The stumpery originated as a British garden element, perhaps just an early form of recycling. When land was cleared, stumps and roots were left around and could be repurposed for ferns and other plants.

                                            A stumpery is essentially a collection of roots. According to British garden designer Chris Beardshaw, the stumpery displayed the ferns of Victorian plant hunters. To make one, he says you need to bury two-thirds of the stump in the ground, with the tree trunk on its side like a fallen tree, and the roots up. Plants can grow in the little spaces of the roots. Ferns should be the main feature, with woodland plants filling in around the stumps. Beardshaw has found that stumperies in England provide a haven for wildlife such as hedgehogs. The rotting wood also replenishes the soil and retains moisture.

                                            The Ickworth estate of the British National Trust has a stumpery dating back to the nineteenth century. Current gardeners have spent many long hours carefully planting ferns and other shade loving plants within the wood arrangements, creating what is described as an enchanted garden.

                                            Highgrove House, the home of Prince Charles, is considered the best stumpery in Britain. This garden was built using chestnut roots, and planted with organically grown ferns and hostas.

                                            Martin Rickard recommends stumperies for woodland garden situations. In some plantings he uses wood as cover. He has even created stumperies for flower shows, and likes the way the various shades of brown and the rough wood set off the greens of the ferns.

                                            Rickard notes that in the first known stumpery garden, Biddulph Grange in Staffordshire, England, the stumps were piled high so that the garden arched over the walkways. Now, 150 years later, the wood has rotted down but the ferns still thrive.

                                            Sue Olsen says that stumperies are ecologically appropriate with a rustic appearance, having a natural balance with pleasing effect. On a smaller scale, she suggests using weathered wood or freshwater driftwood to provide a backdrop for a fern collection.

                                            fallen tree1
                                            When a tree falls in the forest: A naturally fallen tree trunk shows to the left and roots to the right on the Bloedel Reserve, Bainbridge Island WA. Native ferns of the area are growing on the roots. Photo taken in month of August. Photo credit: Kathie Russell.

                                            References:

                                              4. Olsen, S. (2007). Encyclopedia of garden ferns. Portland, OR: Timber Press.

                                              Calendar for 2014

                                              September 18
                                              October 9 (2nd Thursday of the month)
                                              November 20
                                              December 18 (Annual Meeting)

                                              Board Meeting

                                              Room 104, 7:30 pm on first Tuesday of November

                                              San Diego Fern Society Officers for 2014

                                              President
                                              Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com

                                              1
                                              st Vice President and Secretary
                                              Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com

                                              2
                                              nd Vice President
                                              Bill Brannock

                                              Treasurer
                                              Jay Amshey coastbiomaterials@cox.net

                                              Board Members:
                                              Bruce Barry
                                              Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                                              Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net
                                              Richard Lujan

                                              Past President
                                              Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

                                              Website
                                              www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                                              Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                                              Fern Society email
                                              sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com

                                              Membership
                                              Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting
                                              or mail to:
                                              San Diego Fern Society
                                              2350 Jennifer Ln
                                              Encinitas CA 92024



                                              San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                                              The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                                              * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                                              * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                                              * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                                              The Society aims
                                              * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                                              * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                                              * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                                              * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                                              * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.


                                              Volume XXXIX, Number 9

                                              AUGUST MEETING on Second Thursday

                                              Thursday, August 14 brings a short program at the San Diego Fern Society, featuring fern displays from other societies and organizations. We will view some photos to see what has been happening at fern groups and botanical displays recently. We may gain some fresh ideas and inspiration for our own Show.

                                              By having our meeting on the second Thursday of August this year, we are able to better prepare for our Show. You may bring in plants and show items for the Show and Sale on Thursday. Plants must be free of pests and pest damage prior to their arrival. There will be time after the program to ask questions and consult resources for plant identification. Also, show plant registration forms may be prepared on Thursday. If you have time constraints on Friday, this is your best opportunity.


                                              San Diego Fern Society
                                              Show and Sale

                                              August 16 - 17, 2014

                                              Casa del Prado Room 101
                                              Balboa Park, San Diego

                                              Saturday noon to 5pm ~ Sunday 10am to 4pm




                                              Report on July Social Event

                                              San Diego Fern Society summer social evening was on Saturday July 19 at Bob Charlton's patio. Bob had some great plants for silent auction and plant stands to take home as a bonus. We very much appreciate the hospitality of Bob and Patty. They have a well-greened patio, and plenty of delicious food appeared for our enjoyment.

                                              Refreshments this weekend

                                              Following our August Fern Society meeting, we will enjoy snacks and time to visit. Members may bring snacks for Saturday and Sunday as well, to sustain all of the hard-working volunteers during the weekend. Refrigeration is limited so avoid bringing highly perishable foods.

                                              Fern Show and Sale 2014

                                              This month we host our annual Fern Show and Sale. Having a free show for the public is part of the San Diego Botanical Garden Foundation agreement with the city for use of facilities in Balboa Park. For 2014, our show will be held Saturday and Sunday, August 16-17. We will have our Fern Society meeting on the second Thursday of the month, August 14, in order to prepare for the show.

                                              Ferns for the August Show competition must be plants you have owned and cared for during the previous three months. Bring in your favorite ferns which are growing well. Groom any remaining old fronds and carefully check for pests. Pests and pest damage must be removed before bringing to Room 101. Clean the containers. Leaf polish is not allowed.

                                              Schedule and tasks for the Show

                                              Thursday August 14 room 101 is reserved for Fern Society from noon on, for bringing in equipment, sale plants and show plants. All plants must be free of pests and pest damage before coming into the room. The Fern Society meeting is at 7:30pm, and we must leave the building by 9:45pm.
                                              Friday morning August 15 we need a few volunteers around 9am to assist with setting up Room 101. At this time we plan to assemble the platy display boards (new boards this year), set up the stands for hanging plants, and arrange tables for the Show and Sale.

                                              Friday afternoon from 2pm to 5pm is registration of show plants. You need to determine the names of your plants to enter the Show. Ferns should be trimmed, containers clean, and everything ready for placement by 5pm Friday. Any late plants will not be entered in judging. Show plants must remain for the duration, until 4pm on Sunday.

                                              Saturday morning August 16 we begin the judging process with instructions at 8:30am. Judges and clerks need to be available for the morning. Room 101 is closed to the public until judging is completed. Refreshments will be provided for judges and volunteers. Saturday noon the Show and Sale opens to the public. Please invite your friends!

                                              Sunday August 17 the Show and Sale will be open from 10am to 4pm. Show plants must remain until 4pm Sunday.

                                              After the Show you will need to pick up your show plants at 4pm or make arrangements for their return. If you need assistance with your plants, please ask your friends and family to help. There are many tasks for the Fern Society members at the end of the Show, including removing all the Show plants, any plants left from the Sale, and disassembling and storing the Show equipment. All those who are able can support your club by helping.

                                              San Diego Fern Society Library

                                              The Fern Society maintains a small botanical library for use by members. Fern research books are especially helpful for plant identification for the Fern Show. Look at our listing on the Library Thing website: www.librarything.com/catalog/sdfern
                                              Memberships

                                              Just $12.00 pays for a single or a household membership in the San Diego Fern Society. Members can encourage guests at the Show and Sale to join our club. We have printed forms for convenience.

                                              Helping guests at the Fern Show learn about growing ferns

                                              A couple of common perceptions regarding ferns often confuse the public. First, everyone seems to think that ferns require a great deal of water. When we Fern Society members talk to guests at the San Diego Fern Show, it is helpful to put water concerns in perspective. Most gardeners have some roses, lawns or other water-intensive landscaping. Ferns are no more thirsty than many other landscape plantings. Visitors rarely realize that some types of ferns grow in the desert areas of San Diego County and elsewhere.

                                              For home and patio gardening, ferns are best kept in containers or planting beds with good drainage. Members can help those purchasing ferns from our Sale to understand the water and container drainage needs for the plants.

                                              Also there is the assumption that all ferns need shade. This is mostly true for the types of ferns found in nurseries and our Fern Sale. However, some ferns grow in full sun, and some have a high tolerance for partly sunny locations. When visitors to the Show and Sale express their concerns about shade, Fern Society members should consider the guests' home locations and which ferns might do well for them. If buyers are successful in growing ferns, they may discover they enjoy ferns and return to our meetings and future shows.

                                              In conversations with Show visitors, they may inquire about some of the rare and unusual ferns on display. It would be wise to let our guests know which ferns require special care and which are best for the usual San Diego garden and patio environment.

                                              It is also helpful to let future fern growers know that many ferns have a dormant period. Ferns may be dormant or partially dormant in late fall and winter, or they may decline and look dry and dead in summer, waiting for our elusive rainy season. Knowing this in advance saves plants from being tossed, and encourages new fern growers that their plants will probably become fresh and green again.

                                              P hillii 'Delight' 2
                                              Platycerium hillii 'Delight' makes a great patio plant. Interested new growers should be successful with many of the available Staghorn cultivars.

                                              A antiquum frond detail1
                                              Asplenium antiquum, a Bird's Nest type, is readily available and has attractive frond variation. Growers can purchase small plants and then watch the fronds develop fingers and ruffles over time. Both of the above were shown in 2013.

                                              Suggested ferns for the San Diego area

                                              Adiantum raddianum, Adiantum hispidulum (maidenhair ferns). Adiantum raddianum has many cultivars, and grows well near a concrete wall or patio. Both of these ferns die back briefly in winter, and old fronds can be removed to keep the plant attractive. Adiantum hispidulum produces bright pink fronds in early spring, which soon turn green. The maidenhair ferns do not appreciate complete dryness, but with watering may come back again and produce new fronds.

                                              Nephrolepis exaltata (Boston Fern). There are many newer cultivars which provide variety to a fern collection. Some have frilly fronds; some are small (such as 'Compacta') to fit your space requirements. They grow well indoors when given good light, and outside in patios.

                                              Nephrolepis cordifolia (Sword Fern). Similar to Boston ferns, these plants with more upright fronds are well suited to San Diego gardens. Varieties such as 'Lemon Buttons' combine well in garden beds with other plantings. Water needs are very modest and plants grow in sun (especially near the coast) to part shade.

                                              Cyrtomium falcatum (Holly Fern). This fern grows readily in garden beds or placed in a rock wall. Plants are tolerant of low water and some sun. A dwarf variety is popular.

                                              Davallia trichomanoides (also called Humata), Davallia mariesii (some of the common names used are Rabbit's or Squirrel's Foot Fern). The rhizomes will grow over a moss-lined basket so you can see the fuzzy "rabbit feet". Provide regular water to keep basket from drying out. These can also be grown in the garden over rocks.

                                              Blechnum gibbum 'Silver Lady'. This fern shows interesting pink fiddleheads in spring. Over time, the plant develops a small trunk and will be a tree fern. It may be kept in a container but will make a lovely landscape plant as it seems to have attractive fronds throughout the year.

                                              Pteris albo-lineata. Plants work well in containers but also in the ground. This fern will go nearly dormant in winter. It produces two types of fronds, sterile and fertile. It needs water in summer.

                                              Pellea rotundifolia This fern needs excellent drainage and should be watered just before soil is dry. It can be grown indoors with good light, or outside.

                                              Phlebodium aureum. A favorite large basket fern, it also can be grown in garden beds where there is room for plants to spread. Frond color varies from bluish green to green hues, depending on variety and light conditions. Although it looks tropical, Phlebodium aureum seems to be well adapted to the San Diego area climate.

                                              Platycerium bifurcatum (Staghorn Fern). These are mounted on boards with sphagnum moss, and hung in partial shade. Water should be put into the moss behind the plant, and must drain. There are many hybrids and cultivars which need just basic plant care and should provide many years of growing pleasure.


                                              -----------------------
                                              References:
                                              1. Hoshizaki, B. and Moran, R. (2001).
                                              Fern grower's manual.
                                              2. Olsen, S. (2007).
                                              Encyclopedia of garden ferns.

                                              Inspiration and Ideas from 2013:

                                              Photos of San Diego Fern Society Show

                                              large platys1
                                              Platycerium species and varieties are always a popular attraction at the Fern Show. Guests are especially intrigued by the larger specimens. Society members can encourage visitors by answering questions and referring guests to our Staghorn growers for information.

                                              A peruvianum1
                                              Adiantums are another a fern of special interest to guests. This beautiful plant of A. peruvianum is not the one to suggest for new fern growers. We expect to have Adiantum raddianum in our Sales area, so encourage gardening friends to try Maidenhair Ferns, often available in several cultivars. Since these plants generally tolerate our alkaline water and grow well next to concrete patios and walls, they thrive in San Diego gardens with basic watering.

                                              In addition to the large and dramatic hanging ferns, some visitors will be impressed by unusual, small or colorful plants.


                                              Bolbitis heteroclita1
                                              Terrariums and aquariums always capture the interest of guests young and old.
                                              Bolbitis heteroclita is submerged in this container.

                                              B brasiliense1
                                              Blechnum brasiliense shows how colorful a fern can be. Sometimes visitors are surprised to learn that those bronze or pink fronds on view are normal growth.

                                              Microgramma piloselloides1
                                              Microgramma piloselloides (above) and Helminthostachys zeylancia (below), both small plants, will interest fern enthusiasts.

                                              Helminthostachys zeylanica1


                                              Calendar for 2014

                                              August 14 (2nd Thursday of the month)

                                              August 16-17
                                              San Diego Fern Show and Sale

                                              September 18
                                              October 9 (2nd Thursday of the month)
                                              November 20
                                              December 18 (Annual Meeting)



                                              Board Meetings

                                              Room 104, 7:30 pm on first Tuesday of September and November


                                              San Diego Fern Society Officers for 2014
                                              President
                                              Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
                                              1st Vice President and Secretary
                                              Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com
                                              2nd Vice President
                                              Bill Brannock
                                              Treasurer
                                              Jay Amshey coastbiomaterials@cox.net

                                              Board Members:
                                              Bruce Barry
                                              Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                                              Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net
                                              Richard Lujan
                                              Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

                                              Website

                                              www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                                              Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                                              Fern Society email

                                              sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com


                                              Membership

                                              Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting
                                              or mail to:
                                              San Diego Fern Society
                                              2350 Jennifer Ln
                                              Encinitas CA 92024

                                              San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                                              The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                                              * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                                              * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                                              * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                                              The Society aims
                                              * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                                              * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                                              * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                                              * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                                              * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.


                                              Volume XXXIX, number 8

                                              JULY SOCIAL EVENT

                                              Saturday evening, July 19

                                              Saturday, July 19 is our summer social event. We meet at 5pm at Bob Charlton's patio. Bob and Patty have graciously invited us to share a summer evening outdoors with friends and ferns. You will enjoy viewing the patio fern collection, and then we will have a modified potluck dinner. Pollo Loco chicken and water/soft drinks will be provided. The grill will be ready, so you may bring your own meat to grill. Also, you may bring a side dish or dessert if you wish. Plan to arrive at 5pm so that we can eat around 6pm.

                                              There will not be a formal meeting, but during the evening Bob will show us his watering system and explain what products he has found to be most reliable for maintaining his patio fern collection. He will also have a silent auction of certain designated plants including
                                              Polypodium formosanum and Davallias and garden accessories, so bring a little cash for this summer special opportunity.

                                              For directions, please refer to the Fern World sent to you by mail or email.

                                              Bob and Patty live in the Linda Vista community of San Diego. They have quite a view, as their location is up the hill from Fashion Valley.

                                              The Charlton house has a sloped driveway down from the street. Bob has constructed a ramp for those with accessibility concerns. Ride sharing may be arranged by phoning a board member or sending email to sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com at least two days in advance.

                                              Report on June Meeting

                                              In June we viewed photos of ferns in the Northern Sierras, from Lassen and Plumas Counties. These ferns grow at elevations from 3500 feet up to at least 9000 feet and higher. Some are found in open areas of rock and some in forests.

                                              Fausto Palafox of Mission Hills Nursery visited us and provided an update on the status of his nursery, which has been in operation for 100 years. He also shared that the Urban Forestry group is now partnering with Mission Hills Garden Club, and suggested partnership strategies for botanical organizations.

                                              Don Callard showed us some of his spore plantings from May, which are now green and growing. He reminded us that spore growing generally takes quite some time, so be patient while your spore plantings develop.

                                              August Plans

                                              Coming up, sooner than you think, is our annual Fern Show and Sale. Having a free show for the public is part of the San Diego Botanical Garden Foundation agreement with the City of San Diego for use of facilities in Balboa Park. We will have our Fern Society meeting on the second Thursday of the month, August 14, in order to prepare for the show on August 16-17.

                                              Even though the San Diego County Fair just finished, it is time to consider your plant care for the Show. Ferns for the August Show competition must be plants you have owned and cared for during the previous three months. Choose ferns from your collection which are growing well, perhaps your own personal favorites. Groom the old or damaged fronds and check for pests.

                                              2014 Fern Show

                                              Our Show will be held on Saturday and Sunday, August 16-17. The Fern Society meeting will be held Thursday evening, August 14, and you may bring in plants to Room 101 starting that Thursday afternoon and continuing Friday afternoon. Please prepare your ferns in advance so that they are checked in and ready to place in the Show by 6 pm Friday. If your work or distance considerations make this difficult, please see a board member in advance for arrangements.

                                              Judging will operate in the same way as last year, slightly streamlined from the earlier system. Plant categories and Show rules remain unchanged. The categories and explanations for judging may be seen at
                                              sandiegofernsociety.com, under the Catalog link. The Show places ferns of similar sizes and characteristics together for judging.

                                              Plants for Show competition will need to be ferns that you have owned and cared for during the past three months. It is very important to determine the correct names for your plant entries. Fern Society library books will be available on Thursday evening for reference.

                                              No plants are allowed in Room 101 with pest infestation, including ants. Clean up and de-bug all your show plants in advance.

                                              The Show is open to entries by non-members. Please plan to assist your club with the Show tasks in August. There are jobs available for everyone! This is our best opportunity to greet the public and invite them to join us in the San Diego Fern Society. The Show and Sale will be open to the public Saturday noon to 5pm and Sunday from 10am to 4pm.

                                              Fern Sale

                                              The Fern Society will sell ferns to the public while the Show is open. Persons who would like to sell their own ferns and specialty plants should contact a Board member by August 1. Our Sale must follow the policies of the City of San Diego and our parent organization, San Diego Botanical Garden Foundation. We will arrange Room 101 with appropriate sales area space. All sellers should be available during the weekend to help with Show and Sale tasks.

                                              Memberships

                                              Just $12.00 pays for a single or a household membership in the San Diego Fern Society. See Jay Amshey at the July social or mail to the address on page 6. Also please inform us of changes to your contact information, including your preferred email address.

                                              The Fab Fair and Ferns

                                              The 2014 San Diego County Fair again had record-breaking attendance. Nearly 1.5 million visitors had the opportunity to view our Fabulous Ferns.

                                              Noteworthy Plant: Platycerium veitchii

                                              P veitchii sm
                                              From the selection of Platycerium ferns displayed, judges at the fair gave a Noteworthy Plant recognition to Platycerium veitchii. This staghorn, grown by Don Callard, was displayed where viewers could see the plant from two directions and admire the finger-like projections of the shield fronds. This Platycerium can be grown in high light locations (sun).


                                              Platycerium veitchii, a Noteworthy Plant. San Diego County Fair Container Garden. Photos from Fair credit: K. Russell.


                                              Featured Fern: Davallia fejeensis 'Major'

                                              This great plant was displayed hanging from the structure at the Fair. Bob Charlton loaned it for the Fern Society Container Garden Exhibit. The unusual rhizome and long fronds could be appreciated in this location.
                                              Davallia fejeensis is found in nature in Fiji and islands. Frond blades may be finely divided, up to five-pinnate. D. fejeensis resembles D. solida and is sometimes classes as a subspecies.

                                              The cultivar 'Major' is particularly interesting. Rhizomes may grow to extend out and away from the plant. The fronds are up to two feet long.

                                              Davallia fejeensis sm
                                              Davallia fejeensis 'Major'. San Diego County Fair Container Garden.

                                              Featured Fern:
                                              Aglaomorpha coronans

                                              These plants are subtopical, making them a great choice for San Diego area gardeners. Even though this fern becomes quite large and can be planted in the ground, it is also a container favorite. Plants tolerate an environment of high to moderately low humidity which also allows good growing results in San Diego.

                                              Fronds of
                                              Aglaomorpha coronans are pinatifid and may extend two feet up and outward in a nest shape. The base part of fronds may become brown, even while the frond is green.

                                              Aglaomorpha coronans is native to south and southeastern Asia.

                                              a coronans
                                              Aglaomorpha coronans. San Diego County Fair Container Garden.

                                              Fern Frond Variegation

                                              Another interesting and unusual plant was on display in the Container Garden, courtesy of Don Callard. With large and variegated fronds, this fern attracts the notice of horticultural enthusiasts.

                                              Variegation occasionally shows up in nature and is prized by growers for its interesting effect on plant leaves. This plant is tentatively identified as
                                              Drynaria quercifolia. In nature, plants grow in southern and southeastern Asia.

                                              Drynaria quercifolia, a fern cultivated for its beauty, may have additional benefits. This fern is one of the many plants that have been used in folk medicine in India. In fact, scientific study shows that an extract from the rhizome of D. quercifolia does show an antibacterial effect. In a world where disease pathogens have developed antibiotic resistance, there is potential for using the plants of traditional medicine in the future.

                                              variagated fronds sm
                                              This unusual variety of
                                              Drynaria quercifolia has variegated fronds, and is sourced in the Philippines. San Diego County Fair Container Garden.

                                              Featured Fern:
                                              Drynaria rigidula 'Whitei'

                                              Another subtopical beauty,
                                              Drynaria rigidula 'Whitei' is a desirable patio fern for San Diego area gardeners. It is considered semi-tender but benefits from strong light and well-drained moss or mix. Smaller fronds collect humus and should not be overwatered.

                                              Drynaria sm
                                              Frond of
                                              Drynaria rigidula 'Whitei'. Loaned to San Diego County Fair Container Garden by Bob Charlton.

                                              This fern grows in southeastern Asia and islands. The cultivar 'Whitei' has lacerate frond pinnae. Of the
                                              Drynarias, D. rigidula is apparently the only species with one-pinnate fronds. The others are pinnatifid, where the frond edge is just partially cut in to the rachis (the midrib of frond).

                                              Dry 2 sm
                                              View of
                                              Drynaria rigidula 'Whitei'. The brown humus-collecting fronds can be seen covering the basket. San Diego County Fair Container Garden.

                                              References:
                                              1. Hoshizaki, B. and Moran, R. (2001).
                                              Fern grower's manual. Portland, OR: Timber Press.
                                              2. Kandhasamy, M., Arunachalam, K. D., & Thatheyus, A. J. (2008). Drynaria quercifolia (L.) J.Sm: A potential resource for antibacterial activity.
                                              African Journal of Microbiology Research, 2, 202-205. Retrieved July 8, 2014, from http://www.academicjournals.org/ajmr

                                              July Events:

                                              Art in Bloom, Spanish Village, Balboa Park, July 18-20. Floral designers will interpret art pieces using flowers. Enjoy the art and floral arrangements exhibit, demonstrations, music, snacks.

                                              Susan Ludwig has invited us to Art in Bloom, July 18-20. She is the Event Coordinator and a fiber artist at Spanish Village Studio 34A. Her husband Dick Ludwig grows plants, especially
                                              Platyceriums.

                                              LAIFS Fern and Exotic Plant Show and Sale, Los Angeles International Fern Society, July 26-27, 9am-4pm. Los Angeles County Arboretum in Arcadia.


                                              container sm
                                              Partial view of San Diego County Fair 2014 Fern Society Container Garden.

                                              Calendar for 2014

                                              July 19 Social event
                                              hosted by Bob and Patty Charlton,

                                              August 14 (2nd Thursday of the month)
                                              August 16-17
                                              San Diego Fern Show and Sale
                                              September 18
                                              October 9 (2nd Thursday of the month)
                                              November 20
                                              December 18 (Annual Meeting)

                                              Board Meetings

                                              Room 104, 7:30 pm on first Tuesday of September and November


                                              San Diego Fern Society Officers for 2014

                                              President
                                              Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
                                              1st Vice President and Secretary
                                              Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com
                                              2nd Vice President
                                              Bill Brannock
                                              Treasurer
                                              Jay Amshey coastbiomaterials@cox.net
                                              Board Members:
                                              Bruce Barry
                                              Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                                              Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net
                                              Richard Lujan
                                              Past President
                                              Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

                                              Website

                                              www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                                              Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                                              Fern Society email
                                              sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com


                                              Membership

                                              Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting
                                              or mail to:
                                              San Diego Fern Society
                                              2350 Jennifer Ln
                                              Encinitas CA 92024


                                              San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                                              The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                                              * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                                              * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                                              * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.


                                              The Society aims

                                              * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                                              * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                                              * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                                              * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                                              * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.


                                              Volume XXXIX, Number 7
                                              JUNE MEETING

                                              Thursday, June 19 brings a program on Ferns of the Northern Sierras. We meet at 7:30pm in Room 101, Casa del Prado, Balboa Park. Yes, ferns really do grow on these rocky and snowy mountains, and in the western foothills. They survive and flourish with the available precipitation. Kathie Russell will share photos and hopefully inspire you to visit some of the California native ferns in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

                                              Report on May Meeting

                                              The Spore Planting Project was held May 15. Amna Cornett and others provided spores from around twenty fern species. Everyone was able to plant some small containers of various fern spores and take them home. It will be fun to see the results. However like the farmer, growers must be patient. Sporelings of some ferns grow in just weeks but for most there is a delay of months to see growth and quite a long time to maturity.

                                              Refreshments

                                              Following our Fern Society meeting, we will enjoy snacks and time to visit. Don Callard and Nancy Hoyt will provide refreshments this month.

                                              August Fern Show and Sale

                                              Coming up, sooner than you think, is our annual Fern Show and Sale. Having a free show for the public is part of the San Diego Botanical Garden Foundation agreement with the city for use of facilities in Balboa Park. For 2014, our show will be held Saturday and Sunday, August 16-17. We will have our Fern Society meeting on the second Thursday of the month, August 14, in order to prepare for the show.

                                              Even though we are still in the midst of the San Diego County Fair, it is time to consider your plant care for the Show. Many of your ferns are receiving excellent care at the Fair and may next be exhibited at the Show. Ferns for the August Show competition must be plants you have owned and cared for during the previous three months. Look over your ferns to see which ones are growing well, and pay a little extra attention to them. Groom all the old fronds out of your plant now and check for pests. With two months of prime growing time left, if you thin out the old fronds, there will be room for new ones. Continue to groom, water and use dilute fertilizer.

                                              Memberships

                                              Just $12.00 pays for a single or a household membership in the San Diego Fern Society. See Jay Amshey at the May meeting or mail to the address on page 6. Also please inform us of changes to your contact information, including your preferred email address.

                                              Ferns at the Fair

                                              Now is the time to visit the San Diego County Fair in Del Mar, and enjoy the Garden Show. The fair is open through Sunday, July 6. Check the website for days and hours at
                                              sdfair.com. The garden area has certainly been upgraded over the years, showing improved planning and displays. Youth exhibits and amateur garden entries are included as always.

                                              unknown

                                              The San Diego Fern Society has two exhibits, a Small Landscape and a Container Garden. Many persons loaned beautiful plants and garden accessories to make the exhibits a success. Special thanks to all who shared in the fair plans, exhibit preparation and planting work and those who continue to water and maintain the exhibits. There is more work left: dismantling the exhibits and returning everything to the owners on Monday, July 7.

                                              constr sm1
                                              San Diego County Fair Landscape Exhibit under construction, May 24. Photos this page credit: K. Russell.

                                              The Landscape Exhibit was designed by Kathy Thomson and built by our own society members. Our garden is a Healing Garden, with reference to the Beatles song "Let it be" by Paul McCartney. The garden includes a bench and patio, small border fence, rocks and faux pools, hanging ferns on a screen and on lattice, large and small ferns in the ground and flowers and succulents! Botanical names are provided on the display sign for 29 unique ferns.

                                              fern dog and constr sm1
                                              Fair Landscape Exhibit with planting nearly complete May 31. Fern, the assistance dog, is relaxing in the Healing Garden.

                                              In the Container Garden, plants are arranged hanging on an attractive pergola structure and placed on benches. Some identifying name information cards are included with the plants. Tables and chairs on the faux lawn provide a place to relax and enjoy this beautiful sight. Look for the Container Garden as you enter the garden area from O'Brien Gate, and the Landscape Garden in the back behind the Garden Department offices.

                                              container sm1
                                              San Diego County Fair Container Garden, partial view of structure and ferns.
                                              Featured Ferns: Platyceriums

                                              A selection of Platycerium ferns is currently on display at the San Diego County Fair. Both of the exhibits provide great options for showing Staghorn Ferns. These are always high interest plants for the viewing public at the Fair.

                                              The Landscape Exhibit is backed by white lattice, providing a home patio look. These white panels are supposed to be either used for plants or covered with a backdrop. For us in the San Diego Fern Society, hanging our ferns is the best way to show some of them. Several Platyceriums are on the back wall, along with other ferns and Spanish moss, a Tillandsia.

                                              For the Container Garden, two pergola-style structures were designed and built by the Fair staff. One of these displays the changing competition orchids, and the other is our Fern Container Garden. The sturdy structure has many posts and beams which hold plants, and benches below for containers. The structure really showcases the Platyceriums, and also displays a variety of other ferns and a Lycopodium. This display is located in the entry area to the Garden Show, a high traffic area. Don Callard provided numerous Platyceriums as well as other plants for display at the San Diego County Fair this year.

                                              end of container display1
                                              San Diego County Fair Container Garden, partial view of some Platycerium ferns. Photos this page credit: K. Russell.
                                              Featured Ferns: Pyrrosias

                                              A few plants of Pyrrosia are on display at the fair, and more are expected at the Fern Show, August 16-17. Pyrrosias are epiphytic plants so gardeners might not expect to use them directly in a landscape. However, Pyrrosia lingua works quite well in San Diego gardens. Mary Z has grown this plant in the ground, covering her front yard area, for many years. P. Lingua spreads slowly so it takes time to establish in a garden location. This has the advantage that P. lingua is not too invasive and is easy to keep in bounds.

                                              These plants tolerate frost so are also appropriate for cooler climates. Pyrrosia lingua may be called the Japanese Felt Fern or Tongue Fern. It is native to China, southeastern Asia and India.

                                              p lingua sm1
                                              Pyrrosia lingua var. heteractis growing in a tree stump, Washington Arboretum, Seattle WA. Photo taken in month of May shows the plant after living through winter chill.

                                              p lingua yard sm1
                                              Pyrrosia lingua var. lingua growing in the ground, San Diego area.

                                              The late Barbara Joe Hoshizaki was both a botanist and a gardener. She shared her fern growing experiences, gardening in Los Angeles but providing useful information for San Diego growers. In 1981 she published a discussion of the Pyrrosias in cultivation (Reference 1). At that time Pyrrosia heteractis was considered a unique species. By 2001, the time of publication of the revised Fern Grower's Manual (Reference 2), it was considered to be one botanical variety of P. lingua. The correct names for these two varieties are Pyrrosia lingua var. lingua and Pyrrosia lingua var. heteractis.

                                              P. lingua var. heteractis has leaf blades that are cuspidate. Used in botany, this term refers to a pointed tip of a leaf.

                                              p heteractis sm1
                                              Pyrrosia lingua var. heteracta growing in a container. This plant is currently in the San Diego County Fair Container Garden, courtesy of Bart Keeran. Photos this page credit:
                                              K. Russell.

                                              P. lingua var. lingua shows leaf blades that are lanceolate to oblong. However, it has many cultivars with interesting frond shapes. When visiting the Balboa Park Botanical Building, look for some of the cultivars such as 'Monstrifera', 'Cristata' and 'Nokogiri-ba'.

                                              Pyrrosia hastata is another fern that tolerates cooler climates but also does well in San Diego. Sue Olsen recommends winter protection for both Pyrrosia hastata and P. lingua in Zone 8 climates such as the Pacific Northwest. P. hastata is native to China, Korea and Japan, and grows on rocks and tree trunks. Hastate refers to the arrowhead shape, and the basal lobes point outward.

                                              p hastata fai1r
                                              Pyrrosia hastata growing in a basket. This plant is currently in the San Diego County Fair Landscape Exhibit, courtesy of Bart Keeran.

                                              There are 50 or more species of Pyrrosias, growing in Africa, Asia, Australia and islands. They are not native to the Americas. Some species are temperate to subtropical, and more are tropical.

                                              p hastata yard sm1
                                              Pyrrosia hastata growing in the ground. This plant was grown from a start received from Barbara Joe Hoshizaki many years ago.

                                              Pyrrosias are known as Felt Ferns, and have star-shaped hairs on the surfaces, especially the undersides of fronds. These may give fronds a rusty color. When fronds curl up due to dryness the fern appears reddish brown, but with moisture these same fronds may open out again. Pyrrosias tend to show great variation in frond shape, even within a single species.

                                              References:
                                              1. Hoshizaki, B. J. (1981). Genus Pyrrosia in cultivation. Baileya, 21(2), 53-76.
                                              2. Hoshizaki, B. and Moran, R. (2001). Fern grower's manual.
                                              3. Olsen, S. (2007). Encyclopedia of garden ferns.

                                              Cool Idea for Summer

                                              fern house1
                                              Fern house in summer, the ideal napping spot. Vermont. Photo permission: Robert Swinburne.

                                              The FernHouse is named for the sea of ferns it floats on for a few months during the Vermont summer. It started out as a tent platform but inspiration hit and the project developed into something more. There were no plans or model – even though I'm an architect. Robert Swinburne,
                                              www.swinburnearchitect.com.

                                              Robert reports that this place is amazing for ferns right now, and restaurants in the area are serving fiddleheads.

                                              Vermont, a state twice the size of San Diego County, has nearly a hundred fern species, varieties and hybrids, in addition to many lycophytes, according to floraofvermont.com.

                                              Summer Fun with Ferns and More

                                              San Diego County Fair, June 7 through July 6. The San Diego Fern Society has two exhibits, a Container Garden and a small Landscape Garden.

                                              San Diego Fern Society summer social evening, Saturday July 19. Bob Charlton's patio, 1332 Minden Dr, San Diego. Guests are welcome. Further information will be provided at the June meeting and in the July Fern World.

                                              Art in Bloom, Spanish Village, Balboa Park, July 18-20. Floral designers will interpret art pieces using flowers. Look at the art works for inspiration at
                                              svacartinbloom.blogspot.com. Enjoy the art and floral arrangements exhibit, demonstrations, music, snacks.

                                              art in bloom1
                                              Susan Ludwig has invited us to Art in Bloom, July 18-20. She is the Event Coordinator and a fiber artist at Spanish Village Studio 34A. Her husband Dick Ludwig grows plants, especially Platyceriums.

                                              LAIFS Fern and Exotic Plant Show and Sale, Los Angeles International Fern Society, July 26-27. Los Angeles County Arboretum in Arcadia.




                                              Calendar for 2014

                                              June 19
                                              July 19 Social event
                                              hosted by Bob and Patty

                                              August 14 (2nd Thursday of the month)

                                              August 16-17
                                              San Diego Fern Show and Sale

                                              September 18
                                              October 9 (2nd Thursday of the month)
                                              November 20
                                              December 18 (Annual Meeting)

                                              Board Meetings
                                              Room 104, 7:30 pm on first Tuesday of July, September, November


                                              San Diego Fern Society Officers for 2014

                                              President
                                              Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
                                              1st Vice President and Secretary
                                              Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com
                                              2nd Vice President
                                              Bill Brannock

                                              Treasurer
                                              Jay Amshey coastbiomaterials@cox.net

                                              Board Members:
                                              Bruce Barry
                                              Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                                              Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net
                                              Richard Lujan

                                              Past President
                                              Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

                                              Website

                                              www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                                              Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                                              Fern Society email

                                              sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com

                                              Membership

                                              Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting
                                              or mail to:
                                              San Diego Fern Society
                                              2350 Jennifer Ln
                                              Encinitas CA 92024

                                              San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                                              The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                                              * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                                              * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                                              * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                                              The Society aims
                                              * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                                              * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                                              * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                                              * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                                              * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.

                                              Volume XXXIX, Number 6

                                              MAY MEETING


                                              Thursday, May 15 brings our Spore Planting Night. We meet at 7:30pm in Room 101, Casa del Prado, Balboa Park. We would like those attending to bring fern spores to share if possible. Bring your spores folded tightly in white paper or envelopes (not plastic). Be very careful to keep species separate, and label the spore packets. At this meeting the Society will provide spores, growing medium and containers. We have several interesting and exotic species of fern spores coming for you to try. You only need a few spore growing successes to greatly enhance your personal fern collection.

                                              Amna Cornett will demonstrate a simple spore sowing technique. Everyone may plant some small containers of various fern spores and take them home. Amna and some of our members will coach attendees in the process and regarding what to expect in spore growing. Further information is provided on page 2. Bring a small box to carry your plantings home.

                                              Report on April Meeting

                                              In preparation for the Spore Planting Night, we discussed harvesting spores from fern fronds. We viewed an instructional presentation, How to Collect Fern Spores, which was prepared by Barbara Joe Hoshizaki and distributed through the American Fern Society. The photos showed various types of sporangia before the spores are ready, when they are ready to harvest, and after spores have disbursed. We were also able to look at actual fronds and spores, and plan for the May spore planting project.

                                              Refreshments

                                              Following our Fern Society meeting, we will enjoy snacks and time to visit. Nancy Hoyt will be our refreshments host this month.

                                              Memberships

                                              If you have forgotten, please complete your membership renewal for 2014. Just $12.00 pays for a single or a household membership in the San Diego Fern Society. See Jay Amshey at the May meeting or mail to the address on page 6. Also please inform us of changes to your contact information, including your preferred email address.

                                              Announcement: Private Sale of specimen ferns

                                              Walt Meier is selling several of his ferns including some Polypodiums and Pyrrosias. These are specimen ferns, previously exhibited in fairs and shows. Additionally he has other well-grown specialty plants to sell. Call him at 760 717 6814 for early choice of his sale plants, available at his home, 4332 Stanford, Carlsbad. The remaining plants will be in his yard sale Saturday May 31.

                                              Growing Ferns from Spore

                                              Before the Fern Society meeting on May 15, check your ferns for spores ready for collection. Using white paper, make spore containing envelopes, or use paper envelopes with corners folded over to keep the spores, and bring what you have to the meeting. Be careful to label each packet with the fern name, and to keep different kinds of spores apart while you prepare your collections. Any contamination by other fern species, algae, mosses and fungi could destroy your efforts.

                                              The spores should first be cleaned of contaminants to reduce the non-fern growth and this will be demonstrated at the Fern Society meeting. The Society will provide growing medium and new, clean small plastic cups with lids to hold our sown spores for germination. It is generally suggested that you boil the water, then let it cool, to water the spores, again to reduce contamination. The spore growing containers should be covered after sowing, and must be kept moist. It is important to put a label on each container.

                                              At home, watch your containers to be certain there is moisture visible. Since we will be using very small cups, you may want to place them in covered clear plastic storage boxes or a terrarium.

                                              The first sign of life will be some thin green growth. Fern spores develop into small heart-shaped prothalli, the gametophyte stage with sex organs. Sperm cells must swim through moisture to the egg cell for fertilization. The chromosomes unite to form a complete set, producing the zygote, which then develops into a sporeling plant. This process is shown in the diagram on page 5.

                                              Spring is considered a good time for spore development. Some ferns will produce sporeling plants with true leaves in eight months or so; other species will take twice as long. With San Diego's climate we will have enough warmth. The indirect light of a window or shadehouse structure will be adequate, or you may use full spectrum lighting indoors.

                                              prothallus D antartica1
                                              Prothallus of Dicksonia antartica, enlarged view. Actual size is less than 1/4 inch across. Photo credit Velela, Wikimedia Commons.

                                              Prothalli may be transferred to new containers before leaves develop, if they are crowded. More commonly, wait until sporelings show small leaves, then transfer clumps of plant material to new trays of mix, spaced an inch apart. Again use all clean containers, mix, and boiled water to reduce contamination. The new containers should be kept with the same conditions of humidity, warmth and light. Baby plants need to be cared for in ideal greenhouse conditions while small and then gradually be acclimated to a protected garden situation. Expect to spend several additional months nurturing your spore-grown plants.

                                              Reference:
                                              Jones, D. (1987) Encyclopaedia of ferns. Portland, OR: Timber Press.

                                              Additional information on spores

                                              Those who have access to fern reference books will benefit from the sections on growing from spores. Suggested readings are provided here:

                                                Summer Fun with Ferns

                                                Dates for the San Diego County Fair are June 7 through July 6, 2014. Exhibit preparation will be during the last two weekends of May, with plants in place by May 31. This is your opportunity to display your ferns before a million people, literally. Last year 1.4 million guests came, and the Garden Exhibits are consistently a highlight. This year will be The Fab Fair, with a garden theme of Flower Power. The themes allude to the Beatles era.

                                                A show will be presented by LAIFS, Los Angeles International Fern Society,
                                                July 26-27. This is a change from their previous show month, and should make it easier for San Diegans to attend. The LAIFS show is held at the Los Angeles County Arboretum in Arcadia.

                                                The 2014 San Diego Fern Show and Sale will be held August 16 and 17 in Room 101, Casa del Prado, Balboa Park. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to show your plants, especially your favorite beautiful and unusual ferns. Entry in the Fern Show is open to all, not just members. The Show educates the public regarding attractive ferns for San Diego, displaying the many varieties we are able grow in our climate. As always, we will need assistance from all our members for the various responsibilities of our Fern Show and Sale.

                                                San Diego Fern Society Library

                                                The Fern Society maintains a small botanical library for use by members. Fern research books are especially helpful for plant identification and cultural information and during the Fern Show. Members may check out a book for a month. Look at our listing on the Library Thing website: www.librarything.com/catalog/sdfernPlans for Diego County Fair Exhibits

                                                This year our garden exhibit at the fair is designed to be a Healing Garden. Ferns and greenery with a bench and a hint of water will evoke feelings of rest, relaxation and restoration of the person. In the garden, the color green dominates and natural elements combine to provide a refreshing experience. Our 2014 garden design was prepared by Kathy Thomson and is already approved by the Fair Garden Department.

                                                Please look over your plants to loan for the displays, and let Amna know at the May Fern Society meeting what you expect to bring. If you cannot attend the May meeting, please email to sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com
                                                to let us know what you expect to bring. As always, plants will need to be trimmed and free of pests!

                                                Planting day for the Fern Society exhibits at the San Diego County Fair is Saturday, May 31 at 9am. All ferns and other plants to be included must arrive at the fairgrounds by 10am that morning. We must allow time to place everything and add the mulch cover, and to arrange the container garden display. Then we will add plant labels and also prepare an accurate plant listing and garden information for signage. PLEASE label your loaned plants with owner name and correct plant name. Labels may be fixed to the back of mounted plants or pushed down into the container mix. Containers are generally buried in the landscape exhibit but are visible in the container garden, so these must be tidy.

                                                Small trees and tall plants are needed in our landscape exhibit as background to establish the garden environment and display the featured ferns. Site preparation, rock placement and tree planting will be a week ahead of planting day. Prep work begins at 9am Saturday May 24. Plant of the Month

                                                Polystichum polyblepharum grows upright and may develop a small trunk of five inches or so. Young fiddleheads bend back over in their development, indicating the common name, Tassel Fern. Fronds are bipinate and glossy green. Stipes are covered in silver to brown scales. Plants grow to about two feet tall, but occasionally twice that, appearing like a small tree fern.

                                                plant1
                                                Polystichum polyblepharum for sale at a local nursery. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                                                These ferns are common in their native forests of China, Korea and Japan, and are hardy to cold climates where temperatures dip to -5 degrees F, downright chilly. Polystichum polyblepharum came to the US fifty years ago for the florist trade, but soon became a popular garden plant.

                                                To grow P. polyblepharum, choose shade or dappled sun/shade and good soil where moisture can be maintained. This fern does well in hot summer areas if kept moist. Plants stay green all year in San Diego, showing strong new growth in early spring. The tattered fronds of the previous season may then be trimmed. P. polyblepharum is known to have lived for many years in a watered San Diego County yard without requiring any special care. Local nurseries currently have plants available in gallon container size, ready to go into your garden.

                                                frond1
                                                Frond of Polystichum polyblepharum. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                                                Reference:
                                                Olsen, S. (2007). Encyclopedia of garden ferns. Portland, OR: Timber Press.

                                                Cool Idea for Summer

                                                When the heat of summer is wilting you and your ferns, turn on your automatic watering system (or hire a good plant-sitter) and visit California’s high country.

                                                fern in snow1
                                                Chelianthes gracillima, a small but green fern, growing on a rock wall with snowpack around it. Photo taken in month of April in Lassen National Park at an elevation of about 7000 feet. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                                                Fern Reproduction

                                                Life Cycle of Ferns1
                                                Credit: Biologyatsmc, http://year12biologyatsmc.wikispaces.com/Life+Cycle+of+Ferns. Creative Commons.
                                                Calendar for 2014

                                                May 15
                                                June 19
                                                July 19 Social event hosted by Bob and Patty
                                                August 14 (2nd Thursday of the month)

                                                August 16-17
                                                San Diego Fern Show and Sale


                                                September 18
                                                October 9 (2nd Thursday of the month)
                                                November 20
                                                December 18 (Annual Meeting)
                                                Board Meetings
                                                Room 104, 7:30 pm on first Tuesday of July, September, November

                                                San Diego Fern Society Officers for 2014
                                                President
                                                Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
                                                1
                                                st Vice President and Secretary
                                                Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com
                                                2
                                                nd Vice President
                                                Bill Brannock
                                                Treasurer
                                                Jay Amshey coastbiomaterials@cox.net
                                                Board Members:
                                                Bruce Barry
                                                Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                                                Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net
                                                Richard Lujan
                                                Past President
                                                Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

                                                Website

                                                www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                                                Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                                                Membership

                                                Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting or mail to:

                                                San Diego Fern Society
                                                2350 Jennifer Ln
                                                Encinitas CA 92024

                                                San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                                                The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                                                * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                                                * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                                                * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                                                The Society aims
                                                * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                                                * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                                                * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                                                * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                                                * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.

                                                Volume XXXIX, Number 5

                                                APRIL MEETING

                                                The April 17 program will be on collecting fern spores. Everyone present in April can learn how this is done and try it at home using ferns with spores ready to harvest. We will view an excellent instructional slide presentation prepared by the late Barbara Joe Hoshizaki and her students. Barbara, a knowledgeable botanist and college professor, grew ferns herself and was always helpful to hobbyist fern growers. Her work continues to inform us through materials she prepared and her book, Fern Grower's Manual, co-authored with Robbin Moran.

                                                At the coming May meeting, you can bring spores that you have collected, and we will share and sow fern spores. The appropriate mix and containers will be provided in May, and you may take home your plantings. For those who have fern reference books at home, please read the sections on growing ferns from spores to prepare for the coming two meetings. Suggested readings are listed below. Yes, this is homework!

                                                Jones, D. L. (1987). Encyclopaedia of ferns. pp.140-153
                                                Olsen, S. (2007). Encyclopedia of garden ferns. Portland. pp.67-74
                                                Hoshizaki, B. and Moran, R. (2001). Fern grower's manual. pp.72-82

                                                Report on March Meeting

                                                On March 20 we had a mini-lesson on Latin as used for fern names and options for pronouncing these names, courtesy of Jay Amshey. We also had a short photo presentation on Australian ferns used in sculpture.

                                                We then held our Spring Garden Sale, with a variety of interesting plants, as well as plant stands, containers, and more. Our spring clean-up yard sale was interesting and fun.

                                                San Diego County Fair

                                                At our meeting we will discuss our plans for the San Diego County Fair. You can view the proposed landscape design and consider your part in this outreach. The Fair has both promotional and economic benefits to the Fern Society, but requires support of the group. We are planning two entries for the 2014 Fair.

                                                Memberships

                                                Membership costs just $12.00 for a single person or a household in the San Diego Fern Society. See Jay Amshey at the April meeting or mail to the address on page 6. Also please inform us of changes to your contact information, such as your preferred email address.

                                                Fern Society Budget

                                                At the March meeting, members voted to approve the Fern Society Budget for 2014, as published in the March Fern World.

                                                Ferns as Food

                                                The subject of eating fiddleheads came up recently with Fern Society members. With our options in California, eating ferns seems rather unusual. In the northeastern areas of the US and also in Canada, fiddleheads are a food treat of spring.

                                                Before you go out picking ferns to eat, please be aware that there are safety issues and some ferns are considered somewhat toxic. Although Bracken Fern, Pteridium aquilinum, has been eaten in Asia, research shows it is carcinogenic (causing cancer) and should be avoided. This fern is common in San Diego County, dormant in winter with the fiddleheads appearing in spring.

                                                fern sign Palomar
                                                A sign near Palomar Observatory, San Diego County. The ferns growing here are Pteridium aquilinum, Bracken Fern. Photo credit: B. Russell.

                                                The usual plant which is harvested for its fiddleheads is Matteuccia struthiopteris, the Ostrich Fern. Fiddleheads are picked in early spring, when they have grown just an inch or two. Ostrich Ferns grow in swampy areas and along streams. Harvesting is in April, May and early June depending on how far north plants are growing. Those of us from San Diego would be wise to use a local guide to find and identify these small fiddleheads in their native areas.

                                                Both the US and Canada have issued warnings through their health agencies regarding consumption of raw fiddleheads. However after washing to remove the papery brown scales, the fiddleheads may be boiled or steamed and then used in recipes in a similar manner to asparagus. Fiddleheads are commonly served with melted butter or vinegar dressings. Using freshly cooked fiddleheads is the most desirable, but there are also methods of freezing, and fiddleheads may be preserved by pickling.

                                                Nutritionally, Ostrich Fern fiddleheads have fiber, Vitamins C and A, and omega-3 fatty acids.

                                                Shrimp and Fiddlehead Medley
                                                Recipe from Maine, Reference 1 below.

                                                Ingredients:
                                                1 pound fiddleheads, 6 ounces uncooked linguine, 6 cups water, 1-3/4 pounds fresh or frozen Maine shrimp, 1 teaspoon butter, 2/3 cup chopped onion, 1/2 cup diced green pepper, 1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon celery seed, 2 tablespoons lemon juice

                                                Directions:
                                                Cut off ends of fiddleheads. Remove scales and wash thoroughly. Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan; add shrimp and cook three to five minutes, or until done. Drain and set aside. Cook fiddleheads in boiling water for 15 minutes. Drain. Coat a large, nonstick skillet with cooking spray; add butter. Heat until butter melts. Add onion and green pepper and sauté until crisp-tender. Stir in fiddleheads. Meanwhile, cook pasta as directed, but without salt or oil, drain, set aside and keep warm. Add sliced mushrooms, thyme, pepper, salt and celery seeds to vegetable mixture; stir. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat three to four minutes or until mushrooms are tender, stirring often. Stir in shrimp and lemon juice; cook and stir until heated through. Place pasta on a large platter. Spoon shrimp mixture on top. Serves 6.
                                                M struthiopteris WA arboretum sm
                                                Matteuccia struthiopteris, the Ostrich Fern, growing at Washington Arboretum, Seattle WA. Photo taken in month of June. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                                                Gardening with Matteuccia struthiopteris is a challenge in San Diego, as this fern grows naturally in quite cold areas of Canada and the northeastern US. It is one of the most cold-tolerant of ferns, and plants do not grow well in locations with a hot summer. Ostrich Fern is large, with fronds of five feet in length, and spreads by runners to form large colonies in wet loamy acidic soil. The plumy feather-like fronds are the source of the common name. Fertile fronds are shorter and narrower, and brown in color. Matteuccia struthiopteris was recently available in a local nursery.

                                                References:
                                                  Matteuccia in N Bend
                                                  A container grown Matteuccia struthiopteris, purchased by Kathie Russell at the Hardy Fern Foundation Plant Sale in Seattle WA. This fern currently lives in Washington State. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                                                  640px-Ostrich_Fern_Fiddlehead
                                                  Fiddleheads of Matteuccia struthiopteris, the Ostrich Fern, growing in Ontario, Canada. Photo taken in month of May. Photo credit: Zimmerzute, Creative Commons.

                                                  The Leaf Lifespan of Ferns

                                                  Fern fronds may live for just a few months, or for one growing season, or even for several years. When preparing your ferns to show, it is useful to understand what is happening. Fern growers will need to groom their plants before placing them in the San Diego County Fair or the San Diego Fern Show. However, understand that the green leaves are necessary for a healthy plant and it may not be best to cut too much.

                                                  Researchers studied some fern species to learn about leaf lifespan, and reported their findings. Of these ferns, the shortest leaf lifespans were found for Botrychium, the Grape Ferns. Their leaves survived just two to three months. Contrast this with a Mexican epiphytic fern, Terpsichore asplenifolia, with leaves remaining an average of 5 years. In one species studied, Botrychium virginianum, leaf lifespan in temperate areas of North America was just four months, while under different climatic conditions in Peru it was 17 months.

                                                  ghost 2DC
                                                  Athyrium nipponicum 'Ghost" is a summergreen fern. US National Botanic Garden, Washington DC. Plants are available at local nurseries. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                                                  Temperate climate ferns are generally categorized into three types: summergreen, wintergreen and evergreen. As expected, the summergreen ferns produce new fronds in spring that die back at the end of the growing season in early fall. Adiantum aleuticum and Matteuccia struthiopteris are examples of this type. Athyrium nipponicum 'Pictum', which can be found in local nurseries, also falls into this category. Wintergreen ferns have green fronds through the winter, which die back just before the new growth. Some Polypodium species show this pattern. Evergreen ferns retain their leaves longer than a year, with new fronds appearing as older ones die. For the ferns of Britain and Ireland, growing in temperate climates, the summergreen fern leaves lived an average of five months, while for wintergreen about 11 months and evergreen fronds about 16 months.

                                                  Tropical ferns are often evergreen as there is little change of seasons. Some tropical and suptropical areas have a dry season and the ferns may be deciduous. Especially, epiphytic ferns with their shallow roots may loose their leaves each year, growing again as the rainy season begins. Tropical areas studied had mean sterile frond lifespans of 15 months in Hawaii, 17 months in Jamaica, 26 months in Puerto Rico and 17 months in Taiwan. In dimorphic species, those having different fertile and sterile fronds, the fertile fronds were usually shorter lived.

                                                  In some cases, the dead leaves may still serve the fern. Drynaria and Platycerium ferns both retain their short-lived green shield fronds, which then collect humus and provide structure to the plant. In general, fast-growing ferns have shorter leaf lifespans, and sun species have shorter leaf lifespans than shade species.

                                                  With all of this in mind, learn about your specific ferns and watch them through the seasons. When fronds stop growing or die back, understand what is happening and care for your plant appropriately, such as by reducing water. Then when new growth comes, provide optimal conditions and just enjoy your ferns. Trim dead or declining fronds seasonally and groom your ferns before taking to the Fair or the Fern Show.

                                                  Reference:
                                                  Mehltreter, K., & Sharpe, J. M. (2013). Variability of leaf lifespan of ferns. Fern Gazette, 19(6), 193-202.
                                                  Plant of the Month

                                                  Didymochlaena truncatula is quite a name for a fern. The genus name, Didymochlaena or double cloak, is sourced in Greek rather than Latin and presumably refers to the indusium which wraps around both side of the leaf vein. The species name truncatula is from Latin, meaning truncate, for the squared off ends of the pinnules. Fortunately for us who speak English, this plant does have a common name, Mahogany Fern, which is descriptive of the color of new fronds. As in many ferns, the fronds become green with maturity.

                                                  Mahogany fronds
                                                  Didymochlaena truncatula is known as the Mahogany Fern. Young fronds are a striking reddish brown color, later turning green. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                                                  Mahogany Fern may grow two feet tall or more, and may need mulch around the base to support large plants. It is somewhat sun tolerant, a useful garden option. Plants are kept indoors in cooler climates but in San Diego should be grown outside. In nature Didymochlaena truncatula grows along creeks, so that gives us a clue to keep it moist. Like most ferns it prefers good drainage so do not over water.

                                                  Mahogany fern
                                                  Plants of Didymochlaena truncatula are available from a local nursery. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                                                  Even with variability in the plants growing in tropical and subtropical areas around the world, all Didymochlaenas are considered to be this one species. Look for it on your next trip to sub-Saharan Africa, where it can be found in deep ravines near mountain streams. Or, explore south or southeastern Asia and islands, or Mexico through Central and South America and islands. For a less expensive but also less adventurous option, check out your local nursery and purchase a Mahogany Fern while they are available.

                                                  References:
                                                    2. Hoshizaki, B. and Moran, R. (2001). Fern grower's manual. Portland, OR: Timber Press.


                                                    Untitled
                                                    Diagram of fern leaf apices, that is, the tips of the fronds or pinnules.
                                                    Credit: Elizabeth Pelz in The Best of Fern World 1988.


                                                    Calendar for 2014

                                                    April 17
                                                    May 15
                                                    June 19
                                                    July (Social event to be determined)
                                                    August 14 (2nd Thursday of the month)

                                                    August 16-17
                                                    San Diego Fern Show and Sale


                                                    September 18
                                                    October 9 (2nd Thursday of the month)
                                                    November 20
                                                    December 18 (Annual Meeting) Board Meetings
                                                    Room 104, 7:30 pm on first Tuesday of May, July, September, November


                                                    San Diego Fern Society Officers for 2014

                                                    President
                                                    Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
                                                    1
                                                    st Vice President and Secretary
                                                    Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com
                                                    2
                                                    nd Vice President
                                                    Bill Brannock
                                                    Treasurer
                                                    Jay Amshey coastbiomaterials@cox.net
                                                    Board Members:
                                                    Bruce Barry
                                                    Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                                                    Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net
                                                    Richard Lujan
                                                    Past President
                                                    Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com


                                                    Website

                                                    www.sandiegofernsociety.com

                                                    Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                                                    Membership

                                                    Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting or mail to:
                                                    San Diego Fern Society
                                                    2350 Jennifer Ln
                                                    Encinitas CA 92024



                                                    San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                                                    The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                                                    * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                                                    * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                                                    * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                                                    The Society aims
                                                    * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                                                    * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                                                    * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                                                    * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                                                    * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.

                                                    Volume XXXIX, Number 4

                                                    MARCH MEETING

                                                    March 20 brings our Spring Garden Sale. Based upon past years, attendees can expect a variety of interesting plants, as well as plant stands, containers, books and more to be available. Plan to attend and take home some garden treasures at budget prices. Our version of the spring clean-up yard sale allows creative reuse of garden items and benefits us all.

                                                    At this event, you may sell your own ferns and surplus garden items on consignment with the Fern Society. If you wish to sell items, please read the sales policy on page 2. Also, ferns may be donated to the Society for the sale.

                                                    The program for March will include a mini-lesson on Latin as used for fern names. Most of us struggle to pronounce and understand the names of our plants, and Jay Amshey will help us with our Latin names!

                                                    We also have a short photo presentation on Living Ferns in Sculpture. These photos are from an art show that Amna noticed, from Australia. No one from our club was able to attend this show but in the digital age we can all enjoy it and be inspired!

                                                    Refreshments

                                                    Following our Fern Society meeting, we will enjoy refreshments and time to visit. Kathleen Thomson and Paula Couturier will be our providers.

                                                    Report on February Meeting

                                                    Our yearly Platycerium Night was held February 20. Don Callard gave his presentation World of Platyceriums: From A to Z with photos of the species and many cultivars. Don has experience with all of the Platycerium species and is very knowledgeable regarding their care in San Diego area gardens. He graciously shared his expertise with the Fern Society, inspiring us to grow these interesting ferns. A successful sale of Platycerium ferns followed the meeting.

                                                    Memberships

                                                    It is time for membership renewals for 2014. $12.00 will pay for a single or a household membership in the San Diego Fern Society. See Jay Amshey at the March meeting or mail to the address on page 6. Also please inform us of changes to your contact information, such as your preferred email address.

                                                    Annual Budget

                                                    At the March meeting members will vote on the Fern Society Budget for 2014, presented by the board to the membership and published on page 3. Please be prepared with any questions.
                                                    Spring Garden Sale this Month

                                                    Bring a little cash to enjoy the sale following our March program. This is our opportunity to creatively reuse the gardening items many of us collect. These gardening treasures are too good to throw out, but no longer needed and can be offered to others. This sale provides a great opportunity to buy and sell plants between Fern Society members. You may donate some ferns and specialty plants to the sale, or sell them on consignment. As always, make sure any plants you bring are in clean containers or mounted or bagged, trimmed and free of pests, and labeled.

                                                    Also, you may either donate to the Fern Society or sell on consignment any of these:
                                                    (Please note: no pesticides or toxic substances are allowed.)

                                                    This is cash sales only. Sorry, the Fern Society is unable to accept credit cards for your purchases. Unsold items must go home with the seller, as the Fern Society has no extra storage space in Balboa Park.

                                                    Consignment sales policy:

                                                    Plants and sale items shall be clearly priced; two-thirds of sales price will go the seller and one-third to the San Diego Fern Society. A correct plant name tag is desirable. Vendor shall provide an inventory list stating seller name, number and type of plants or other gardening items for sale and their retail price. To sell consignment items, check your list and sale items in with a board member in Room 101 at 7 pm, and then check out at the end of the sale.


                                                    Summer with Ferns

                                                    Dates for the San Diego County Fair are June 7 through July 6, 2014. Exhibit preparation will be during the last two weekends of May, with plants in place by May 31. This is your opportunity to display your ferns before a million people, literally. Last year 1.4 million guests came, and the Garden Exhibits are consistently a highlight. This year will be The Fab Fair, with a garden theme of Flower Power. The themes allude to the Beatles era.

                                                    Individuals may enter plants in the fair also. There are several categories including one exclusively for Staghorn Ferns. Entry is just $10 and awards are $30 for first place, $25 for second and $20 for third. It would be very appropriate for members of the Fern Society to enter plants! You may view the San Diego County Fair information at www.sdfair.com. From the links on the left, choose Competitive Exhibits, then Garden Show, then Landscape and Container Garden Show. See Division 2003 Class 6; information on page 11 of the Garden Show Entry Book.

                                                    A show will be presented by LAIFS, Los Angeles International Fern Society, July 26-27. This is change from their previous show month, and should make it easier for San Diegans to attend. The LAIFS show is held at the Los Angeles County Arboretum in Arcadia.

                                                    The 2014 San Diego Fern Show and Sale will be held August 16 and 17 in Room 101, Casa del Prado, Balboa Park. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to show your plants, especially your favorite beautiful and unusual ferns. Entry in the Fern Show is open to all, not just members. The Show educates the public regarding attractive ferns for San Diego, displaying the many varieties we are able grow in our climate. As always, we will need assistance from all our members for the various responsibilities of our Fern Show and Sale.
                                                    San Diego Fern Society 2014 Budget

                                                    INCOME

                                                    Book sales 0.00
                                                    Donations 300.00
                                                    Dues 480.00
                                                    Hort. material for resale 0.00
                                                    Interest income 0.00
                                                    Merchandise 0.00
                                                    Name badges 0.00
                                                    Other not-tax income 0.00
                                                    Party income 100.00
                                                    Plant sales (other than Show) 300.00
                                                    Plant table income 100.00
                                                    Prizes & Awards 1350.00
                                                    Show income: Plant sale 1700.00

                                                    TOTAL INCOME 4030.00




                                                    EXPENSES

                                                    Assn. Dues:
                                                    SD Botanical 75.00
                                                    SD Floral 40.00
                                                    TOTAL Assn. Dues 115.00
                                                    Bank charges 180.00
                                                    Books for sale 0.00
                                                    Domain name fee 0.00
                                                    Exhibit expenses 300.00
                                                    Fern World:
                                                    Postage 220.00
                                                    Printing 270.00
                                                    TOTAL Fern World 490.00
                                                    Gifts & Honors 100.00
                                                    Hort. supplies 0.00
                                                    Library:
                                                    Books 50.00
                                                    Supplies 50.00
                                                    TOTAL Library 100.00
                                                    Marketing 0.00
                                                    Meeting plant cost 100.00
                                                    Name badge cost 30.00
                                                    Off Budget 0.00
                                                    Operating expense 0.00
                                                    Party costs 50.00
                                                    Program (honoraria) 400.00
                                                    Refreshments 30.00
                                                    Show expense:
                                                    Misc. expense 0.00
                                                    Plants 1200.00
                                                    PR costs 75.00
                                                    TOTAL Show Expense 1275.00
                                                    State tax 150.00

                                                    TOTAL EXPENSES

                                                    simple and entire
                                                    3320.00Fern Frond descriptions. Above: Simple and Entire (example: Asplenium australasicum). Below: Bifurcate (example Platycerium
                                                    bifurcate



                                                    palmatepinatifid

                                                    bifurcatum), Palmate (example Doryopteris palmata), Pinnatifid (example Phlebodium aureum). Credit: Elizabeth Pelz in The Best of Fern World 1988.



                                                    An interview with our own artist, Kathleen Thomson


                                                    What types of art have you been involved with as an adult? Do you sell your art?

                                                    Most of my art has been two dimensional although I spent a few years obsessed with making organic looking ceramic tea bowls and sculptures. Then I started making flat ceramic things and painting them and finally I decided it would be easier to draw and paint on paper and canvas. I also put in many years as a professional photographer, but the digital age and my low vision ended that. I still take lots of pictures, though. I have a degree in art from SDSU and have won many awards and sold a fair amount of work over the years.

                                                    How do you suggest integrating art into a home patio garden featuring containers, or a small planting area?

                                                    Containers are great in small gardens and on patios. They can add color, variety of shapes and styles and offer a convenient way to display plants at different heights. They can also provide a platform or a backdrop for a piece of sculpture that is featured in the garden. Some planters can be very sculptural in form all by themselves. I like the idea of art that is enhanced by plants twining around it or growing on it. Plants are living art and I don't think they need too much man made art to set them off.

                                                    How can a garden of mostly green ferns have a color scheme or be colorful?

                                                    Getting back to containers, choosing ones that have a pleasing color scheme and integrating them into the landscape can add variety to the scenery. The artistic placement of naturally colored rocks and boulders can make the garden seem warmer or cooler. Painting a wall or fence that is behind the fern garden can also make it become very colorful. A friend from the Portland area who suffers from “seasonal affective disorder” has his backyard fence painted bright orange. It vibrates against the green and makes him feel more cheerful.


                                                    The Garden Show at the Del Mar Fair with its leader, Cindy Benoit, is working to show better landscape design. Last year Cindy designed a new structure to showcase our container plants. How can we present our landscape entry in a more artistic way, to show off ferns but also have a pleasing display? (Last year we had your kite!)

                                                    I have to be honest, before I joined the Fern Club I had no idea there were so many different shapes and sizes of ferns. Creating groupings that juxtapose different leaf shapes might be a way to show off the variety among the ferns.

                                                    Designing a display for the fair seems like a challenge since you don't know exactly how many and what types of ferns you will have, plus following the theme and keeping within the budget. One thing I would suggest is that since most of the ferns are not very tall, there might be one or two raised platforms where some of the containers could be placed so that the ferns could be seen from a different angle and the space would be used in a more three dimensional way. But maybe you've already done that, I can't remember.

                                                    I look for inspiration to the very best in garden design. Examples are works of Isamu Noguchi, sculptor and landscape designer, (www.noguchi.org), and the gardens of the two Getty museums in southern California. The Getty Villa in Malibu attempts to reconstruct the gardens of ancient Rome and gives an interesting perspective for gardens today. The Getty Center gardens designed by artist Robert Irwin and Noguchi's gardens both embody the idea that the artists are not the creators but that they are collaborating with nature. They embrace the natural changes brought about by seasons, growth and decay. I know these are rather grand projects compared to the fair display but the ideas behind them can be incorporated on any scale.

                                                    kite1
                                                    San Diego County Fair 2013, backdrop of San Diego Fern Society landscape display. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                                                    How important is a water feature to a fern garden?

                                                    I always love water features but I wonder if it isn't time for us in southern California to come up with an alternative. One of the things I've seen at the fair is the "plant fountain," with trailing plants appearing to cascade off the side of a concrete fountain. I've never seen this done with ferns but maybe some ferns might achieve this effect. I have been looking at pictures of Japanese gardens and some of them combine ferns and rocks and gravel raked in wavy lines to suggest water. Perhaps there are wind chimes that mimic the sound of water.
                                                    Do you care to comment on art as an artist living with visual impairment?

                                                    I have macular degeneration which affects my central vision, making it hard to read or see fine details. It also creates blind spots so sometimes things just disappear and then reappear. However, my peripheral vision is relatively good so to some degree I've adapted to this problem. As far as painting and enjoying the visual beauty of gardens I haven't felt too much impact.

                                                    I do think about creating artistic and outdoor experiences for the blind. In the outdoors, the feel of sunlight on your skin or the sound of a breeze moving through foliage can still evoke the same feelings as seeing it. Since childhood, I have always appreciated the scent of different plants, especially our humble chaparral habitat, so I guess that will never change. I haven't noticed if ferns have a scent – do they?

                                                    Editor's note: The Hay-scented Fern, Dennstaedtia punctilobula, is said to have a fragrance similar to fresh-mown hay. This hardy fern is common in woodlands of the eastern United States. Dryopteris fragrans is known for a fruity aroma. It grows in northern, cool summers areas, in Alaska, Minnesota, Michigan, New England and Canada. For San Diego, a fragrant native plants garden with some native ferns included would be an alternative sensory garden.

                                                    2013fair container1
                                                    San Diego County Fair 2013, San Diego Fern Society container display. Photo credit: San Diego County Fair.



                                                    Calendar for 2014

                                                    March 20
                                                    April 17
                                                    May 15
                                                    June 19
                                                    July (Social event to be determined)
                                                    August 14 (2nd Thursday of the month)

                                                    August 16-17
                                                    San Diego Fern Show and Sale


                                                    September 18
                                                    October 9 (2nd Thursday of the month)
                                                    November 20
                                                    December 18 (Annual Meeting) Board Meetings
                                                    Room 104, 7:30 pm on first Tuesday of May, July, September, November



                                                    San Diego Fern Society Officers for 2014

                                                    President
                                                    Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
                                                    1
                                                    st Vice President and Secretary
                                                    Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com
                                                    2
                                                    nd Vice President
                                                    Bill Brannock
                                                    Treasurer
                                                    Jay Amshey coastbiomaterials@cox.net
                                                    Board Members:
                                                    Bruce Barry
                                                    Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                                                    Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net
                                                    Richard Lujan
                                                    Past President
                                                    Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

                                                    Website

                                                    www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                                                    Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                                                    Membership

                                                    Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting or mail to:

                                                    San Diego Fern Society
                                                    2350 Jennifer Ln
                                                    Encinitas CA 92024



                                                    San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                                                    The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                                                    * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                                                    * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                                                    * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                                                    The Society aims
                                                    * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                                                    * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                                                    * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                                                    * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                                                    * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.


                                                    Volume XXXIX, Number 3

                                                    FEBRUARY MEETING

                                                    Our yearly
                                                    Platycerium Night will be Thursday, February 20, where we will be able to learn about the numerous species of Platyceriums. Commonly called Staghorn Ferns, these unique plants grow in tropical and subtropical forest areas of the world, from Philippines south through Malaysia and islands to Australia, across to Madagascar and Africa, and in one area of South America.

                                                    Many of these
                                                    Platycerium species are easy to grow in San Diego; some require special care. Our own Staghorn expert, Don Callard, will share his presentation World of Platyceriums: From A to Z which includes photos of the species and many cultivars. Don is well known for growing Platyceriums and has been asked to give informative programs to other fern and botanical groups. His Platyceriums even hang in the glasshouse of the US Botanic Garden in Washington DC.

                                                    Platycerium ferns will be sold after the meeting, so bring some cash to enjoy this special opportunity. Platycerium Night is a great time to invite your gardening friends for this popular meeting.

                                                    Refreshments

                                                    Following our Fern Society meeting, we will enjoy refreshments and time to visit. Bill Brannock and Nancy Hoyt will be our hosts.

                                                    Report on January Meeting

                                                    The San Diego Fern Society met January 16 for the first meeting of 2014. Our January program featured Tropical Ferns, with photos and information from a Thailand grower. San Diego's mild climate makes it easier to grow tropical and subtropical ferns than in many areas of the US. Amna Cornett provided beautiful photos with information on diverse kinds of tropical ferns which are in cultivation.

                                                    Memberships

                                                    It is time for membership renewals for 2014. $12.00 will pay for a single or a household membership in the San Diego Fern Society. See Jay Amshey at the February meeting or mail to the address on page 6.

                                                    Coming in March

                                                    March 20 is our Spring Garden Sale. Based upon past years, attendees can expect a variety of plants, as well as plant stands, containers, books and more to be available. Plan to attend and take home some garden treasures at budget prices. Creative reuse of garden items benefits all.

                                                    At this event, you may sell your own ferns and surplus garden items on consignment with the Fern Society. Also, ferns may be donated to the Society for the sale.

                                                    San Diego Fern Society Library

                                                    The Fern Society maintains a small botanical library for use by members. Fern research books are especially helpful for plant identification and cultural information and during the Fern Show. Members may check out a book for a month. Look at our listing on the Library Thing website: www.librarything.com/catalog/sdfern
                                                    Platycerium andinum

                                                    All species of the
                                                    Platycerium genus are found in natural habitats entirely in the Old World tropics and subtropics with one exception. That is Platycerium andinum, which grows in South America in the dry forests of the eastern Andes Mountains, in Peru and Bolivia. It is found at elevations from 300 feet up to about 4000 feet. Plants most often grow on the rough bark of Quinilla trees in the understory of the forest. Sometimes the clumps grow so large they reportedly break down the tree branches on which they are growing. A tall and slender plant, Platycerium andinum may be the largest fern in South America. In nature the fertile fronds grow more than 6 feet long. This species forms pups, but not freely and it is not considered a rapid grower.

                                                    Known as the Crown of the Angels,
                                                    P. andinum forms its pups side-to-side and thus encircles the tree. The plants all become about the same size so the original plant cannot be determined. The shield fronds normally turn brown each year and a new layer of green shield fronds grows, generally in December, early summer in the southern hemisphere. Fertile fronds develop later. Spore patches are in the branching area of the frond. The tips of the fertile fronds continue to extend even after the spore patch has formed.

                                                    British naturalist Richard Spruce reported Platycerium andinum in the mid-1800s in Tarapoto, Peru. The scientific name Platycerium andinum and description were provided by Mr. Baker in 1891 who gave its typical location as Tarapoto, San Martin, Peru. Strangely, it was then lost to botanists, such that one writer suggested it was merely a cultivated Australian garden plant. Nearly 100 years after Spruce's account, Lee Moore found one cluster of P. andinum near Pucallpa, Peru in 1962. (It is interesting to note that the South American species was recognized in an article in California Garden magazine prior to this rediscovery, in 1957.) Moore was unable to locate additional P. andinum plants. But soon plants were found near Tarapoto, and this fern went into cultivation.

                                                    Roy Vail, retired biology teacher and author, has visited the area several times and is concerned for the protection of Platycerium andinum and the unusual tropical dry forest biome. Much land has been cleared for lumber and now is in agricultural uses. San Martin, Peru, is in the heart of this forest habitat with giant trees, many palm species, huge cacti, giant ferns, orchids, and also unique animal species such as frogs and butterflies. A conservation group of farmers, Asociacion el Bosque del Futuro Ojos de Agua or ABOFOA, utilizing support from outside Peru, has established a federal reserve to protect some of this area. This preserve is Ojos de Agua, the Eyes of Water Forest.

                                                    andinum tree1
                                                    andinum view below1

                                                    Platycerium andinum in Ojos de Agua, Peru, viewed in tree and from below. Photo credit: César Aguilar, Creative Commons. www.viajesnaturalistas.blogspot.com
                                                    p andinum 2011 sm1

                                                    Platycerium andinum in 2011 San Diego Fern Society Show. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                                                    Charles Alford suggests that Platycerium andinum seems to grow better in California with our dry climate than in warm, humid areas of the US. Plants do not perform well if kept constantly wet.

                                                    References:
                                                      Water in a thirsty land

                                                      Predictions of reduced water availability this season are upon us in California. Rather than wait until conditions are extreme, perhaps gardeners should think about water use now. Rain barrels and other water storage devices have been around since pre-history in dry climates such as the Middle East. Options today include simple barrels as well as attractive containers. The necessary component to rainwater storage is ... rain! If you choose to collect rainwater, read up on rain storage options as you don't want the surprise of mosquitoes.

                                                      Plan to do your garden renovations while rainfall is still possible, in early spring. If rain is predicted, it may be an appropriate time for planting outdoors. Cooler weather such as what we call "June gloom" will mean less watering of new plantings. Then again, this may not be the best year for a complete garden renovation nor for planting water intensive landscaping.

                                                      Ferns are no more thirsty than many other landscape plantings. Since you need not wait for flowers to bloom, ferns have the advantage of providing green beauty for months on end. When newly planted or when growing in a small container, it is important to keep the fern moist. Some types of ferns grow in the desert areas of San Diego County and elsewhere, but in general ferns should have regular water during their growing season. Some, such as
                                                      Adiantums (maidenhair ferns) should not be allowed to dry out. For home and patio gardening, ferns are best kept in containers or planting beds with good drainage. Automatic watering systems are easier to establish and monitor when ferns are clustered, and drip watering may be a good option this year.

                                                      Grouping ferns for humidity and watering convenience and mulching around plantings are techniques for limiting water use. The appropriate amount of shade will encourage healthy fern growth. Terrariums need very little water once established, and provide a perfect environment for some ferns.

                                                      Ferns growing in rich soils should not need supplemental fertilizer. A plant which produces healthy green fronds demonstrates that it does not need to be fertilized. If used, fertilizer should be applied only while ferns are actively growing, and should be diluted to half or quarter strength. Excess fertilizer will tend to make the plant use water and grow too large for its conditions. A better plan is to grow your plant in the right mix to meet its horticultural needs, replanting when needed.

                                                      With the proper conditions, your ferns should not require excessive water. You may monitor the environmental situation of temperature, humidity and wind and adjust watering accordingly. When plants wilt, the most common cause is overwatering.

                                                      Reference:
                                                      Hoshizaki, B. and Moran, R. (2001).
                                                      Fern grower's manual. Portland, OR: Timber Press.

                                                      Summer Plans with Ferns

                                                      Dates for the
                                                      San Diego County Fair are June 7 through July 6, 2014. Exhibit preparation will be during the last two weekends of May, with plants in place by May 31. This is your opportunity to display your ferns before a million people, literally. Last year 1.4 million guests came, and the Garden Exhibits are consistently a highlight. This year will be The Fab Fair, with a garden theme of Flower Power. The themes allude to the Beatles era.

                                                      The 2014
                                                      Fern Show and Sale will be held August 16 and 17 in Room 101, Casa del Prado, Balboa Park. This is a unique opportunity to show your plants, especially your favorite beautiful and unusual ferns. Entry in the Show is open to all, not just members. The Show will educate the public regarding attractive ferns for San Diego, displaying the many varieties we are able grow in our climate.
                                                      rain barrel1

                                                      This rain barrel uses downspout rain chain to direct rainwater from roof into the storage container, and a hose bib below to drain the water. Made of polyethylene resin, it holds 65 gallons. Priced at around $100, rain barrels provide rather expensive water, and are still dependent upon rainfall. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                                                      Care of your ferns this spring will make it easier to show them at their best in summer. Once fiddleheads appear,
                                                      Adiantum ferns with small leaflets should have all old fronds removed. This allows space for new fronds to develop and saves tedious trimming later.

                                                      Similarly, trim the fronds from
                                                      Davallia and Drynaria (but not the shield fronds). Some other ferns which grow in spring can also be trimmed, especially old damaged fronds. Not all ferns have strong spring growth, so you may wish to delay cutting back green fronds. In nature some ferns retain their fronds longer than a year.
                                                      Naming the Platycerium ferns

                                                      Sometimes those complicated fern names are easier to use and understand if you know their origins. Ferns and other plants are named in Latin, the traditional language of science in Europe. However, botanical Latin is a bit more creative, and Greek words, as well as geographic and personal names, are blended into the naming process. Some
                                                      Platycerium names and their presumed meanings are listed here.

                                                      platycerium flat horn
                                                      alcicorne like antlers of elk
                                                      bifurcatum twice-forked
                                                      coronarium garland, circle, crown
                                                      superbum superb
                                                      hillii after Hill
                                                      veitchii after J. Veitch, nurseryman
                                                      andinum of the Andes mountains
                                                      angolense of Angola
                                                      grande large
                                                      holttumii after R. Holttum, botanist
                                                      madagascariense of Madagascar
                                                      ridleyi after J. Ridley, botanical author
                                                      wallichii after N. Wallich, horticulturalist
                                                      quadridichotomum branched four times
                                                      stemaria garland or wreath (from Greek)
                                                      willinckii after M. Willinck
                                                      The species names
                                                      ellisii and wandae could be derived from personal names.

                                                      p on palmcyn1
                                                      Calendar for 2014

                                                      February 20
                                                      March 20
                                                      April 17
                                                      May 15
                                                      June 19
                                                      July (Social event to be determined)
                                                      August 14 (2nd Thursday of the month)

                                                      August 16-17
                                                      San Diego Fern Show and Sale


                                                      September 18
                                                      October 9 (2nd Thursday of the month)
                                                      November 20
                                                      December 18 (Annual Meeting) Board Meetings
                                                      Room 104, 7:30 pm on first Tuesday of March, May, July, September, November

                                                      San Diego Fern Society Officers for 2014


                                                      President
                                                      Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
                                                      1st Vice President and Secretary
                                                      Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com
                                                      2nd Vice President
                                                      Bill Brannock wbrannock410@aol.com
                                                      Treasurer
                                                      Jay Amshey coastbiomaterials@cox.net
                                                      Board Members:
                                                      Bruce Barry
                                                      Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                                                      Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net
                                                      Richard Lujan
                                                      Past President
                                                      Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

                                                      Website

                                                      www.sandiegofernsociety.com

                                                      Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                                                      Membership

                                                      Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting or mail to:
                                                      San Diego Fern Society
                                                      2350 Jennifer Ln
                                                      Encinitas CA 92024



                                                      San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                                                      The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                                                      * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                                                      * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                                                      * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                                                      The Society aims
                                                      * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                                                      * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                                                      * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                                                      * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                                                      * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.

                                                      Volume XXXIX, Number 2

                                                      JANUARY MEETING

                                                      The San Diego Fern Society will meet Thursday, January 16, 2014. The Society will convene at 7:30 pm in Casa del Prado Room 101, Balboa Park.

                                                      In January our program will be Tropical Ferns, with photos and information from a Thailand grower. As the rest of the country endures winter, San Diego enjoys a mild climate where tropical and subtropical ferns may be grown. Amna Cornett has these beautiful photos with information on diverse kinds of tropical ferns and
                                                      Selaginellas.

                                                      This is a change from our previously scheduled Platycerium Night, which has been moved to February 20.

                                                      Memberships

                                                      It is time for membership renewals for 2014. $12.00 will pay for a single or a household membership in the San Diego Fern Society, covering your enrollment through December 2014. See Jay Amshey at the January meeting or mail to the address on page 6.

                                                      Refreshments

                                                      Following our Fern Society meetings we enjoy refreshments and time to visit. There will be a clipboard at the meeting to sign up to bring goodies for the coming year 2014.

                                                      Report on December Meeting

                                                      The San Diego Fern Society held its Annual Meeting and Party on December 19, 2013 at 6:30 pm. Delicious ham, turkey and gravy were provided, as well as rolls and butter and beverages. Attendees brought side dishes and desserts to give us a festive and delicious meal together. After dinner the business of the evening was the election and installation of officers, listed on Page 6. Each person then received a six inch sized fern to take home.

                                                      Coming in 2014

                                                      Meeting plans call for our yearly
                                                      Platycerium night to be on Thursday, February 20. We will have the opportunity to learn about the numerous species of Platyceriums. Commonly called Staghorn Ferns, these unique plants grow in tropical and subtropical forest areas of the world, from Philippines south through Malaysia and islands to Australia, across to Madagascar and Africa, and in one area of South America.

                                                      Many of these
                                                      Platycerium species are easy to grow in San Diego; some require special care. Our own Staghorn expert, Don Callard, will share his presentation including photos of the species with us. He is well known for growing Platyceriums and has been asked to give informative programs to other fern and botanical groups. His Platyceriums even hang in the glasshouse of the US Botanic Garden in Washington DC. This is a great opportunity to invite your gardening friends to this popular meeting.

                                                      March 20 is our Spring Gardeners Sale. Based upon previous years, attendees can expect a variety of plants, as well as plant stands, containers, books and more to be available. Plan to be there and take home some "found" garden treasures at budget prices. Creative reuse of garden items is a benefit to all.

                                                      At this event, you may sell your own ferns and surplus garden items on consignment with the Fern Society. Also, ferns may be donated to the Society for the sale.

                                                      Dates for the
                                                      San Diego County Fair are June 7 through July 6, 2014. Exhibit preparation is planned during the last two weekends of May, with plants in place by May 31.

                                                      The 2014
                                                      Fern Show and Sale will be held August 16 and 17 in Room 101, Casa del Prado, Balboa Park.

                                                      Growing Tropical Ferns

                                                      With San Diego's mild climate, fern growers can readily enjoy tropical plants. However, they are not all alike in their tolerance for cold, and temperature classification is somewhat arbitrary. Knowledge of the fern's natural habitat may be useful, but some ferns which grow in tropical areas of the world actually do tolerate a bit of chill. Ferns native to tropical lowlands generally should be protected from cold. Southern Florida and low elevation areas of Hawaii may be favorable for these. Ferns which grow naturally in the cooler upland tropics, such as many tree ferns, may be at home outdoors in coastal San Diego areas.

                                                      John's ferns Ecuador 20120
                                                      A collection of tropical ferns from Ecuador at San Diego Fern Show 2012. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                                                      Tender ferns, sometimes referred to as "stove ferns" in British literature, may grow best with nighttime temperatures at 60ºF or above. These plants need protection in San Diego during the cooler months of the year. Subtropical and tropical plants do not grow much during winters of cooler weather and less sunlight, so they should be given less water. Some measures can be taken to protect plants from temporary cold periods using various coverings, heating or fog.

                                                      Expect ferns which are damaged by frost to wilt and turn black. If the rhizome is undamaged the plant may grow fronds again and recover in a season or two. Tree ferns should be watered sparingly, watching for new growth before removing the frost-damaged fronds.

                                                      Which ferns are truly tropical?

                                                      Many people consider ferns to be just houseplants. In garden centers there are sometimes very interesting ferns for sale at modest cost with a generic label of "tropical foliage". To best enjoy these ferns, determine the plant name and growing needs. Their requirements are not based on whether they are tropical in appearance.

                                                      Adiantum
                                                      The Adiantum ferns most commonly found for sale are tolerant of fairly cold weather. A. raddianum with its many interesting cultivars, and A. hispidulum, sometimes called the rosy maidenhair as it shows bright pink new growth in spring, are both easily grown outdoors in the San Diego area and in other mild climates. Both are winter dormant in cold areas, and A. hispidulum is considered semi-hardy.

                                                      Some other desirable maidenhair ferns are not so cold tolerant.
                                                      Adiantum macrophyllum is native to the American tropics including Puerto Rico, and is considered tender. This fern has lovely coloring on new fronds, especially the cultivar 'Peaches and Cream'. Adiantum trapeziforme is also tender with large leaflets, and found in Central America and islands. Another desirable species is Adiantum peruvianum which is native to Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. These maidenhair ferns need warmer winters than San Diego region provides, but all are recommended for low to medium light situations, so indoor growing is an option as well as greenhouse culture.

                                                      A macrophyllum0
                                                      Adiantum macrophyllum showing colorful new growth. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                                                      Adiantum concinnum is a tender maidenhair with small leaflets, common in tropical America. Adiantum caudatum, the trailing maidenhair, is native to tropical Africa, India and Asia. It needs protection from cold but is sometimes grown outdoors in San Diego near the coast. This interesting plant has long narrow fronds up to 20 inches in length which develop a bud at the tip, producing a new little plant.

                                                      Asplenium
                                                      Asplenium nidus is the Bird's Nest Fern that is tender, from the Old World tropics and Hawaii. The similar Bird's Nest Fern more commonly sold in the US is Asplenium australasicum, considered semi-tender. Grower plant labels may be incorrect. Asplenium antiquum, native to Taiwan and Japan, may be the most cold tolerant of the three. Asplenium goudeyi also grows well outdoors in the San Diego area.

                                                      Other
                                                      Aspleniums vary from cold hardy, such as Asplenium marinum and Asplenium ruta-muraria, to tender. Asplenium longissimum, native to Philippines, southeastern Asia and islands, is a tender fern with fronds extending three feet long. Also from southeastern Asia, Asplenium thunbergii is a tropical fern which can be grown in a hanging container and may be propagated by the leaf buds. The tropical and subtropical species of Aspleniums do well growing indoors.

                                                      Blechnum
                                                      The Blechnum ferns which are commonly grown into small tree ferns, Blechnum gibbum and B. brasiliense, are both considered semi-tender to tender. B. gibbum is native to South Pacific islands and B. brasiliense is from South America.

                                                      B brasiliense 20130
                                                      Blechnum brasiliense also shows colorful fronds. Fern Show 2013. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                                                      Blechnum appendiculatum is semi-hardy, whereas Blechnum occidentale, similar in appearance, is tender. Most US gardens with plants identified as B. occidentale are actually growing the hardier species B. appendiculatum. Blechnum serrulatum, native to Florida, the tropical Americas and south/southeastern Asia and Australia, is tender to cold. It forms dense colonies in moist to wet areas in strong light and even full sun. This plant is sometimes called Swamp Fern or Saw Fern.

                                                      Davallia
                                                      Most of the various species of Davallia are tender, but some, such as Davallia mariesii and Davallia tyermannii, seem to tolerate brief periods of cold temperature down to freezing. Some of the semi-hardy species come from Japan, Canary Islands and parts of Asia which are not tropical. The small Davallia parvula needs warmth and humidity. With fronds just an inch long, this fern is prized for terrariums. It is native to Malaysia and Indonesia.

                                                      Doryopteris
                                                      With interesting frond form, the tender Doryopteris ferns can be grown in containers and kept in warm locations. Most Doryopteris are from tropical America, but also Africa, Asia and islands. Doryopteris palmata is found from Mexico to Venezuela.

                                                      dor 1sm0
                                                      Doropteris palmata. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                                                      Elaphoglossum
                                                      With about 500 species, Elaphogossums are primarily found in tropical America. Elaphogossum crinitum has large, oblong frond blades about eight inches long, with black scales on both surfaces. It should be kept in a warm growing area with low to medium light. Elaphogossum peltatum is small and has creeping rhizomes, with deeply divided sterile frond blades and rounded fertile fronds. It is used as a terrarium plant.

                                                      Microgramma
                                                      The species of Microgramma come from the American tropics and Africa. As small tropical ferns, they are also useful in terrariums. The species with the largest fronds is Microgramma megalophylla, with fronds up to 20 inches long.

                                                      most unusual 20100
                                                      Elaphoglossum crinitum. Fern Show 2010. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                                                      Microsorum
                                                      There are about 50 species of Microsorum ferns, from topical and subtropical climates. Microsorum diversifolium, the Kangaroo Fern, is somewhat hardy and suitable for outdoor growing. Many of the other species are tender. Microsorum punctatum is used as a ground cover in Florida, and elsewhere grows well as an indoor container plant. It shows many frond variations and is popular in the nursery trade.

                                                      Pyrrosia
                                                      These ferns vary in cold tolerance from the hardy Pyrrosia lingua to tropical and tender species. Most grow in nature on trees or rocks and need good drainage.

                                                      Pyrrosia nummulariifolia is a small tender fern found in Philippines, southeastern Asia to India. Sterile fronds are round in shape, usually less than an inch in size, and fertile ones are longer and narrower. A terrarium is the ideal place to grow this species. A similar appearing plant is Pyrrosia piloselloides, native to south/southeastern Asia. Both of these ferns have dimorphic fronds, with sterile fronds somewhat round and fertile fronds more oblong.

                                                      p piloselloides 20110
                                                      Pyrrosia piloselloides. Fern Show 2011. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                                                      Vittaria
                                                      Tropical and subtropical plants, Vittarias are commonly called Shoestring Ferns. Both Vittaria elongata and Vittaria lineata are medium sized plants with grass-like fronds. They grow in medium light and moist mix or moss with good drainage. Vittarias need protection from cold.

                                                      Selaginella
                                                      About 700 species of Selaginella grow worldwide in varying climates from deserts to rainforests. Not a fern but often studied with ferns, Selaginellas mostly grow in the ground and can be cultivated in containers and propagated by cuttings or divisions. Although these moss-like plants grow across the US, the tropical species are of interest with their color variations.

                                                      Selaginella kraussiana is commonly sold and grows outdoors in warm areas of the US. From southeastern Asia, Selaginella plana has naturalized in tropical areas, sprawling and scrambling from gardens. The tropical S. oaxacana and S. pulcherrima, both from Central America, have similar appearance and are often misidentified. Selaginella umbrosa has red stems, and Selaginella serpens is of interest with foliage that changes from bright green in the morning to pale silvery late in the day. S. willdenovii shows sky-blue iridescence when grown in deep shade and is from tropical Asia.

                                                      Selaginella serpens0
                                                      Seaginella serpens. Photo credit: Laxkinn, Creative Commons.

                                                      Reference:
                                                      Hoshizaki, B. and Moran, R. (2001).
                                                      Fern grower's manual. Portland, OR: Timber Press.

                                                      Fern Species in the Tropics

                                                      In the arctic zones, only a few species of ferns are found. Moving southward into temperate regions, many more ferns grow. However, the tropics show the greatest diversity of fern species. Scientists call this the latitudinal diversity gradient.

                                                      As an example, the small tropical country of Costa Rica has about 1165 species of ferns, three times as many as the entire US and Canada together.

                                                      The tropics also show more sizes and shapes of plants. Some tropical regions have more species than others. The Andes Mountains of South America have more fern species than the Amazon region. Rainfall is a factor, as is varied topography creating more habitats. For further reading on this subject, see Chapter 27 of the reference listed here.

                                                      Reference:
                                                      Moran, R. (2004).
                                                      A natural history of ferns. Portland, OR: Timber Press.
                                                      .
                                                      Calendar for 2014

                                                      January 16
                                                      February 20
                                                      March 20
                                                      April 17
                                                      May 15
                                                      June 19
                                                      July (Social event to be determined)

                                                      August 14 (2nd Thursday of the month)

                                                      August 16-17
                                                      San Diego Fern Show and Sale


                                                      September 18
                                                      October 9 (2nd Thursday of the month)
                                                      November 20
                                                      December 18 (Annual Meeting)

                                                      Board Meetings
                                                      Room 104, 7:30 pm on first Tuesday of January, March, May, July, September, November

                                                      San Diego Fern Society Officers for 2014


                                                      President
                                                      Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com

                                                      1st Vice President and Secretary
                                                      Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com

                                                      2nd Vice President
                                                      Bill Brannock
                                                      Treasurer
                                                      Jay Amshey coastbiomaterials@cox.net

                                                      Board Members:
                                                      Bruce Barry
                                                      Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                                                      Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net
                                                      Richard Lujan

                                                      Past President
                                                      Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

                                                      Website

                                                      www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                                                      Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                                                      Membership

                                                      Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting or mail to:
                                                      San Diego Fern Society
                                                      2350 Jennifer Ln
                                                      Encinitas CA 92024

                                                      San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                                                      The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                                                      * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                                                      * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                                                      * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                                                      The Society aims
                                                      * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                                                      * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                                                      * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                                                      * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                                                      * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.


                                                      Volume XXXIX, Number 1

                                                      DECEMBER MEETING

                                                      The final meeting for the year 2013 of the San Diego Fern Society will be held on Thursday, December 19. The Society will meet at 6:30 pm in Casa del Prado Room 101, Balboa Park. December brings our Annual Meeting and Party.

                                                      Dinner for December Party

                                                      This month we start early, at 6:30 pm for our Annual Meeting and Party. Plan to arrive around 6 pm to enjoy the company of fellow ferners and share festivities and the good food. Family members and guests are welcome. After dinner we will conduct the election followed by the installation of officers; however there is no other program. Each family will receive a fern to take home.

                                                      The Fern Society party has the nominal cost of $3 per person. Please bring your cash payment that evening. Delicious ham, turkey and gravy will be provided, as well as beverages, rolls and butter. Each household should bring a side dish or dessert (with serving utensils) to feed 8-10 people, and we request that you bring your own plates and silverware. Doors open at 5:30 for set-up and the dinner begins at 6:30. Please come at 6 pm to set out food.

                                                      Memberships

                                                      It is time for membership renewals for 2014. $12.00 will pay for a single or a household membership in the San Diego Fern Society, covering your enrollment through December 2014. See Jay Amshey at the December meeting or mail to the address on page 6.
                                                      Report on November Meeting

                                                      The San Diego Fern Society met on November 21. Walt Meier shared his experiences growing many types of ferns and specialty plants. Walt brought several plants in to show and explain his growing techniques. He provided many ferns for the plant table following the meeting.

                                                      Nominations for 2014
                                                      San Diego Fern Society

                                                      Elections and installation of officers for the coming year are conducted at the Annual Meeting of the San Diego Fern Society. Nominations were completed in November, as required by the Society by-laws.

                                                      President Kathie Russell

                                                      1
                                                      st Vice President and Secretary
                                                      Amna Cornett

                                                      2nd Vice President Bill Brannock

                                                      Treasurer
                                                      Jay Amshey

                                                      Board Members:
                                                      Bruce Barry
                                                      Bob Charlton
                                                      Bill Ganger
                                                      Richard Lujan

                                                      Past President Don Callard

                                                      Ferns in Holiday Decoration

                                                      Green is the color of the season, whether in an evergreen tree or a beautiful fern. There is even a hardy fern known as the Christmas fern,
                                                      Polystichum acrostichoides, in recognition of its green beauty in cold winter landscapes.

                                                      Pieces of
                                                      Lycopodium are cut from forests and sold as a Christmas decoration in the Philippines. No need for mistletoe or holly.

                                                      The San Diego Fern Society participates in Balboa Park's December Nights with a tree made entirely of ferns. Bart Keeran and his helpers prepared this tree as part of the San Diego Floral Association free show in Room 101. Each year decorated trees delight thousands of guests, with evergreen trees and natural materials the primary feature.

                                                      January 2014

                                                      Meeting plans call for our yearly
                                                      Platycerium night January 16. We will have the opportunity to learn about the numerous species of Platyceriums. Commonly called Staghorn Ferns, these unique plants grow in tropical and subtropical forest areas of the world, from Philippines south through Malaysia and islands to Australia, across to Madagascar and Africa, and in one area of South America.

                                                      Many of these
                                                      Platycerium species are easy to grow in San Diego; some require special care. Our own Staghorn expert, Don Callard, will share his presentation with us. He is well known for growing Platyceriums and has been asked to give informative programs to other fern and botanical groups. His Platyceriums even hang in the glasshouse of the US Botanic Garden in Washington DC. Invite your gardening friends to the January meeting.

                                                      Ferns in very cold climates

                                                      In general, plants prepare for winter by cold hardening. Dissolved sugars and other substances accumulate in the cell protoplasm. This depresses the freezing point of the cellular water, in a similar way to chemical antifreeze. Also the cell membranes may change to let water molecules out of the cell into the spaces between cells, where ice crystals will not destroy the plant cells.

                                                      Cystopteris fragilis, sometimes called the Brittle Fern or Fragile Fern, tolerates very cold climates. It has a wide distribution and is common in many parts of the world, from very cold Siberia, Canada and Alaska, and the Alps of Europe to high altitude mountains in the tropics. This cold tolerant fern survives in the frigid temperatures above the Arctic Circle, with plants found in the Yukon of Alaska, the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, and northern Iceland.

                                                      This fern prefers cooler areas and high elevations in the northern US, but also is found in California.
                                                      Cystopteris fragilis ferns even grow in San Diego County, around Palomar Mountain and Laguna and Cuyamaca regions. It has weak, fragile stems. When warm dry weather arrives, fronds may collapse and plants decline over summer. Cystopteris fragilis survives on rock or in patches of scree or sometimes sand. It can grow in limestone areas.

                                                      high fern 7000ft N Sierras1
                                                      Ferns tentatively identified as
                                                      Cystopteris fragilis growing in the northern Sierra Nevada Mountains, 7000 feet elevation. Patches of snow remained nearby even in the month of June. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                                                      There are about twenty species and many hybrids of
                                                      Cystopteris, and some of these do well in warmer climates.
                                                      Osmundas are another group of ferns which are very cold tolerant. Both Osmunda regalis (Royal Fern) and Osmunda cinnamomea (Cinnamon Fern) are listed for USDA climate zone 2 with minimum temperature extreme down to -50º F. Osmundas have an interesting growth pattern with spores on separate fertile stalks for Osmunda cinnamomea and at the tips of the fertile fronds for Osmunda regalis. Both of these ferns grow best in a woodland environment with acidic soil and wet habitat.

                                                      container sm1
                                                      Matteuccia struthiopteris, commonly called the Ostrich Fern, can take similar cold temperatures. This fern readily spreads in its favored wet loamy soil and produces fronds up to six feet tall. It grows earlier in spring than most hardy ferns, and fiddleheads are eaten as a vegetable which is nutritionally safest after cooking. Matteuccia struthiopteris is the designated state vegetable of Vermont. Spores are found on separate upright stalks. Plants flourish in cooler areas with water, especially swamps.


                                                      Matteuccia struthiopteris growing in a container. Photo credit: K. Russell.
                                                      References:
                                                      1. Olsen, S. (2007).
                                                      Encyclopedia of garden ferns. Portland, OR: Timber Press.
                                                      2. Capon, B. (1990).
                                                      Botany for gardeners. Portland, OR: Timber Press.
                                                      3. Lellinger, D. B. (1985).
                                                      A field manual of the ferns & fern-allies of the United States & Canada. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.
                                                      4. Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa. http://nature.ca/aaflora/data, accessed on December 5, 2013.

                                                      Ferns which are green in winter

                                                      Although in very cold areas most ferns are dormant over the winter season, there are some which remain green.
                                                      Blechnum spicant, known as the Deer Fern, stays green even in snow, and supposedly provides food for foraging wild animals.

                                                      dog in Blechnum1
                                                      Canine hiking partner poses with
                                                      Bechnum spicant growing alongside Polystichum munitum (larger central frond), both green in February, and Dryopteris expansa (lower left corner) partially green, Snoqualmie River middle fork trail, Snoqualmie National Forest, low elevation area of Western Washington State. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                                                      wallace's selaginella1
                                                      Possibly Wallace's
                                                      Selaginella, S. wallacei, green in February, found on same hike as above, Snoqualmie National Forest, WA. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                                                      frosted ferns dec NB WA sm1
                                                      Frosted but still winter green
                                                      Polypodium glycyrrhiza in December. This plant produces new fronds in late summer and autumn and stays green through winter. Near Rattlesnake Lake, WA. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                                                      dog walks in pteridium dec sm1
                                                      December hike along Iron Horse Trail, with the dog in dormant Bracken Fern
                                                      Pteridium aquilinum covered in frost. Western Washington State. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                                                      chi in snow1
                                                      A green
                                                      Cheilanthes fern, probably C. lindheimeri, in winter in Gila National Forest, central Arizona, 5000 feet elevation. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                                                      Lassen NF ferns Nov1
                                                      Another
                                                      Cheilanthes fern, perhaps C. gracillima (left) and Cryptogramma acrostichoides (Parsley Fern), both green in late November in Lassen National Forest, Northern California, 7000 feet elevation. There were patches of snow nearby. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                                                      References:
                                                      1. Olsen, S. (2007).
                                                      Encyclopedia of garden ferns. Portland, OR: Timber Press.
                                                      2. Pojar, J. (Ed.). (1994).
                                                      Plants of the Pacific Northwest coast. Vancouver, BC: Lone Pine Publishing.

                                                      Warming up

                                                      For readers not particularly interested in cold climate ferns, there are many choices for the San Diego area.

                                                      Tree ferns bring a tropical feeling to a home garden. A few tree ferns actually tolerate somewhat cold climates.
                                                      Dicksonia antarctica is known to grow in areas with some snow and temperatures down to
                                                      25º F. It also tolerates high light situations but does best with moisture and high humidity. Expect this tree fern to reach 15 feet tall or more with fronds extending 12 feet. Plants are readily available in nurseries. For colder situations in California, this tree fern is a good choice.

                                                      Cyathea cooperi is another commonly available tree fern. Plants should survive light frost and do well in all areas of coastal San Diego County. They grow fairly rapidly and reach 30 feet in height. Fronds can easily grow out 12 to 18 feet, so it is best planted where it has room to be a tree. Cyathea cooperi 'Brentwood' is a desirable cultivar. Plants should be watered regularly for best appearance, however established plants will tolerate dry spells. Both of these tree ferns are from Australia.

                                                      A more tropical choice of tree fern is
                                                      Cibotium glaucum, native to Hawaii. The trunk may grow to 10 feet, either erect or leaning over, with fronds three to nine feet long. Offshoots may grow along the trunk, especially if it is prostrate. This tree fern is a popular garden plant in tropical areas. In San Diego, protect it from frost. Plants are successful growing outdoors on a hillside at the San Diego Zoo.

                                                      hawaiian tree fern frond1

                                                      Hawaiian tree fern sm1
                                                      Cibotium glaucum, San Diego Zoo. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                                                      Reference:
                                                      Large, M.F., & Braggins, J.E. (2004).
                                                      Tree ferns. Portland, OR: Timber Press.


                                                      Meeting Calendar for 2014

                                                      January 16
                                                      February 20
                                                      March 20
                                                      April 17
                                                      May 15
                                                      June 19
                                                      July (Social event, date to be determined)
                                                      August 14 (2nd Thursday of
                                                      the month)

                                                      August 16-17
                                                      San Diego Fern Show
                                                      and Sale

                                                      September 18
                                                      October 9 (2nd Thursday of
                                                      the month)
                                                      November 20
                                                      December 18 (Annual Meeting)




                                                      Meeting Calendar 2013

                                                      December 19 (Annual Meeting)

                                                      Board Meetings 2014

                                                      Room 104, 7:30 pm on first Tuesdays January, March, May, July, September, November



                                                      San Diego Fern Society Officers for 2013

                                                      President
                                                      Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
                                                      1st Vice President and Secretary
                                                      Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com
                                                      2nd Vice President
                                                      open (shared board responsibility)
                                                      Treasurer
                                                      Jay Amshey coastbiomaterials@cox.net
                                                      Board Members:
                                                      Bruce Barry
                                                      Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                                                      Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net
                                                      Richard Lujan
                                                      Past President
                                                      Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

                                                      Website

                                                      www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                                                      Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                                                      Membership

                                                      Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting or mail to:

                                                      San Diego Fern Society
                                                      2350 Jennifer Ln
                                                      Encinitas CA 92024

                                                      San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                                                      The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                                                      * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                                                      * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                                                      * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                                                      The Society aims

                                                      * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                                                      * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                                                      * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                                                      * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                                                      * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.

                                                      Volume XXXVIII, Number 12

                                                      NOVEMBER MEETING

                                                      The San Diego Fern Society will meet Thursday, November 21, 2013. The Society will meet at 7:30 pm in Casa del Prado Room 101, Balboa Park.

                                                      In November we will learn about growing the ferns of the world here in San Diego. Walt Meier grows many types of ferns and specialty plants at his home in Carlsbad, and he consistently has great plants for the San Diego Fern Show and Sale and also for display at the Del Mar Fair. He grows plants from both cool temperate climates and from tropical areas, both from dry and moist habitats. Walt will share stories and growing tips from his years of horticultural experience, including practical pointers for growing great ferns!


                                                      Memberships

                                                      It is time for membership renewals for 2014. $12.00 will pay for a single or a household membership in the San Diego Fern Society, covering your enrollment through December 2014. See Jay Amshey at the November meeting or mail to the address on page 6.


                                                      Refreshments

                                                      In November, refreshments will be provided by Bruce Barry and Dick Ludwig. There will be a clipboard at the meeting to sign up to bring goodies for the coming year 2014.


                                                      Report on October Meeting

                                                      The San Diego Fern Society met on the fourth Thursday of the month, October 24, to accommodate a show for another club.
                                                      David Curtright gave an entertaining and enlightening talk about his experiences growing various aquatic ferns in ponds and aquariums. He is very knowledgeable regarding water gardening and showed and discussed quite a number of ferns which grow directly in water or in bogs. David brought a great selection of his ferns which the members had fun pulling apart to share and try to grow. You can view his plants for sale at www.pondplants.com.


                                                      Nominations for 2014

                                                      The Nominations Committee nominates Fern Society members for election to fill the positions of officers and board members for the coming year 2014. These nominations will be presented at the November general meeting, and additional nominations are accepted from the floor in November only, with prior consent of the person being nominated. Elections and installation are held at the annual meeting of the San Diego Fern Society in December.

                                                      bracken_from_YellowstoneNP
                                                      Bracken fern Pteridium aquilinum ssp. aquilinum var. pubescens. Photo credit: Bryan Harry, 1965, Yellowstone National Park Photo Collection.

                                                      December Party Plans

                                                      The Fern Society party has the nominal cost of $3 per person. Delicious ham and turkey as well as beverages are provided. Plan to bring a side dish or dessert (with serving utensils) to feed 8-10 people. On Thursday December 19 come around 6 pm to set out food and then enjoy dinner at 6:30.


                                                      Coming in 2014

                                                      Meeting plans call for our yearly
                                                      Platycerium night January 16. We will have the opportunity to learn about the numerous species of Platycerium. Staghorn ferns grow in tropical and subtropical forest areas of the world, from Philippines south through Malaysia and islands to Australia, across to Madagascar and Africa, and in one area of South America. Many of these species are easy to grow in San Diego; some require special care.

                                                      March 16 is our Spring Gardeners Sale. Based upon previous years, attendees can expect a variety of plants, as well as plant stands, containers, books and more to be available. Plan to be there and take home some "found" garden treasures at budget prices. Creative reuse of garden items is a benefit to all.


                                                      Autumn Fern

                                                      Dryopteris erythrosora, known as the autumn fern, is considered evergreen even in temperate climates. Plants aren't really growing when it is cold, but fronds may stay somewhat upright and green. The real show is in spring, or for San Diego area gardeners, late winter. Trim off the old fronds and watch the new growth emerge as bright coppery red fronds which are quite striking. Sori are covered with bright red indusia. By summer, fronds will be deep glossy green. Presumably the autumn colors are the reason for this fern's common name.

                                                      This lovely garden fern will develop triangular, bipinnate fronds arching up to 2 feet long. Small scales are found on the undersurface. Some varieties have white indusia rather than red. This species is native to temperate forests of Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan and Philippines.

                                                      dryopteris1
                                                      Autumn Fern Dryopteris erythrosora showing new spring growth. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                                                      This popular garden fern is available from local nurseries. One variety,
                                                      Dryopteris erythrosora 'Brilliance', is particularly desirable for persistent bright color. Place the autumn fern directly into your garden bed to watch it slowly spread into a beautiful, year-round fern. Maintain moisture in the soil until well established, then this plant will need just routine garden water. It is considered somewhat drought tolerant, long-lasting and easy to grow. Sue Olsen, fern enthusiast, grower and author, states that this particular species was her inspiration for propagating and cultivating ferns.

                                                      References:
                                                        Historical Note: Use caution when consuming Marselia

                                                        In our recent October meeting, we learned about aquatic ferns from grower David Curtright. One fern that grows directly in water is
                                                        Marsilea drummondii, native to Australia. It can be found in flooded land and marshy areas. Spores will produce new plants in muddy areas after water recedes.

                                                        This particular fern, known as Nardoo, has an interesting historical note. The sporocarps are part of the diet of the native Aborigine people of Australia. They gather the sporocarps, grind them and mix with water to form a paste which they eat.

                                                        In 1860-1861 when the explorers Robert O'Hara Burke, John King and John William Wills were traversing the interior of the Australian continent, they survived for weeks on food prepared from the Nardoo sporocarps, but there was something wrong with this diet. Although they felt satisfied with a full stomach on this food, both Burke and Wills died, seemingly from malnourishment. King was befriended by Aborigines and rescued, but suffered permanent nerve damage.

                                                        Later historians believe that the explorers died from beriberi, the vitamin B1 (thiamine) deficiency. Wills' journal contains a classic description of the progression of this disease. The enzyme thiaminase is in the sporocarps, destroying this necessary vitamin. The explorers prepared Nardoo as Europeans would with a grain, by grinding and cooking. When the Aborigine people prepare Nardoo, they thin the flour with water making a thin paste which they spoon into their mouths using a mussel shell. It is presumed that this method dilutes the thiaminase and reduces its efficiency in destroying the vitamin.

                                                        Most enzymes are destroyed by heat; however baking the Nardoo flour cakes was not enough to destroy the thiaminase. It is interesting to recognize that the spores of
                                                        Marsilea drummondii survive scorching summer temperatures of the Australian outback and still germinate. Sporocarps have a ring of gelatinous material which greatly expands with water. This may have accounted for the report that this food was very filling and satisfying to the hungry explorers.

                                                        Marselia_drum_Australia2
                                                        Marselia drummondii, on a pond in the Dandenongs in Australia. Photo credit: Casliber, Creative Commons.

                                                        Reference:
                                                        Moran, R. (2004).
                                                        A natural history of ferns. Portland, OR: Timber Press.


                                                        Growing Marsilea

                                                        by Raymond Best of New South Wales, Australia
                                                        Adapted from LAIFS Fern Journal, V.15 N.2, February 1988.

                                                        Several years ago a friend of mine decided to visit central Australia since he was aware that I desired to obtain a few species of
                                                        Marsilea unobtainable in my coastal situation. When he returned, much to my surprise and pleasure he arrived with about three species in small pots encased in hardened mud and not looking at all happy. His comment was to just leave them alone and they would thrive.

                                                        Knowing them as water ferns and having read about their survival in rice paddies, I decided to confine them to a watery grave. Some I placed in an old, silted-up cistern, another specimen in a pair of old concrete washing tubs, and the last being
                                                        Marsilea drummondii (the Nardoo of the Australian natives) I gave specialist treatment in an attractive concrete circular tank. Fortunately all three species survived, namely, M. drummondii, M. hirsuta, and M. mutica. Within a few years they had completely covered all their containers.

                                                        It may be of interest that the
                                                        Marsilea species have a few unusual features. They indicate the compass direction and also tell the time of day. In the morning they turn their heads to the rising sun, and continue to follow it around during the day after the style of sunflowers. Also the Australian natives collect the sporocarps of Marsilea drummondii (Nardoo) and grind them to a flour for cooking. This in one instance saved the life of one of our early explorers.

                                                        When I first planted the specimens in their water situations I had placed their roots in a bucket-sized pot of mixture sunk to the bottom of the tank. Having handed over my house to my son and daughter-in-law after they added a granny flat and a small shadehouse to the home, I moved most of my ferns to the new location. I left two of the tanks in the possession of my son who soon lost interest in them, allowing the containers to completely dry out, after which he threw the contents out in the open. The hot sun dried the fine tight root system into a circular felted mat.

                                                        Later as I was cleaning up, I noticed these unusual pads and decided to chop them up to make some peat to top my sporelings with. When watering one of these small pots I found what I thought was a single-leaved weed. Imagine my surprise when I pulled it out and found that it was growing from a sporocarp of
                                                        Marsilea mutica, while the single triangular-shaped leaf proved to be four neatly overlaid leaves which ultimately form the four leaf clover shape of Marsilea. Placing this sporeling in a water situation in a large glass jar, I started to carefully examine the growth on a day-to-day basis.

                                                        This original tiny sporophyte I had placed in a wide-topped jar one-quarter filled with a peaty mixture and topped with clear fresh tank water so that I could easily observe and examine the growth. First the nutlike sporocarp opened and extruded the male and female gamete producers attached to the extended arm. These somewhat resembled sacks of sausage-shaped containers. The larger holders contained the female gametes, and the smaller the male gametes. Eventually the male gametes are released into the water where they swim to the female gametes to create the first sporophytes. As long as water is present, each small plant then extends rhizomes. Finally they developed a full cover in each of the large containers.

                                                        In their natural habitats in the central rivers,
                                                        Marsilea plants dry up completely from season to season, bearing their sporocarps before the mud coagulates. When the wet season comes, the sporocarps break loose and, flooded with water, swell to recommence the life cycle.

                                                        In my containers, provided the level of water was maintained, there was no difficulty from season to season in their growth. Once the container surface is completely and tightly covered with massed pinnae, the whole mass can be removed roots and all. The mass is then cut into pieces with a sharp knife and a small section returned to the freshly prepared tank. In this manner growth can be continued indefinitely.
                                                        Marsilea mutica is probably the most attractive species with its four colorful pinnae producing a pattern similar to that of clover plants.

                                                        Marsilea
                                                        Marseilea growing in a container. Photo credit: K. Russell.
                                                        What is hiding in that fern?

                                                        When hiking in San Diego County, it is a good idea to be aware of rattlesnakes. These shy reptiles tend to hide in brushy or rocky areas, and may not be noticed. The San Diego Natural History Museum website recommends that you look where you place your hands and feet. When observing ferns in nature, you will be in rocky areas and snakes are around. Since ferns are more green and plentiful in the cooler seasons, rattlesnakes may not be out.

                                                        An interesting study in Australia indicates that during cold weather, scrub pythons
                                                        Morelia kinghorni are known to hide in the fern Drynaria rigidula. These large snakes are often fifteen feet or longer. Herpetology researchers implanted tracking devices into several of these non-venomous snakes and studied their habits. Over 80% of the python locations in epiphytes were in Drynaria rigidula ferns in tall forest trees. These ferns were large specimens, over three feet across.

                                                        Basket_Fern1
                                                        Drynaria rigidula growing naturally in Australia. Photo credit: Tatiana Gerus, Australia; Creative Commons.

                                                        Reference:
                                                        Freeman, A., & Freeman, A. (2009). Habitat use in a large rainforest python
                                                        (Moreila kinghorni) in the wet tropics of North Queensland, Australia. Herpetological Conservation and Biology, 4(2).

                                                        python1
                                                        Scrub Python. Photo credit: Mike, Creative Commons.

                                                        Drynaria in basket1
                                                        Drynaria rigidula, cultivated in a basket, San Diego area. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                                                        Meeting Calendar 2013
                                                        November 21
                                                        December 19 (Annual Meeting)


                                                        Board Meetings
                                                        Room 104, 7:30 pm on first Tuesdays January, March, May, July, September, November


                                                        San Diego Fern Society Officers for 2013


                                                        President
                                                        Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
                                                        1st Vice President and Secretary
                                                        Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com
                                                        2nd Vice President
                                                        open (shared board responsibility)
                                                        Treasurer
                                                        Jay Amshey coastbiomaterials@cox.net
                                                        Board Members:
                                                        Bruce Barry
                                                        Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                                                        Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net
                                                        Richard Lujan
                                                        Past President
                                                        Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com


                                                        Website

                                                        www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                                                        Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com


                                                        Membership

                                                        Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting or mail to:
                                                        San Diego Fern Society
                                                        2350 Jennifer Ln
                                                        Encinitas CA 92024



                                                        San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                                                        The San Diego Fern Society was formed

                                                        * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                                                        * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                                                        * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                                                        The Society aims

                                                        * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                                                        * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                                                        * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                                                        * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                                                        * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.


                                                        Volume XXXVIII, Number 11

                                                        October Meeting

                                                        The San Diego Fern Society will meet on the fourth Thursday of the month, October 24, 2013. The Society will meet at 7:30 pm in Casa del Prado Room 101, Balboa Park.

                                                        In October we welcome David Curtright. Visit his website www.pondplants.com to see the extensive selection of plants that can be used for pond and bog plantings. David will talk on water gardening, a refreshing option to enhance our otherwise arid landscapes. David's many years of specialty horticulture and water garden experience as he shares with us will offer a unique enhancement to San Diego gardening.

                                                        Refreshments for October

                                                        In October, refreshments will be provided by Ron Baniaga, Bruce Barry and Kathy Thomson.

                                                        Coming in December

                                                        The Fern Society will hold its Annual Meeting on December 19, 2013. There will be a festive dinner followed by a short meeting for election and installation of officers for 2014.

                                                        Plants in October

                                                        At the October meeting there may possibly be an opportunity table with specialty plants, so bring a little cash.

                                                        Report on September Meeting

                                                        The San Diego Fern Society met on Thursday, September 19. We viewed video clips of a fern,
                                                        Polypodium polypoidiodes and a Selaginella which grows in desert regions, Selaginella lepidophylla. Both of these plants dramatically rejuvenate from dryness. Both are found in southern areas of the US, but not in California. These plants are sometimes called resurrection ferns.

                                                        Fern Show 2014

                                                        Fern Society members and friends can plan ahead for the August 2014 Fern Show and Sale. Our dates are scheduled to be Saturday and Sunday, August 16 and 17 in Balboa Park. Mark your new 2014 calendars or put this in your computer calendar. For those who live in San Diego, plan to be here. For those who live elsewhere, plan your summer travels so that you can join us!

                                                        Meeting Date Change in October


                                                        For the month of October, the Fern Society will meet on the fourth Thursday of the month, October 24. Occasionally our meeting date is shifted to accommodate the shows of other groups using Room 101.


                                                        Nominations for 2014

                                                        A Nominations Committee is forming to nominate the officers and board members for the coming year 2013. Fern Society members interested in serving on the committee should contact Kathie Russell or email in advance to: sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com

                                                        Also, suggestions for members to fill the officer and board positions may be given to the committee. The nominations will be presented at the November general meeting, and additional nominations may be made from the floor at that time. Elections are held at the annual meeting of the San Diego Fern Society in December.

                                                        Memberships

                                                        $12.00 will pay for a single or a household membership in the San Diego Fern Society, covering your enrollment through December 2014. See Jay Amshey at the October meeting, or mail to the address on page 6.

                                                        November Meeting

                                                        In November and December we will meet on the third Thursdays, the usual pattern.

                                                        December Nights in Balboa Park

                                                        San Diego Floral Association will host their yearly show for the public as part of December Nights on Friday and Saturday, December 6 and 7. This is an annual free event, with music, museums, delicious foods, and numerous festivities. Casa del Prado Room 101 is transformed with a fragrant display of trees decorated by the various garden clubs and plant societies.

                                                        Bart Keeran and helpers plan to construct a "tree" entirely of living fern plants. Set up is on Thursday morning, December 6. If you would like to assist with this display, contact Bart or Kathie Russell. The trees are themed with Holidays of the World. Event times are Friday 3-10 pm and Saturday from noon to 10 pm.

                                                        Microgramma ferns

                                                        These small epiphytes are popular terrarium ferns. About twenty species of
                                                        Microgramma are known, most from the New World tropics with a couple of species from Africa. All have scaly long-creeping rhizomes, often branched. Fronds are simple and entire. Microgramma ferns are small creeping plants most often growing on trees. They are part of the Polypodiaceae family and in older literature may have the Polypodium genus name.

                                                        Microgramma heterophylla is a lovely little vining fern. It is found in southern Florida and the West Indies, and so is considered tender. Sterile fronds are often about an inch and a half long and a half inch wide, and lack petioles. Fertile fronds have short petioles and are perhaps one to four inches long but less than a half inch wide, making them narrowly lanceolate in shape. Sori are round, in a single row on each side of the midblade, midway between midblade and margin of frond. Frond form and size is quite variable.

                                                        ef-mh

                                                        Microgramma heterophylla. Photo credit:www.blackjungleterrariumsupply.com


                                                        Florida plants are found in tropical hammocks, the canopy forests in the southern part of the state.
                                                        Microgramma heterophylla grows on trees and logs, and also on limestone rock. Plants may climb ten feet on a tree trunk, but overall this fern has a limited range in Florida and is only plentiful in a few locations. It is listed as endangered by the Florida Department of Agriculture.

                                                        Microgramma nitida has naturalized in one county of central Florida but is not native to the US. Rather, these ferns are from Mexico, Central America, Barbados and Jamaica. Plants are tender but considered easy to grow. Fronds are variable with sterile fronds two to five inches long and about an inch wide. Fertile fronds may be longer but are narrower, lanceolate. Fronds are smooth with rounded sori. This fern grows on trees in low elevation rain forests. This plant is also known by the name Polypodium palmeri.


                                                        microgramma_jar_sm1
                                                        Microgramma megalophylla and Microgramma reptans growing together inside a large plastic jar. M. megalophylla has the larger fronds. Fertile fronds are on the left, the longest about nine inches. Sterile, smaller fronds are in the center of photo. The smaller, vining M. reptans is seen in the center and to the right. Photo credit: Kathie Russell.

                                                        Microgramma reptans is widespread in tropical America from southern Mexico to Brazil and the islands of Trinidad and Tobago. Fronds have small, reddish scales on the lower surface. Another tender plant, it is similar in size to M. nitida and M. heterophylla. Again, fronds are dimorphic, with the fertile fronds much narrower than sterile fronds. When sori are mature, they usually project beyond the margins of fertile blades, with tan scales among the sporangia. This plant was shared with attendees at a past Fern Society meeting.


                                                        M_reptan1s
                                                        Microgramma reptans, closer view of same terrarium jar. Photo credit: Kathie Russell.

                                                        Microgramma squamulosa is from South America, and is considered tender to semi-tender. Fronds show dark green veins and whitish scales, and are about 6 inches long.

                                                        Microgramma megalophylla is the largest species of the genus, and is native to South America. Fronds may be up to 20 inches long. Plants tightly adhere to trees or rocks in lowland and lower montane forests. Starts of this plant were shared at a Fern Society meeting in the past.

                                                        Microgramma lycopodioides is a species found in Africa, especially in the southeastern coastal areas. It is considered rare in Africa, found in low altitude semi-deciduous forests. Fertile fronds are only produced under high light situations such as at the forest margins.

                                                        In addition to Africa,
                                                        M. lycopodioides is also found over wide areas of the American tropics. It is epiphytic on tree trunks in low elevation montaine rain forests of Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Antilles, Columbia, Venezuela, Trinidad, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay.

                                                        MicrogrammaLycopodioides1

                                                        Microgramma lycopodioides. Photo credit: Wikimedia commons, public domain.

                                                        1Microgramma lycopodioidesNBG sm
                                                        Microgramma lycopodioides growing in a mixed fern planting, inside the glasshouse of the US Botanic Garden, Washington DC. Photo credit: Kathie Russell.

                                                        Microgramma heterophylla was sold at the recent San Diego Fern Show and Sale. Microgramma reptans and Microgramma megalophylla were shared by Amna Cornett with those attending a Fern Society meeting on terrariums in 2010. M. heterophylla and M. nitida are currently listed as available at Black Jungle Terrarium Supply, www.blackjungleterrariumsupply.com and also at Glasshouse Works, www.glasshouseworks.com. Some tropicals may be available from Charles Alford at www.rareferns.com.

                                                        It is interesting to note that several species of
                                                        Microgramma are listed for sale at Araflora, www.araflora.com, a Netherlands grower. They generally sell to European Union customers so there must be a market for these plants in Europe.

                                                        References:

                                                        • Berry, P. E., Holst, B. K., & Yatskievych, K. (1995). Flora of the Venezuelan Guayana. St. Louis: Missouri Botanical Garden.
                                                        • Burrows, J. E., & Burrows, S. (1990). Southern African ferns and fern allies. Sandton, South Africa: Frandsen.
                                                        • Hoshizaki, B. and Moran, R. (2001). Fern grower's manual. Portland, OR: Timber Press.
                                                        • Mickel, J., & Smith, A. R. (2004). The pteridophytes of Mexico. Bronx, NY: New York Botanical Garden.
                                                        • Nelson, G. (2000). The ferns of Florida. Sarasota, FL: Pineapple Press.


                                                        Meetings in 2014

                                                        We now have room reservations for Casa del Prado Room 101 for 2014. The majority of our meetings are planned for the third Thursday of the month. This is what we expect for next year:

                                                        January 16

                                                        February 20

                                                        March 20

                                                        April 17

                                                        May 15

                                                        June 19

                                                        July (Social event to be determined)

                                                        August 14 (2nd Thursday of the month)

                                                        August 16-17
                                                        San Diego Fern Show and Sale


                                                        September 18

                                                        October 9 (2nd Thursday of the month)

                                                        November 20

                                                        December 18 (Annual Meeting)

                                                        Floating vegetation islands

                                                        Plants colonize a variety of locations in the natural environment, and floating peat islands are one unique habitat. Islands of floating vegetation are known around the world, such as in Lake Malawi, Africa, and Lake Titicaca, South America. Other islands are in Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia and in the Everglades of Florida.

                                                        Waterlilies facilitate the formation of floating peat mats. In a swamp, the top layers of peat detach from the pond base with the waterlily root mat. Waterlily rhizomes add buoyancy. The floating mats are colonized by new plants which prefer shallow water or plants which do not grow when under water. The surface of the floating island is always damp but never submerged. Bushes and small trees develop on these islands. In the Everglades, mat islands can be strong and stable enough to support a person. They move around some, especially by wind.

                                                        Peat islands are also found in temperate climate locations. A news item reported that a large chunk broke away from a floating island on Sabbatus Pond in Maine. This piece of about 30 feet by 15 feet was mostly composed of wild grasses. An expansive natural floating island is also reported at Umbagog Lake, Maine.
                                                        Robin Cody, while canoeing the Columbia River on Kinbasket Lake in British Columbia, Canada, found low-floating green islands of peat vegetation. After the lake was formed as water collected behind a dam, sections of peat-rich forest floor floated free. He observed a floating island as large as a softball infield, complete with birch trees and ferns.

                                                        References:
                                                        Cody, R. (1995). Voyage of a summer sun: Canoeing the Columbia River. Seattle, WA: Sasquatch Books.
                                                        Gleason, P. J., & Stone, P. A. (2003). Floating peat islands and patch formation in the Northeastern Everglades. Retrieved from conference.ifas.ufl.edu/jc/papers/geer/3postergr/Gleason.doc‎Floating peat islands and patch formation in the Northeastern Everglades.
                                                        Chunk breaks away from floating island on Sabattus pond. (2013, June 28).
                                                        Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal. http://www.sunjournal.com/news/lewiston-auburn/2013/06/28/chunk-breaks-away-floating-island-sabattus-pond/1386188.



                                                        December 19, 2013
                                                        San Diego Fern Society
                                                        Annual Meeting and Party

                                                        christmas-graphics-plus-free-christmas-clip-art

                                                        Meeting Calendar 2013

                                                        October 24 (4th Thursday of the month)
                                                        November 21
                                                        December 19 (Annual Meeting)

                                                        Board Meeting
                                                        Room 104, 7:30 pm
                                                        Tuesday November 5


                                                        San Diego Fern Society Officers for 2013


                                                        President
                                                        Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
                                                        1st Vice President and Secretary
                                                        Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com
                                                        2nd Vice President
                                                        open (shared board responsibility)
                                                        Treasurer
                                                        Jay Amshey coastbiomaterials@cox.net
                                                        Board Members:
                                                        Bruce Barry
                                                        Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                                                        Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net
                                                        Richard Lujan
                                                        Past President
                                                        Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

                                                        Website

                                                        www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                                                        Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                                                        Membership

                                                        Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting or mail to:

                                                        San Diego Fern Society
                                                        2350 Jennifer Ln
                                                        Encinitas CA 92024



                                                        San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                                                        The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                                                        * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                                                        * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                                                        * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                                                        The Society aims
                                                        * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                                                        * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                                                        * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                                                        * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                                                        * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.

                                                        Volume XXXVIII, Number 10

                                                        SEPTEMBER MEETING

                                                        The San Diego Fern Society will meet Thursday, September 19, 2013. The Society will meet at 7:30 pm in Casa del Prado Room 101, Balboa Park.

                                                        In September we will study the "resurrection fern"
                                                        Polypodium polypodiodes and also Selaginella lepidophylla, plants which dry and then revive with water. Using video including time-lapse photography, a naturalist from Texas and an agricultural extension agent in Florida show how this amazing fern changes from a desiccated brown plant to a beautiful green fern. Next time you are asked how much water a fern needs, you might truthfully say, "It depends...." The Selaginella similarly unfolds in rosette shape with the addition of moisture.

                                                        Refreshments for September

                                                        In September, refreshments will be provided by Paula Couturier and Bill Brannock.

                                                        Plant Table for September

                                                        At the September regular meeting we have a fern for everyone. The fern opportunity table will feature ferns grown in six inch containers, sourced from our local grower. They have been around since the recent Show and some even from the Fair. Each attendee will receive a door prize fern by ticket drawing, and additional tickets will be available for purchase at the bargain price of $2. Members are encouraged to take home one or more plants. If your gardening space is filled, this is your chance to share a fern with a neighbor or friend.

                                                        Report on August Meeting

                                                        The San Diego Fern Society met on Thursday August 15. We viewed photos of Fern Shows from past years, including some taken by Frank Darling in 1996. These photos brought back memories of people and ferns from previous Shows, and perhaps inspired us as we prepared the 2013 Show. Following the short meeting there was time to fill out plant registration forms and consult books and other members to correctly name fern entries.

                                                        Report on Fern Sale

                                                        The 2013 Sale took in nearly $1800. Even after plant costs, tax and show expenses the Fern Sale added funds to the Society treasury. The ferns from our local supplier were well received by the public, and many species sold out. Some of our members offered ferns and specialty plants on consignment or donation, which provided variety and interest, enhancing the sale.

                                                        Fern Show 2013

                                                        A sincere "Thank You" goes to our members and friends who helped out to produce a great Fern Show this year. Some of our newer members worked very hard alongside those who have been with the club for many years. Tasks accomplished included setting up the Show, growing and then bringing plants for judging and display, getting plants for the Sale, registration and judging, providing snacks for workers, staffing the Show and Sale, and finally taking down and returning everything to its proper home. Many persons worked hard to give us a successful 2013 Show.
                                                        Show Awards

                                                        The trophy award for the
                                                        Robin Halley Memorial Best Fern in Show (not a Platycerium), was given to Asplenium australasicum with the cultivar name 'Chrissy', grown by Gary Bourne. A. australasicum is native to Australia and the Pacific islands. This winning plant cultivar showed exceptional form, and was very well-grown and nicely displayed.
                                                        P. aus crissy1

                                                        Asplenium australisicum 'Chrissy', view of distinctive form of fronds, Best Fern in Show 2013. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                                                        Asplenium australasicum should be grown in bright shade in well-drained mix or uncut moss. This species shows many interesting cultivars, some of which are frequently available in local nurseries. The bird's nest ferns seem to do best in small pots relative to the plant size, which enhances drainage and helps prevent over-watering.

                                                        P ridleyi1
                                                        Platycerium ridleyi, Best Platycerium Fern in Show 2013. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                                                        The trophy award for
                                                        Shirley Callard Memorial Best Platycerium in Show was given to Platycerium ridleyi, grown by Don Callard. Platycerium ridleyi is a lowland forest epiphytic fern, often found near rivers in parts of Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo. A small plant growing high in the trees, it displays shield fronds that are strongly ribbed. The fertile fronds branch upwards rather than hanging down, and this species is perhaps the best Platycerium to show the frond shape of antlers which gives the commonly used name, staghorn fern.

                                                        Platycerium ridleyi reproduces only by spores which develop on spoon-shaped lobes from the fertile frond. In nature, plants are inhabited by ants and filled with plant debris between the ribbed shield fronds. Some growers suggest that this fern needs bright light and air movement. Platycerium ridleyi is tropical, so it should be grown with protection in the San Diego area. Plants should be handled carefully as rhizomes and fronds are susceptible to damage.

                                                        spore for Platy1
                                                        Platycerium ridleyi, closer view of fertile frond showing spore patch. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                                                        This same plant of
                                                        Platycerium ridleyi, grown by Don Callard, was also given the trophy award Elizabeth Pelz Memorial Most Unusual Plant for the Show.


                                                        Fern Show 2013 Division Awards

                                                        Plant name

                                                        Exhibitor name



                                                        Davallia mariesii
                                                        Bob Charlton
                                                        Pyrrosia lingua 'Monstrifera'
                                                        Walt Meier
                                                        Psilotum complanatum
                                                        Don Callard
                                                        Asplenium trichomanes
                                                        Gary Bourne
                                                        Doryopteris palmata
                                                        Gary Bourne
                                                        Pyrrosia longifolia
                                                        Don Callard
                                                        Elaphaglossum nigrescens
                                                        Amna Cornette
                                                        Equisetum x ferrisii
                                                        Gary Bourne
                                                        Asplenium australasicum 'Chrissy'
                                                        Gary Bourne
                                                        Doryopteris nobilis
                                                        Don Callard
                                                        Blechnum brasiliense
                                                        Gary Bourne
                                                        Coniogramme japonica
                                                        Don Callard
                                                        Aglaomorpha speciosa
                                                        Bob Charlton
                                                        Platycerium willinckii
                                                        Jay Amshey
                                                        Platycerium hillii 'Delight'
                                                        Richard Lujan
                                                        Platycerium ridleyi
                                                        Don Callard
                                                        terrarium single species
                                                        Gary Bourne
                                                        Selaginella aurea
                                                        Gary Bourne
                                                        multiple plants one species
                                                        Gary Bourne

                                                        Davallia1
                                                        Division Winners Davallia mariesii (above) grown by Bob Charlton and Psilotum complanatum (below) grown by Don Callard. Photo credit: K. Russell.Interesting and Unusual Ferns at the 2013 Fern Show

                                                        whisk fern1


                                                        Helminthostachys zeylanica is a fern from Australia and southern and eastern Asia including islands. Perhaps it is unusual just because we are unable to spell or even pronounce its name. This fern is in the Ophioglossaceae family, along with the genus Ophioglossum (common name, Adder's tongue fern) and Botrychium (common name, grape fern). These plants have sterile fronds and an erect fertile stalk bearing clusters of sporangia.

                                                        Helminthostachys zeylanica is listed in the chapter on Fern Oddities in Reference 4 below. The green leaves are palmate in shape with the attached fertile spike in the center bearing yellow spores. Plants are considered to be easily grown in a pot in acidic mix but must be protected from frost.

                                                        In northern areas of Australia these ferns are found at the edge of forests near streams, ponds and swamps. In Malaya they grow in moist, lightly shaded lowland areas. Plants are found at the edge of marshes in Taiwan, often in shallow water. They grow with the summer rains but may become dormant during the dry season.

                                                        Helminthostachys
                                                        This plant of Helminthostachys zeylanica, grown by Bob Charlton, was displayed in the Fern Show. Photo credit: B. Charlton.

                                                        Psliotum plants are commonly called whisk ferns, and were formerly considered to be fern allies. They reproduce by spores and also by division of the rhizome clump. Psilotum complanatum lacks roots. Instead, water and nutrients are absorbed through fine hairs called rhizoids located on the stems. There are no true leaves, but the green stems are photosynthetic.

                                                        Psilotum complanatum grows in nature in tropical rainforests of America, Australia, Malaysia and islands. It is epiphytic and sometimes grows in Platyceriums on trees. Plants can develop into quite large, pendulous clumps. In cultivation Psilotum complanatum needs protection from cold.

                                                        Psilotum detail
                                                        Psilotum complanatum, detail. This plant, grown by Don Callard, is also shown in the photo on page 3. Photo credit: K. Russell.

                                                        References:
                                                        • Holttum, R.E. (1968). Flora of Malaya: An illustrated systematic account of the Malayan flora, including commonly cultivated plants (Vol. II, Ferns of Malaya). Singapore: G.P.O.
                                                        • Hoshizaki, B. and Moran, R. (2001). Fern grower's manual. Portland, OR: Timber Press.
                                                        • Huang, T. (1980). Flora of Taiwan (Vol. 1). Taipei, Taiwan: Editorial Committee of the Flora of Taiwan, Second Edition.
                                                        • Jones, D.L., and Clemesha, S.C. (1981). Australian ferns and fern allies. Sydney: Reed.
                                                        • MacCarthy, P.M. (1998). Flora of Australia (Vol. 48, Ferns, Gymnosperms and allied groups). Canberra: CSIRO.

                                                        October Meeting

                                                        In October we will meet on the fourth Thursday, on October 24. David Curtright will talk on water gardening.

                                                        Nominations for 2014

                                                        A Nominations Committee is forming to nominate the officers and board members for the coming year 2014. Members interested in serving on the Nominations Committee should contact Kathie Russell at the September meeting, or email in advance to:
                                                        sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com

                                                        Also, suggestions for persons to fill the officer and board positions may be given to the Nominations Committee or a current board member. The nominations for 2014 will be presented at the November general meeting, and elections are held at the annual meeting of the San Diego Fern Society in December.

                                                        Autumn water for ferns
                                                        Adapted from "Ferning in San Diego in the Fall" by Bob Halley. This article was first published in the Fern World, 1993..

                                                        Until rains begin, your ferns need to be watered regularly. When days become shorter and nighttime temperatures drop, most of the plants will not be actively growing and thus should be watered sparingly.

                                                        In the case of a Santa Ana condition when hot dry winds blow across our area from the desert to the east of us, everything in your yard that is still growing will need water. You should try to keep the humidity up by sprinkling the area several times a day to keep mulch dampened.

                                                        After the anticipated rainy season begins, make use of rain and stop adding your own water. You may turn off automatic water systems but you will need to watch your garden areas and containers carefully. A week without rain will probably mean that plants are too dry. Or, you may have outdoor areas that benefit from rain but also plants under shelter which need to be watered.

                                                        Tropical plants require protection from cold but may continue to grow. Some sub-tropical and temperate climate plants stay green all year but others start to look brown or ragged. Some of these ferns are deciduous, and some are deciduous only if there is frost or certain conditions. It is important to learn about your ferns, and not throw them out too soon. Keep plants that are new to you over the winter. Move container ferns that seem to be in decline to an appropriate location for the winter, give them minimal water and wait for new growth in spring.

                                                        fern
                                                        Astrolepis sinuata, detail. This fern, grown by Gary Bourne and exhibited in the Fern Show, is native to the American Southwest including Mexico and south to Argentina. Its habitat includes desert areas and it is considered to be a xeric fern. Photo credit: K. Russell.
                                                        Meeting Calendar 2013
                                                        September 19
                                                        October 24 (4th Thursday of the month)
                                                        November 21
                                                        December 19 (Annual Meeting)
                                                        Board Meeting
                                                        Room 104, 7:30 pm
                                                        Tuesday November 5



                                                        San Diego Fern Society Officers for 2013


                                                        President
                                                        Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com

                                                        1st Vice President and Secretary
                                                        Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com

                                                        2nd Vice President
                                                        open (shared board responsibility)

                                                        Treasurer
                                                        Jay Amshey coastbiomaterials@cox.net

                                                        Board Members:
                                                        Bruce Barry
                                                        Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                                                        Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net
                                                        Richard Lujan

                                                        Past President
                                                        Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

                                                        Website

                                                        www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                                                        Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                                                        Membership

                                                        Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting or mail to:
                                                        San Diego Fern Society
                                                        2350 Jennifer Ln
                                                        Encinitas CA 92024

                                                        San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                                                        The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                                                        * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                                                        * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                                                        * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                                                        The Society aims
                                                        * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                                                        * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                                                        * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                                                        * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                                                        * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.

                                                        AUGUST MEETING

                                                        The San Diego Fern Society will meet Thursday, August 15, 2013. The meeting begins at 7:30pm in Casa del Prado Room 101, Balboa Park. In August we will view photos of previous fern shows as we prepare to set up the 2013 San Diego Fern Society Show and Sale. After the short meeting with this presentation there will be time to begin your show plant registration. The Fern Society library books will be available to help you determine correct plant names.

                                                        Refreshments

                                                        In August, refreshments will be provided by Bob Charlton and Richard and Angelina Lujan.

                                                        Report on July Special Event

                                                        The San Diego Fern Society met on Saturday, July 20 at Bob Charlton's patio for a relaxed summer gathering and potluck. Bob and Patty were very gracious to open their place for our visit. Our opportunity to view their fern collection in its home location was a special treat. Members and friends attending were able to enjoy casual conversation and tasty food. Thank you to Bob and Patty!


                                                        flea1 market finds 2011

                                                        Bob Charlton acquires plant stands and other useful garden items at flea markets. Shown here, he loaned one of his finds for the Fern Show. Photo credit: Kathie Russell.

                                                        Schedule and tasks for the Show


                                                        Friday morning August 16 we need a few volunteers around 9am to assist with setting up Room 101. At this time we plan to assemble the platy display boards, set up the stands for hanging plants, and arrange tables for the show.

                                                        Friday afternoon from 2pm to 5pm is registration of show plants. You need to determine the name of your plant(s) to enter the Show. Ferns should be trimmed and ready for placement by 5pm Friday, and Show plants must remain for the duration, until 4pm on Sunday.

                                                        Saturday morning August 17 we begin the judging process with instructions at 8:30am. Judges and clerks need to be available for the morning. Room 101 is closed to the public until judging is completed.

                                                        Saturday noon the Show and Sale opens to the public. Please invite your friends!

                                                        Sunday August 18 the Show and Sale will be open from 10am to 4pm.

                                                        After the Show you will need to pick up your show plants at 4pm or make arrangements for their return. If you need assistance with your plants, please ask your friends and family to help. There are many tasks for the Fern Society members at the end of the show, including removing all the show plants, any plants left from the sale, and disassembling and storing the show equipment. All those who are able can support your club by helping take down the Show.

                                                        1a things growing2010
                                                        View of Show in 2010. Photo credit: Kathie Russell.

                                                        Memberships

                                                        We plan to have membership forms available during the Fern Show and Sale. Please encourage interested visitors to join the San Diego Fern Society. The Show is the best opportunity of the year to make new friends for the club and increase our membership.


                                                        Really Looking at Your Ferns
                                                        A.W. Roberts
                                                        LAIFS Fern Journal, adapted from a paper and reprinted with permission in the Fern World in 1988.

                                                        Since ferns are non-flowering plants, much emphasis is placed on the foliage and their structure. I have listed nine points for your consideration in looking at ferns.

                                                        1. Color tone

                                                        Since there is a wide range of color tones in the various kinds, familiarity with the appropriate color is of great importance in deciding if the plant is growing well. For instance, a healthy color for Pteris tremula is not a healthy color tone for Pteris 'Ouvrardii', the former being chartreuse, the latter a dark green when well grown.

                                                        2. General development

                                                        A good plant has a sufficient number of well developed fronds borne on sturdy stems able to properly support the plant foliage, except in the case of weeping (pendant) types grown in hanging baskets. Plants should be attractive from as many angles as possible.

                                                        3. Firmness of texture

                                                        Stems and fronds should be firm and able to retain a normal position without breaking or sagging beyond the normal position.

                                                        4. Quality of foliage

                                                        Good foliage will reflect the general health of the plant resulting from good cultural practice and care, proper light exposure and growing conditions, and suitable environment and water.

                                                        5. Freedom from deformities

                                                        Among ferns, as in many other plants, there are deformities caused by virus diseases, fungi, insects, unfavorable atmospheric conditions, and nutritional deficiencies. Obviously, a careful grower will take steps to minimize such conditions.

                                                        6. Freedom from insects and fungal diseases

                                                        Sucking insects, spiders, mites, aphids, thrips, slugs, snails, and cutworms stunt, deform and reduce the vigor and quality of the foliage. Such pests will have been eliminated from well grown plants.

                                                        7. Freedom from nutritional difficulties

                                                        Nutritional deficiencies impair the vigor of the plant and can cause distortion of growth. Undernourished plants will be spindly and unable to support foliage properly.

                                                        8. Suitable container

                                                        The ferns should be planted in a container of a size not too large nor too small. The container should improve the appearance of the plant and compliment it. Tin cans and printed tubs such as cottage cheese containers do little for a plant.

                                                        A grower may decide to place a fern in an artistic manner or other planting arrangement such as driftwood, mounting board (Staghorn ferns, especially), hanging baskets, wall pockets, feather rock, etc. In such cases, the form of the fern should be in harmony with the line, size, and form of the container. The artistic effect may overrule some of the former considerations.

                                                        9. Difficulty of cultivation

                                                        Some ferns are extremely demanding and temperamental. Others are exceedingly slow to develop. A well grown plant of this type is indeed an accomplishment.

                                                        These are good matters to consider when you are looking at your plants critically. If a plant is lacking, these points can serve as a guide to improving your fern growing skills and achieving better results. If you check your plants on all these points and you rate them well, you will have a sense of satisfaction. You will enjoy your ferns and others will appreciate them as well.

                                                        Helping guests at the Fern Show learn about growing ferns

                                                        A couple of common perceptions regarding ferns often confuse the public. First, everyone seems to think that ferns require a great deal of water. When we Fern Society members talk to guests at the San Diego Fern Show, it is helpful to put water concerns in perspective. Most gardeners have some roses, lawns or other water-intensive landscaping. Ferns are no more thirsty than many other landscape plantings. Visitors rarely realize that some types of ferns grow in the desert areas of San Diego County and elsewhere.

                                                        For home and patio gardening, ferns are best kept in containers or planting beds with good drainage. Members can help those purchasing ferns from our Sale to understand the water and container drainage needs for the plants.

                                                        Also there is the assumption that all ferns need shade. This is mostly true for the types of ferns found in nurseries and our Fern Sale. However, some ferns grow in full sun, and some have a high tolerance for partly sunny locations. When visitors to the Show and Sale express their concerns about shade, Fern Society members should consider the guests' home locations and which ferns might do well for them. If buyers are successful in growing ferns, they may discover they enjoy ferns and return to our meetings and future shows.

                                                        2P viechii 2012
                                                        Fern Show 2012. Platycerium veitchii is the only staghorn that grows well in full sun.

                                                        2John's ferns Ecuador 2012
                                                        Fern Show 2012. An interesting collection of ferns from Ecuador.
                                                        Both photos: Kathie Russell.


                                                        Suggested ferns for the San Diego area

                                                        Adiantum raddianum, Adiantum hispidulum (maidenhair ferns). Adiantum raddianum has many cultivars, and grows well near a concrete wall or patio. Both of these ferns die back briefly in winter, and old fronds can be removed to keep the plant attractive. Adiantum hispidulum produces bright pink fronds in early spring, which soon turn green. The maidenhair ferns do not appreciate complete dryness, but with watering may come back again and produce new fronds.

                                                        1a raddianum 2011
                                                        Fern Show 2011. One of the many cultivars of Adiantum raddianum
                                                        available in the nursery trade. Photo credit: Kathie Russell.

                                                        Nephrolepis exaltata (Boston fern). There are many newer cultivars which provide variety to a fern collection. Some have frilly fronds; some are small (such as 'Compacta') to fit your space requirements. They grow well indoors when given good light, and outside in patios.

                                                        Nephrolepis cordifolia (sword fern). Similar to Boston ferns, these plants with more upright fronds are well suited to San Diego gardens. Varieties such as 'Lemon Buttons' combine well in garden beds with other plantings. Water needs are very modest and plants grow in sun (especially near the coast) to part shade.

                                                        Cyrtomium falcatum (holly fern). This grows readily in garden beds or placed in a rock wall. Plants are tolerant of low water and some sun. A dwarf variety is popular.

                                                        Davallia trichomanoides (also called Humata), Davallia mariesii (some of the common names used are rabbit's or squirrel's foot fern). The rhizomes will grow over a moss-lined basket so you can see the fuzzy "rabbit feet". Provide regular water to keep basket from drying out. These can also be grown in the garden over rocks.

                                                        Blechnum gibbum 'Silver Lady'. This fern has bright red/pink fronds on new growth in spring. Over time, the plant develops a small trunk and will be a tree fern. It may be kept in a container but will make a lovely landscape plant as it seems to have attractive fronds throughout the year.

                                                        Pteris albo-lineata. Plants work well in containers but also in the ground. This fern will go nearly dormant in winter. It produces two types of fronds, sterile and fertile. It needs water in summer.

                                                        Pellea rotundifolia needs excellent drainage and should be watered just before soil is dry. It can be grown indoors or outside.

                                                        Phlebodium aureum. Makes a great large basket plant but also can be grown in the garden where there is room for plants to spread. Frond color varies from bluish green to green hues, depending on variety and light conditions.

                                                        Platycerium bifurcatum (staghorn fern). These are mounted on boards with sphagnum moss, and hung in partial shade. Water should be put into the moss behind the plant, and must drain.

                                                        Meeting Calendar 2013
                                                        August 15
                                                        Fern Show: August 17-18
                                                        September 19
                                                        October 24 (4th Thursday of the month)
                                                        November 21
                                                        December 19 (annual meeting)

                                                        Board Meetings
                                                        Room 104, 7:30 pm on Tuesdays September 3, November 5


                                                        San Diego Fern Society Officers for 2013


                                                        President
                                                        Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
                                                        1
                                                        st Vice President and Secretary
                                                        Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com
                                                        2
                                                        nd Vice President
                                                        open (shared board responsibility)
                                                        Treasurer
                                                        Jay Amshey coastbiomaterials@cox.net
                                                        Board Members:
                                                        Bruce Barry
                                                        Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                                                        Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net
                                                        Richard Lujan
                                                        Past President
                                                        Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

                                                        Website

                                                        www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                                                        Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                                                        Membership

                                                        Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting or mail to:
                                                        San Diego Fern Society
                                                        2350 Jennifer Ln
                                                        Encinitas CA 92024

                                                        San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                                                        The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                                                        * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                                                        * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                                                        * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                                                        The Society aims

                                                        * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                                                        * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                                                        * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                                                        * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                                                        * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.


                                                        Volume XXXVIII, Number 8

                                                        JULY SPECIAL EVENT

                                                        The San Diego Fern Society will meet Saturday, July 20, for a casual summer potluck at the home of Bob Charlton. We will gather around 4pm to enjoy the relaxing patio garden and some snacks. There will be a grill provided for your use, and we will share side dishes and desserts, potluck style. Please bring your own table service and beverage.

                                                        The Charlton house has a sloped driveway down from the street. For those with accessibility concerns, please call Bob before the event. Ride sharing may be arranged by phoning a board member or sending email to sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com at least two days in advance.

                                                        For directions, please refer to the Fern World sent to you by mail or email.


                                                        Report on June Meeting

                                                        The San Diego Fern Society met on Thursday June 19. We enjoyed a photo tour of the US Botanic Garden in Washington DC, given by Kathie Russell. She chose photos to provide an overview of the outdoor and indoor gardens and a tour of nearly all the ferns. Outdoor garden areas showed some of the ferns and other plants grown in the eastern US.

                                                        The jungle room of the glasshouse has some
                                                        Platyceriums which were donated to the gardens by our own Don Callard in 1996. Many varieties of tropical ferns from around the world are also there and in the other glasshouse areas. The jungle room of the US Botanic Garden is a fun place for fern fanatics with a walkway in the treetops. This garden is free and open to the public.

                                                        Art in Bloom

                                                        Susan Ludwig, our own Fern Society member along with her husband Dick, invites us to an event this weekend in Balboa Park. Through her efforts, plant and floral society people have the opportunity to interact with artists right here in the park.
                                                        art flyer1

                                                        San Diego County Fair 2013

                                                        The Del Mar Fair was a great success for the San Diego Fern Society.
                                                        Thanks goes to all who helped with design, dirt and rocks, getting plants, loaning plants, art, constructing exhibits, watering/maintenance, take down and returning plants. We received great recognitions and the fairgoers really noticed these exhibits. You have to hang around during the fair a bit and watch the visitors, and talk to them, to appreciate the Fern Society efforts.
                                                        fair landscape 20131
                                                        fair container exhibit 2013

                                                        Adiantum ferns

                                                        The maidenhair ferns are a favorite of many fern hobbyists. Orchid and begonia growers often include them in their growing areas, and many gardeners use maidenhair ferns in shady planting beds. With perhaps 200 species, there are many
                                                        Adiantum ferns to consider. These ferns especially populate the American tropics.

                                                        Maidenhair ferns native to the US

                                                        In temperate regions of the US, the five-finger maidenhair ferns grow in nature.
                                                        Adiantum pedatum, the northern maidenhair, is found in woods from the midwestern US to the Atlantic coast. Adiantum aleuticum, the western maidenhair, grows primarily in western woodlands and especially the coastal areas from California northward to Alaska. There are minor differences between these species, one of which is that A. pedatum has red new growth in spring whereas A. aleuticum is green.

                                                        Adiantum aleuticum colonizes even on vertical cliffs and provides a spectacular fern display in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, California, in the area known as Fern Canyon. Look for this fern on serpentine rock. These two similar ferns are not easy to grow in dry climates.

                                                        Adiantum capillus-veneris is another temperate maidenhair of the United States, and also is widespread elsewhere in the subtropical world. It is often called the southern maidenhair and tolerates cool/cold winters and hot summers. Look for it on limestone where moisture seeps to keep it constantly wet. This fern does not last well in acidic soil garden beds where many other ferns thrive. It is the surprise maidenhair fern of the Anza-Borrego Desert, found at both Palm Canyon and Hellhole Canyon in San Diego County.

                                                        Adiantum pedatum and A. capillus-veneris are readily found in the nursery trade. All of the above maidenhair ferns are winter cold dormant, which means gardeners may especially enjoy watching for the new growth of late winter or spring.

                                                        Adiantum jordanii is fairly common in San Diego County where it is summer dormant when dry. If there are autumn rains, expect it to grow new fronds in December in San Diego. Locally it may be seen in Mission Trails Regional Park. Even though it is native in this area, it is considered challenging to grow. In California it hybridizes naturally with A. aleuticum to form Adiantum X tracyi. Those growers wanting a different type of maidenhair fern should try this hybrid form which is hardy.
                                                        falls sm1

                                                        Nojoqui Falls, Santa Barbara County CA. Shown here, looking up for a partial view of the 100 foot ribbon falls and photo next page, detail of ferns. All three species of California Adiantums grow at this one location, just a mile off of Highway 101 and a quarter mile walk (nearly level) from parking area. Waterfall viewing is best in spring. Photo credit: Kathie Russell.

                                                        three CA adiantums sm1
                                                        A species from Florida, Adiantum tenerum, is sometimes available for cultivation. Since it is found on limestone in nature, it should be grown in moist, basic soil. The natural cultivar 'Farleyense' is desirable for gardeners, providing attractive arching fronds. This plant tolerates sunny areas but needs protection from cold.

                                                        Maidenhair ferns from around the world

                                                        The rosy maidenhair,
                                                        Adiantum hispidulum, is popular as a houseplant and a garden plant in warmer climates. It grows naturally in temperate to subtropical areas throughout much of the world. Although not a native fern, A. hispidulum has naturalized in the southern US. In San Diego it is readily grown either in containers or the shade garden. The new spring growth is a rosy pink color and very attractive, giving it the common name, rosy maidenhair.

                                                        The many varieties of
                                                        Adiantum raddianum are probably the most popular of the maidenhair ferns. Although from the American tropics, they are somewhat cold-hardy. They are great choices for San Diego gardeners in a wide range of cultural conditions. These plants tolerate a bit of sunshine, our slightly alkaline water, and they generally thrive near concrete sidewalks and patios. They may be trimmed back whenever growing and especially for the winter season, and plant clumps may be divided. They do not seem to be demanding about soil mix and are known to grow with little soil in gravel or rock. Plants are equally at home in baskets or the ground and may live many years.

                                                        Popular cultivars of
                                                        A. raddinum are 'Ocean Spray' and 'Pacific Maid.' Cultivar "Gracillimum' has very fine pinnules and a delicate appearance. Christopher Goudy lists over 60 cultivars in his book (Reference 1), and you can expect various forms to be available in nurseries.


                                                        Adiantum caudatum is a tropical plant found in Asia from India to Malaysia, Taiwan, Philippines and New Guinea. The simply pinnate fronds are up to 20 inches long. A bud for a new plant forms at the end of the frond, so A. caudatum will spread across the ground, and is especially attractive when grown in a hanging basket. Plants are sometimes available in nurseries.

                                                        A caudatum sm1
                                                        Adiantum caudatum, US Botanic Garden, Washington DC. Photo credit: Kathie Russell.

                                                        Adiantum venustum grows on the slopes of the Himalayas in Asia. This small, hardy maidenhair fern is cultivated even in protected areas of England, and is sold by US growers.

                                                        Several maidenhair ferns from the American tropics are desired by gardeners and are cultivated in the nursery trade.
                                                        Adiantum macrophyllum, A. peruvianum and A. trapeziforme all make dramatic accent ferns but need protection from cold below 55 F.

                                                        Adiantum concinnum is a common fern from the American tropics. Again, this maidenhair fern needs protection from winter cold.

                                                        pan adiantum sm1
                                                        Adiantum concinnum found in a tropical forest in Panama. Photo credit: T. Russell.


                                                        San Diego Fern Society
                                                        Show and Sale
                                                        August 17-18 2013
                                                        Casa del Prado Room101
                                                        Balboa Park, San Diego
                                                        Saturday noon to 5pm
                                                        Sunday 10am to 4pm

                                                        August Fern Show and Sale

                                                        For 2013, our show will be held on Saturday and Sunday, August 17-18. We will have our Fern Society meeting on Thursday evening, August 15, and you may bring in plants at that time. Judges have been invited to assist us since the Board has voted to use a slightly streamlined system of judging of plants this year, in the same categories as the past. Please prepare your ferns in advance.

                                                        Plants for the show will need to be ferns that you have owned and cared for during the past three months. It is very important to determine the correct names for your plant entries. No plants are allowed in the room with pest infestation, including ants. July is the time to clean up and de-bug all your potential show plants.

                                                        Please plan to assist your club with the show tasks in August. There are jobs available for everyone!

                                                        References:
                                                        Goudey, C. J. (1985).
                                                        Maidenhair ferns in cultivation. Melbourne: Lothian.
                                                        Hoshizaki, B. and Moran, R. (2001).
                                                        Fern grower's manual. Portland, OR: Timber Press.
                                                        Lellinger, D. B. (1985).
                                                        A field manual of the ferns & fern-allies of the United States & Canada. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.
                                                        Jepson Online Interchange for California Floristics. Retrieved July 1, 2013.
                                                        Olsen, S. (2007).
                                                        Encyclopedia of garden ferns. Portland, OR: Timber Press.



                                                        Calendar 2013

                                                        July 20 (Special Summer Event)

                                                        August 15 Meeting
                                                        August 16 Show set up and plant registration
                                                        Fern Show: August 17-18

                                                        September 19

                                                        October 24 (4th Thursday of the month)

                                                        November 21
                                                        December 19 Annual Meeting and Party



                                                        Board Meetings
                                                        Room 104, 7:30 pm on Tuesdays September 3, November 5


                                                        San Diego Fern Society Officers for 2013


                                                        President
                                                        Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
                                                        1st Vice President and Secretary
                                                        Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com
                                                        2nd Vice President
                                                        open (shared board responsibility)
                                                        Treasurer
                                                        Jay Amshey coastbiomaterials@cox.net
                                                        Board Members:
                                                        Bruce Barry
                                                        Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                                                        Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net
                                                        Richard Lujan
                                                        Past President
                                                        Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

                                                        Website

                                                        www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                                                        Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                                                        Membership

                                                        Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting or mail to:
                                                        San Diego Fern Society
                                                        2350 Jennifer Ln
                                                        Encinitas CA 92024


                                                        San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                                                        The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                                                        * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                                                        * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                                                        * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                                                        The Society aims

                                                        * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                                                        * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                                                        * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                                                        * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                                                        * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.


                                                        Volume XXXVIII, Number 7


                                                        June Meeting

                                                        The San Diego Fern Society will meet Thursday, June 19, 2013. The Society will meet at 7:30 pm in Casa del Prado Room 101, Balboa Park.

                                                        In June we will visit by photos the United States Botanic Garden in Washington DC. Kathie Russell recently explored these gardens and plant collections with camera in hand. Then, she returned the following day to further check out the
                                                        Platyceriums (come to the program and learn this story). The national collection is extensive and interesting, and yes there are many ferns.

                                                        George Washington envisioned a garden for the planned new US capital city. The garden is the Smithsonian institution closest to the Capitol building. We, the people, own this garden so enjoy!

                                                        JULY Special Event

                                                        Rather than meeting in Balboa Park, in July we are invited to Bob Charlton's patio for a casual summer gathering. We will enjoy a potluck and garden visit on Saturday July 20 starting at 4pm. Room 101 is not available that week and this alternative will be a great opportunity for a special summer event. Mark your calendar as this is a change of meeting date and time.

                                                        Report on San Diego County Fair

                                                        The San Diego Fern Society is happy to accept a
                                                        First Place award for a medium landscape exhibit and a First Place award for a container exhibit! It has been several years since we received awards, and after all our hard work it is great to be recognized. Don Nelson attended the awards breakfast on Friday June 7 and
                                                        accepted our ribbons. Thank you Don for digging and planting all those ferns, and for attending the awards event.

                                                        fair awards
                                                        Don Nelson accepting Blue Ribbons at the fair garden stage, June 7th.


                                                        Many helpers worked to get these exhibits ready: planning, shaping the exhibit (digging), transporting and planting plants, getting ferns from A&G, making a kite and painting it (Kathy Thompson). Thanks to all who worked and to those who loaned plants and groomed them. We also appreciate the team that is currently watering and maintaining the exhibits and (coming soon) returning everything to where it belongs after the fair.

                                                        Our county fair effort has both financial and promotional value to the San Diego Fern Society. Our ferns are displayed for the thousands of people who come to the fair. According to the fair website, there are 99 exhibits in the Garden Show.

                                                        The Del Mar Fair will continue through Thursday July 4, except Mondays during June. Take down of exhibits is July 5-8, and you will need to pick up your plants or make arrangements for their return.

                                                        NEWS AND NOTES

                                                        Fern Show 2013

                                                        Coming up, sooner than you think, is our annual Fern Show and Sale. Having a free show for the public is part of the San Diego Botanical Garden Foundation agreement with the city for use of facilities in Balboa Park. Our show will be held as usual August 17-18 in Casa del Prado Room 101.

                                                        This year we plan to have awards for the Show, and the Fern Society board needs to hear your ideas for a streamlined judging and awards plan. Our members and friends work hard to grow beautiful ferns, and they should be recognized for their efforts. Send your ideas by email to
                                                        sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com or talk to a board member, this month.

                                                        Even though we are still in the midst of the San Diego County Fair, it is time to consider your plant care for the Show. Many of your ferns are (hopefully) receiving excellent care at the Fair and may next be exhibited at the Show. See page 5 for plant preparation ideas from a past member who consistently had great ferns on display.

                                                        Memberships

                                                        Membership is available in the San Diego Fern Society for the modest cost of $12 for each household. The San Diego Fern Society is a bargain, with programs, newsletters and the annual show for your enjoyment. See Jay Amshey at the June meeting or mail to the address on page 6.

                                                        Refreshments

                                                        In June, refreshments will be provided by Nancy Hoyt and Kathie Russell. There will be a clipboard at the June meeting where you can sign up to bring goodies for the coming months of August to November.

                                                        In July as a summer special we will have a potluck. December brings our Annual Meeting and Party.

                                                        Report on May Meeting

                                                        The San Diego Fern Society met on May 16. We enjoyed a presentation from Michael Ludwig, a long time associate and friend of the San Diego Fern Society. Michael's specialty is begonias and he has worked extensively to preserve materials from begonia experts by establishing the Kolz Begonia Research Center. View further information on the website (kolzbegonia.com).

                                                        Michael is active in several horticultural organizations and he grows many types of plants including ferns. He showed photos of his growing area and shared his plant care experiences for his many begonias and also for the extensive plant collection he maintains in San Diego.

                                                        The Lady Fern

                                                        A beautiful fern commonly grown across the temperate regions of the world is the lady fern, Athyrium filix-femina. John Mickel considers it part of the backbone of a fern garden. Sue Olsen says it is practically world-wide in distribution. The European form carries the species name, and American plants are given three sub-species designations. There are literally hundreds of cultivars. The fern experts say it is easy to grow in moist shady areas with acidic soils. Those conditions are not found in the usual San Diego garden environment.

                                                        lady fronds
                                                        Fronds of Athyrium filix-femina. US Botanic Garden. Photo credit: Kathie Russell.

                                                        References:
                                                          Microsorum ferns

                                                          Polypodiaceae is a large family containing around 60 genera and a thousand species. Polypodium is one of the genera in the family, and Microsorum is another. Microsorum ferns used to be considered Polypodiums, but now are in a separate genus. They are tropical and sub-tropical, and most come from southeastern Asia.

                                                          You may see the name
                                                          Microsorum misspelled, even on nursery lists and plant labels. Consider Microsorium just a misspelling, not a different genus. Most of us have enough challenges learning these names without further confusion.

                                                          Microsorum diversifolium, also called Microsorum pustulatum, shows frond shape variation from ovate to lobed. This plant, native to Australia and New Zealand, is considered semi-tender and does well in the San Diego area. Sometimes called the kangaroo fern, these plants grow outdoors even in mild areas of England. These ferns are abundant in New Zealand coastal areas, both in forests and scrub. Plants creep over the ground, over rocks and also grow on trees. This fern is considered easy to grow in shady conditions.

                                                          Microsorum scandens, sometimes called the fragrant fern, is another native of New Zealand and Australia. You may also see it called Phymatosorus scandens, as name groupings have been changed over time. This plant is semi-hardy as might be expected for a New Zealand fern, and produces fronds up to two feet long, either entire or lobed. In nature it creeps across the ground, over rocks or up trees in wet habitats. Basket culture is recommended for growing this fern.

                                                          Microsorum punctatum somewhat resembles a birds-nest fern, with strap-shaped fronds, but does not make a symmetrical basket growth shape. It is found on trees and sometimes even walls in tropical and sub-tropical areas of Africa and Asia. It is suggested for hanging baskets and is somewhat tender.

                                                          microsorum punctatum sm
                                                          Microsorum punctatum. US Botanic Garden. Photo credit: Kathie Russell.

                                                          Microsorum musifolium is a tropical plant from southeastern Asia, somewhat large and basket shaped. Fronds are lance-shaped and may grow up to 3 feet long, with conspicuous veins. M. musifolium var. 'Crocodyllus', the crocodile fern, was found as a mutation in species plants growing in Australia. This fern variety is patented, so when you purchase it there should be a tag in it, such as is found in Nephrolepis exaltata 'Dallas".

                                                          microsorum musifolium sm
                                                          Microsorum musifolium. US Botanic Garden. Photo credit: Kathie Russell.

                                                          crocodile sm
                                                          Microsorum musifolium var. 'Crocodyllus'. US Botanic Garden. Photo credit: Kathie Russell.

                                                          Microsorum steerei
                                                          is a fern of striking color with blue-green iridescent fronds. It is tropical, found in China, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Low light is best, perhaps because of the color. It is reported to grow naturally on limestone and in quite humid conditions. In nature fronds may be 15 inches long, but in cultivation it is a slow growing, smaller plant.

                                                          Microsorum spectrum is endemic to Hawaii. Plants are found in wet forests, covering the ground and spreading up tree trunks and rocks on all the major islands. Variety 'spectrum' shows deltate fronds (triangular). Variety 'pentadactylum' has palmate fronds (hand-like) and grows primarily on the island of Kaua'i.

                                                          Microsorum scolopendria is native to the Old World tropics. It is medium in size, with deeply lobed fronds of yellow-green. Plants are highly variable and tolerate high light. The varieties cultivated in the US are considered by some botanists to be Microsorum grossum.

                                                          Microsorum pteropus, commonly known as Java fern, is found on trees and rocks along streams in southern China, India, the Malay Archipelago, New Guinea and Japan. In nature this plant will survive in places that seasonally flood. As it grows in waterfalls and along streams, when water levels are high it continues to survive completely submerged. Used for aquariums, the submerged plants have small entire fronds and reproduce by buds. Above the water level, fronds may grow a bit larger, have three lobes, and produce spores.

                                                          M pteropus light
                                                          Microsorum pteropus. Photo credit: Tsunamicarlos, Wikimedia commons, public domain.

                                                          Plants of
                                                          Microsorium pteropus are available locally from David Curtright (pondplants.com) or from aquarium suppliers. Microsorum scolopendria is currently available from Josh's Frogs of Michigan (joshsfrogs.com).

                                                          Some varieties of
                                                          Microsorum are often found in local nurseries, but you may need to shop around and keep checking back. Microsorum diversifolium was seen in recent months at Walter Andersons and also at Home Depot.

                                                          M. musifolium var. 'Crocodyllus' is listed for sale at Gardino Nursery in Florida (rareflora.com). Microsorum punctatum is currently available at Glasshouse Works in Ohio (glasshouseworks.com)

                                                          References:
                                                            Start Now: Getting Your Plants Ready for the 2013 Show, August 17-18

                                                            Any plant you owned by May 17 of this year may be brought to the show. If you haven’t looked over your plants yet to see which ones are growing well and look healthy, now is a good time to do that, as well as to pay a little extra attention to the plants you’re planning to display.

                                                            If you don’t know the names of all the plants you want to display, bring a frond (or the whole plant) to this month’s meeting to get it named. Once you know the name, you can look up what its special needs are and how to take care of the fern. Fertilize at least once every three weeks or use a time-release fertilizer like Osmocote. Some growers add a very small amount of fertilizer every time they water – nurseries do! Check all the plants you select for pests and disease. If you bring an infested plant to the show it will be disqualified. In the meantime snails, slugs, sow bugs, pill bugs and aphids are at their worst right now. As the weather warms up, thrip, scale, mealy bugs, and spider mites become a problem for ferns, too. If the fronds of your fern turn an uncharacteristic silver color, thrip may have attacked the plant. Check for very small, spindle-shaped bugs. If you find them, use your favorite insecticide to get rid of them, diluted to half normal strength. Then remove all fronds with the insect damage to help make sure no eggs laid on those fronds hatch and re-infect the plant.
                                                            plants from R Halley 2011 sm

                                                            Remember to water your ferns more often now that summer is here, especially when those warm, dry Santa Ana winds blow through. They can dry out your ferns in a hurry.

                                                            If you haven’t already done so, you should groom all the old and dead fronds out of your plant now. For most plants there are still two months of prime growing time left. If you thin out the old fronds, there will be room and plant energy to produce new ones. If you wait until the show you may be left with a plant that has holes where you removed the old fronds. Continue to groom your plants occasionally over the next two months.

                                                            At this point you might move your show candidates to the best spots in your growing area. These are the places that get the best light, that are least likely to suffer from pest attacks, and have good air movement but not a lot of wind. Remember too, that the “best” spot for one plant may be a bad choice for another plant. A little research about your candidates’ growing needs will help you place them.

                                                            Good luck!

                                                            Written by Robin Halley
                                                            Reprinted from June 1989
                                                            Fern World

                                                            Meeting Calendar 2013

                                                            June 20

                                                            July 20 (Saturday special event at Bob Charlton's patio)

                                                            August 15
                                                            Fern Show: August 17-18

                                                            September 19

                                                            October 24 (4th Thursday of the month)

                                                            November 21

                                                            December 19

                                                            Board Meetings
                                                            Room 104, 7:30 pm on Tuesdays July 2, September 3, November 5


                                                            San Diego Fern Society Officers for 2013


                                                            President
                                                            Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
                                                            1st Vice President and Secretary
                                                            Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com
                                                            2nd Vice President
                                                            open (shared board responsibility)
                                                            Treasurer
                                                            Jay Amshey coastbiomaterials@cox.net
                                                            Board Members:
                                                            Bruce Barry
                                                            Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                                                            Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net
                                                            Richard Lujan
                                                            Past President
                                                            Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

                                                            Website

                                                            www.sandiegofernsociety.com

                                                            Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                                                            Membership

                                                            Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting or mail to:
                                                            San Diego Fern Society
                                                            2350 Jennifer Ln
                                                            Encinitas CA 92024

                                                            San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                                                            The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                                                            * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                                                            * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                                                            * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                                                            The Society aims
                                                            * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                                                            * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                                                            * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                                                            * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                                                            * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.

                                                            Volume XXXVII, Number 6

                                                            May 2013



                                                            MAY MEETING

                                                            The San Diego Fern Society will meet Thursday, May 16, 2013. The Society will meet at 7:30 pm in Casa del Prado Room 101, Balboa Park.

                                                            In May we welcome Michael Ludwig, a long time associate and friend of the San Diego Fern Society, to speak on
                                                            Companion plants – if you just need to have some color. Michael's specialty is begonias and he has worked extensively to preserve materials from begonia experts by establishing the Kolz Begonia Research Center. Housed in his (former) garage, this collection has been growing for ten years and maintains private papers, books, photos and an herbarium for begonias.

                                                            Michael is part of several botanical organizations and is a past judge for our Fern Show. He keeps an active presence in the horticultural world. View further information on the website (kolzbegonia.com).

                                                            San Diego County Fair 2013

                                                            The Del Mar Fair will be open Saturday, June 8 through Thursday July 4, except Mondays during June. The Fern Society again will have a container exhibit and a medium-sized landscape exhibit. The fern landscape garden is in the same location as last year, with member Walt Meier next to us. This year the container display will be in a more prominent middle area of the garden show with a completely new structure. Both will feature ferns appropriate for San Diego area gardens.

                                                            Our county fair effort has both financial and promotional value to the San Diego Fern Society. We need landscape design ideas and implementation from our members and friends. By participating in our displays, you can show your plants to the thousands of people who come to the fair.

                                                            The Flower and Garden Show has taken the theme "Arcades of Color" to complement the 2013 fair theme, "Game On." We are ready to showcase our creativity with ferns as we build an artistic garden.

                                                            The Fern Society plans to arrange larger features and trees in advance. For display, please bring your ferns by 10 am on Saturday June 1. Groom plants in advance and prepare a tag with plant name and your name (to be hidden in the container) so your plants can come back to you after the fair. There are places for a dozen hanging ferns in the container exhibit.

                                                            A sign up sheet will be available at the May meeting for watering during the month-long fair. It is important that we maintain the exhibits and care for our ferns. Take down is July 5, and you need to take your plants or make arrangements for their return.


                                                            NEWS AND NOTES
                                                            Memberships

                                                            A few members need to renew for 2013. $12.00 will pay for a single or a household membership in the San Diego Fern Society, covering your enrollment through December 2013. See Jay Amshey at the May meeting or mail to the address on page 6.

                                                            The Fern Society has an opening for another board member, someone to help with the club's planning and activities. Contact a current board member for information. Meetings are listed on page 6, on the first Tuesday of alternate months.

                                                            Refreshments

                                                            In May, refreshments will be provided by Jay Amshey and Kathie Russell.

                                                            Report on April Meeting

                                                            The San Diego Fern Society met April 18. We enjoyed photos and discussion of the Artistic Garden. Some local gardeners presented their ideas at San Diego Botanic Garden earlier this year, and local nurseries are filled with beautiful plants, containers and garden decor to help us beautify our own gardens and patios.

                                                            For further ideas, visit local gardens, the Balboa Park Botanical Building, the San Diego Zoo, and the San Diego County Fair. Then share what you learn with your fellow Fern Society friends. With this program we hope you are inspired to enjoy your ferns in an environment of beauty.

                                                            Davalias

                                                            In April we divided a large
                                                            Davallia at the end of the Fern Society meeting, and provided cuttings for purchase. The mother plant was originally grown by Bob Halley and identified as Davallia stenolepis. A closer look at names shows that the currently preferred name may be Davallia mariesii var. stenolepis. For those who don't care for Latin names, you might like the Chinese name 台湾骨碎.

                                                            This plant is native to Taiwan, South Korea, Ryuku Islands and China. The species plant
                                                            Davallia mariesii is also found in Japan and is more cold hardy than variety stenolepis. In Taiwan this fern grows on rocks.

                                                            The fronds are pentagonal and 3-4 pinnatifid, growing to about 8 inches long. Rhizomes are covered with whitish tan to brown scales. Plants are evergreen or have only a short dormant period as they shed older fronds and the new ones grow out. A well-drained moist-dry mix or moss is suggested for planting.

                                                            Davallias are treasured ferns in cultivation. They display well in hanging baskets in conservatories and greenhouses. Davallias may also be planted over rocks or used as ground cover, showing off their "furry feet." In San Diego there are several species which may be grown outdoors in addition to Davallia mariesii var. stenolepis.

                                                            References:
                                                            1. Flora of Taiwan. (1980). Taipei: Epoch Pub.
                                                            2. Hoshizaki B. and Moran, R (2001). Fern growers manual.
                                                            Portland, OR:Timber Press.


                                                            Polypodiums for temperate gardens

                                                            Polypodium californicum is found in California, and also Baja California and Oaxaca, Mexico. In Oaxaca it is a high elevation plant on rocks, at around 10,000 feet. This population is far from the nearest location in Baja California. P. californicum is easily found in San Diego's coastal areas at Torrey Pines State Reserve and Sunset Cliffs. There, as should be obvious, it is growing near sea level. It is found among rocks. In the summer season fronds are generally brown and dry, and it is not usually cultivated in gardens. A named variety from nature, P. californicum 'Sarah Lyman' is grown for the nursery trade.

                                                            sarah lyman sm1
                                                            P. californicum 'Sarah Lyman', Leaning Pine Arboretum, San Luis Obispo CA.

                                                            Polypodium scouleri is the coastal polypody of the Pacific Northwest, growing southward to the central California coast. Walt Meier showed great photos to the club of this lovely little plant taken on his travels in Washington state. P. scouleri seems to always be found very near the ocean, practically in the salt spray. Members of the Fern Society have grown it in the past but plants have not lived very long here in San Diego. It is considered semi-hardy.

                                                            Polypodium glycyrrhiza is a small, hardy fern native to the Pacific coastal areas of North America from Alaska southward to California, and also Asia. Plants are usually found on trees in nature, especially big leaf maples. P. glycyrrhiza purchased from nurseries is suggested for basket culture, and will grow new fronds in late summer and remain green through the winter.

                                                            P. californicum and P. glycyrrhiza have hybridized in nature in California as P. calirhiza. This fertile hybrid is cultivated in gardens in moist-dry garden soil or mix with good drainage, and is summer dormant.

                                                            Another fertile hybrid is
                                                            Polypodium hesperium, from P. amorphum found in Asia and P. glycyrrhiza. This hybrid is well established in the western US from Canada to Mexico. It grows on rock and is very hardy (cold tolerant).

                                                            p gly old fronds sm1
                                                            P. glycyrrhiza showing over-wintered fronds; grown in San Diego County.

                                                            Polypodium vulgare is a common temperate climate polypody, growing naturally in Great Britain and Europe, as well as Asia. Martin Rickard, a British fern nurseryman, suggests that it is found in acidic places in nature but may tolerate garden conditions. He identifies numerous named cultivars of this plant. The similar plant Polypodium australe, also known as P. cambricum, has the above range with the addition of North Africa. It produces fronds in late summer through autumn and remains green throughout winter, even in Britain. Rickard identifies over thirty cultivars in his book Plantfinder's guide to garden ferns. These are not often found in the nursery trade in the United States.

                                                            P. australe var. 'Cambricum', showing several variations of finely cut attractive fronds, was identified in the seventeenth century in Wales and gained the common name Welsh polypody.

                                                            p vulgare sm1
                                                            P. vulgare showing over-wintered fronds and a new frond emerging in center of plant, grown in San Diego County for several years. This plant has been given water but no other special care.

                                                            Polypodium guttatum was recently available at Walter Anderson Nursery in San Diego. Plants are considered semi-tender and should have well-drained moist-dry mix. This fern is native to several areas of Mexico. In San Diego it is producing new fronds in April and May.

                                                            p guttatum sm1
                                                            P. guttatum, a recently purchased and planted garden plant showing both old and new growth. All photos: Kathie Russell.

                                                            Polypodium formosanum shows off interesting green rhizomes and seems to put out new fronds in late summer for San Diego gardeners. At the time of the August Fern Show it is often in a transition stage. This plant is attractive in a basket, and is considered semi-tender.

                                                            There are over a hundred species of
                                                            Polypodium, mostly from tropical America.

                                                            References:

                                                            Mickel, J., & Beitel, J. M. (1988).
                                                            Pteridophyte flora of Oaxaca, Mexico. Bronx, N.Y., U.S.A.: New York Botanical Garden.

                                                            • Hoshizaki, B. and Moran, R. (2001). Fern grower's manual. Portland, OR: Timber Press.
                                                            • Olsen, S. (2007). Encyclopedia of garden ferns. Portland, OR: Timber Press.
                                                            • Rickard, M. (2000). The plantfinder's guide to garden ferns. Newton Abbot, Devon: David & Charles.
                                                            • Hyde, H. A., Wade, A. E., & Harrison, S. G. (1978). Welsh ferns: Clubmosses, quillworts and horsetails : A descriptive handbook. Cardiff: National Museum of Wales.


                                                            Botany Lesson: Growing Green

                                                            We all know that ferns and other plants are mostly green. Leaf color variations are often prized by gardeners, as well as colorful flowers. However, green plants are the food factories for the world. The dominant pigment, chlorophyll, is found in cell structures where photosynthesis occurs.

                                                            In an over-simplified explanation, plants use light energy from the spectrum of sunlight in reds and blues but not much in green. Thus the unused green light is what we view when looking at plants.

                                                            In photosynthesis, water and carbon dioxide (from the atmosphere) are used by the plant to produce sugar and oxygen. The sugars, which are further converted into starches and cellulose, are retained in the plant. Oxygen is released into the atmosphere.

                                                            Thus plants sustain living organisms, providing food for animals. Oxygen from plants also keeps balance in the atmosphere for animal respiration.

                                                            Reference:
                                                            Capon, B. (1990).
                                                            Botany for gardeners. Portland, OR: Timber Press.

                                                            Botany Lesson: Plant Reproduction

                                                            The fern reproductive cycle has two stages. The spores develop in the gametophyte stage into small structures called prothalli, about 0.2 inch (5 mm) across. This somewhat heart-shaped tiny plant has the male and female sex organs on the underside. Water is needed for sperm to swim to an egg and fertilize it. The fertilized egg then divides and grows into a sporophyte, which becomes the fern plant we recognize. See Chapter 8 in
                                                            Fern grower's manual for explanations and diagrams of the fern life cycle.

                                                            fern gametophyte1
                                                            Fern prothalli, the gametophyte stage of the fern cycle. Photo credit: Random Tree, available from Wikimedia Commons, creative commons attribution.

                                                            Mosses show similar stages, except the mosses we see and recognize are in the gametophyte stage, with the male and female parts seen upon close examination. A clump of moss has no true roots nor vascular tissues, and is composed of perhaps thousands of little plants, about half of which are male and half female. When raindrops scatter sperm across the female plant, a zygote forms within the female plant. This little plant does not photosynthesize and remains attached, growing a spore capsule to repeat the cycle.

                                                            moss sm1
                                                            Moss male and female gametophyte plants. Northern Sierras, Plumas County CA. Photo credit: Kathie Russell.

                                                            Begonias are monoecious, that is, they have separate male and female flowers on the same plant. In order for seeds to develop, pollen from stamens of the male flower must be transferred to the stigma of a female flower. With these separate flowers, hybrids are easily developed and thus many types of begonias are grown.

                                                            begonia fl m&F1
                                                            Female and male begonia flowers. The outer blossoms are female and the two central blooms are male. Photo taken in Amna's garden in May. Photo credit: Kathie Russell.

                                                            Begonias, like ferns, are sometimes prized for their leaf structure and colorations, and the flowers become a bonus. Many gardeners use begonias and ferns together in their garden and patio plantings.

                                                            References:

                                                            • Hoshizaki, B. and Moran, R. (2001). Fern grower's manual. Portland, OR: Timber Press.
                                                            • Capon, B. (1990). Botany for gardeners. Portland, OR: Timber Press.


                                                            Meeting Calendar 2013

                                                            May 16

                                                            June 20

                                                            July 11 (2nd Thursday of the month)

                                                            August 15
                                                            Fern Show: August 17-18

                                                            September 19

                                                            October 24 (4th Thursday of the month)

                                                            November 21

                                                            December 19



                                                            Board Meetings
                                                            Room 104, 7:30 pm on Tuesdays, July 2, September 3, November 5, 2013



                                                            San Diego Fern Society Officers for 2013


                                                            President
                                                            Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
                                                            1st Vice President and Secretary
                                                            Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com
                                                            2nd Vice President
                                                            open (shared board responsibility)
                                                            Treasurer
                                                            Jay Amshey coastbiomaterials@cox.net
                                                            Board Members:
                                                            Bruce Barry
                                                            Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                                                            Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net
                                                            Richard Lujan
                                                            Past President
                                                            Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

                                                            Website

                                                            www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                                                            Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                                                            Membership

                                                            Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting or mail to:
                                                            San Diego Fern Society
                                                            2350 Jennifer Ln
                                                            Encinitas CA 92024

                                                            San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                                                            The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                                                            * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                                                            * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                                                            * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                                                            The Society aims
                                                            * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                                                            * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                                                            * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                                                            * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                                                            * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.

                                                            Volume XXXVII, Number 5

                                                            APRIL MEETING


                                                            The San Diego Fern Society will meet Thursday, April 18, 2013. The Society will meet at 7:30 pm in Casa del Prado Room 101, Balboa Park.

                                                            For April we will learn about the Artistic Garden. Drawing from presentations at San Diego Botanic Garden (formerly Quail Gardens), field trips of Kathie and Amna around the county and some additional sources, we will view photos and consider ideas for our own gardens. We invite you to share your artistic gardening ideas as well.

                                                            There are many resources in San Diego County including public gardens, private gardens, excellent plant nurseries and many local artists. We have art and plant groups which meet in Balboa Park Casa del Prado. Spanish Village, the Botanical Building, the Japanese Friendship Garden and several art museums are nearby. With this program we hope to be inspired to enjoy our ferns in an environment of beauty.

                                                            Plant Table for April

                                                            The late Bob Halley grew many types of ferns, and divided and shared his plants with others. He planted a
                                                            Davallia stenolepis which has been growing well in its container for years, but now is ready to be divided. Bring $2 cash to the April meeting for a start of this lovely fern.

                                                            San Diego County Fair 2013

                                                            The Del Mar Fair will be open Saturday, June 8 through Thursday July 4, except Mondays during June. The Fern Society again has reserved a container exhibit and a medium landscape exhibit. Our landscape garden is scheduled to be in the same location as last year, but the containers will be in a more prominent middle area of the garden show. Both will feature ferns appropriate for San Diego area gardens.

                                                            Our county fair effort has both financial and promotional value to the San Diego Fern Society. We will need landscape design ideas and implementation from our members. By participating in our displays, you can show your plants to the thousands of people who come to the fair.

                                                            The Flower and Garden Show has taken the theme "Arcades of Color" to complement the 2013 fair theme, "Game On." Bruce Barry attended the exhibitors meeting and we are ready to showcase our creativity with ferns as we build an artistic garden.

                                                            The Fern Society expects to prepare and arrange the larger features in the exhibits in advance and then set in the plants on Saturday June 1. Reserve these dates and plan to support our outreach at the fair. Groom your plants in advance and prepare a name tag with plant name and your name (to be hidden in the container) so your plants can come back to you after the fair.

                                                            We will need help with watering and maintaining the exhibits during the month-long fair. Take down of exhibits is July 5, and you will need to pick up your plants or make arrangements for their return.
                                                            NEWS AND NOTES

                                                            Memberships

                                                            A few members need to renew for 2013. $12.00 will pay for a single or a household membership in the San Diego Fern Society, covering your enrollment through December 2013. See Jay Amshey at the April meeting or mail to the address on page 6.

                                                            Refreshments

                                                            In April, refreshments will be provided by Walt Meier and Kathie Russell. There will be a clipboard at the meeting where you can sign up to bring goodies for the coming months of 2013.

                                                            Report on March Meeting

                                                            The San Diego Fern Society met on the fourth Thursday of the month, March 28, to accommodate a show for another club. The membership voted to approve the budget for 2013 for the Society, which was published in the March
                                                            Fern World.

                                                            We then enjoyed a photo tour of the Anza-Borrego desert. In the Blair Valley area a couple of ferns were prevalent. These are small plants, growing next to or under rocks. They are tentatively identified as
                                                            Cheilanthes parryi, the grayish, fuzzy fern, and Notholaena californica, which was a bright green color after the August rainfall. The photos show amazing plant survival, with ferns flourishing in the summer heat of 110 degrees. Wildflowers were blooming in August after rain. In the desert, Bob Charlton showed us some striking examples of desert art.

                                                            Report on March Gardener's Sale

                                                            The sale added over $100 to the Society treasury from surplus garden items donated or consigned. From the variety of plants, as well as plant stands, books and more, our attendees took home some "found" garden treasures from the March gardener's sale at budget prices. Creative reuse of garden items is a benefit to all.

                                                            Growing Selaginellaceae

                                                            Selaginella is a diverse genus of spore-forming plants with more than 700 species, mostly tropical. In various areas of the US, hardy species can be grown in gardens, especially temperate woodlands. The ornamental tropical and sub-tropical species need warmth, moist soil and humidity. Many of these small-formed plants have similar appearance and are easily misidentified in the horticultural trade.

                                                            Selaginellas have three basic growth forms. Some species grow in mats, resembling mosses. They have a creeping or low-trailing growth habit. Selaginella apoda, S. uncinata and S. kraussiana are sometimes available for sale. Other Selaginellas have a frond growth appearance, such as S. braunii. Then there are plants with rosette growth which curl up into a ball when dry, such as S. lepidophyla, known as the resurrection plant.

                                                            One species of
                                                            Selaginella is often available in the nursery trade, including San Diego area nurseries. Selaginella kraussiana has been seen at the San Diego Fern Show and plant sales. There are several attractive cultivars with various shapes and colors of foliage. A native of Africa, it has naturalized in the US and elsewhere. Greenhouse cultivation is probably best in San Diego but plants have locally naturalized in coastal central California as well as many areas along the East Coast.

                                                            Some varieties of
                                                            Selaginella are frequently found in local nurseries. Additionally, try
                                                            Black Jungle Terrarium Supply, Turners Falls MA (blackjungleterrariumsupply.com);
                                                            Casa Flora, Dallas TX (casaflora.com);
                                                            Plant Delights Nursery, Raleigh NC (plantdelights.com).

                                                            Reference:
                                                            Hoshizaki, B. and Moran, R. (2001).
                                                            Fern grower's manual. Portland, OR: Timber Press.



                                                            Selaginella kraussiana cultivars are available from Black Jungle Terrarium Supply. (Above)
                                                            S. kraussiana aurea. (Below) S. kraussiana 'gold tips' showing pale gold new growth. Photo credits: www.blackjungleterrariumsupply.com.


                                                            Selaginella apoda, native to the eastern US, grows just an inch tall. Available from Plant Delights. Photo credit: www.plantdelights.com.

                                                            Selaginella stauntoniana, native to China, grows about 8 inches tall and is also available from Plant Delights. Photo credit: www.plantdelights.com.

                                                            Selaginellas in the Desert

                                                            Selaginella eremophila is found in the Anza-Borrego desert. It is low growing, somewhat flat, with much branched stems about four inches long.

                                                            Reference:
                                                            Grillos, S. (1966).
                                                            Ferns and fern allies of California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

                                                            Selaginella eremophila sm1
                                                            Selaginella eremophila growing in rocks in Blair Valley, Anza-Borrego State Park. Plants in the park are protected. Photo taken in the month of March. Photo credit: Kathie Russell.
                                                            Shade Gardens

                                                            George Schenk considers shade gardening to be an art, a science and a delight. This former nurseryman developed his technique on his own property by transforming a "visual menace" of north facing brick wall and concrete into a green room, a retreat for rest and recreation.

                                                            George starts with the soil. In his situation he needed to dig out the hard bed, establish good drainage, then fill with soil containing compost. He recommends six inches of good soil, at least half organic matter, for most plantings and deeper for planting trees. Good soil and drainage are critical to a healthy shade garden.

                                                            The type of shade he recommends for a garden is often called dappled share. Very deep shade limits the plants which will grow. If you have visited dense forests, both tropical and temperate, you may notice that ferns are most abundant at the edges of the forest or in partially clear areas. Dense trees which darken the garden should be carefully pruned to open the area up to light. On the other hand, too many hours of sun, especially mid day, will not encourage a healthy shade garden. Shade from lath structures is very helpful in growing this type of garden in hot, arid climates.

                                                            Having gardened in Seattle, in New Zealand and in the Philippines, George Schenk has experience with varied climates and their appropriate plants. He has grown a couple hundred different kinds of ferns. His plantings seem to follow of pattern of always using ferns with other non-fern plants. He contributed numerous photos to
                                                            Encyclopedia of Garden Ferns as well as writing sections of this book, so you can see his work (pp. 61,201,272,273, and more).

                                                            Planting a shade garden requires an artistic touch. Plants should have varied leaf forms and texture, and differing heights. For some of us, choosing the ferns we want comes first, then planting background and companion plants. However your garden may feature camellias, begonias, orchids and other of your favorite shade plants. You will want to consider the lighting, soil type, fertilization and water needs to encourage healthy groups of plants. Allow a space for yourself, a retreat with a chair or two for enjoying your little paradise.

                                                            Over time, pruning and removing or adding plants will most likely be necessary. Mulch may help with maintenance. If you enjoy your space, George says the chores will not seem like work and your shade garden will be a delight.

                                                            References:




                                                              A nipponicum1

                                                              frond of pictum1
                                                              (Above) Athyrium niponicum 'pictum' in a shady area, Washington Arboretum, Seattle WA. (Below) Grown in partial sun in La Mesa. Notice that frond color is not as bright as plant grown in shade. This perennial fern can be used in gardens in both temperate and sub-tropical climates, coming back each spring for many years. Photo credits: Kathie Russell.

                                                              Athyrium niponicum 'pictum applecourt', available from Casa Flora. Note the crested frond tips. Photo credit: www.casaflora.com.
                                                              Another popular cultivar is 'ghost', with predominantly gray fronds, recommended by Missouri Botanic Garden. See photos at www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/

                                                              W Anderson 2013 sm1
                                                              The shade garden needs a focus such as a Platycerium or possibly a tree fern like Dicksonia antarctica, available at Walter Anderson Nursery, San Diego. Before planting an area, consider the expected height and width of the ferns. Some ferns may be purchased while small for modest cost, but have large size potential. Photo credit: Kathie Russell.

                                                              w fimbriata sm1
                                                              Another large fern which will dominate a shade garden is Woodwardia fimbriata. This California native needs moisture all year. Shown here in its natural state in a deeply shaded redwood forest, it can be groomed as a tidy landscape plant. A division from Robin Halley's plant, kept in a large container, was in the Fern Society landscape exhibit at the 2012 San Diego County Fair. Gallon size plants are available at Walter Anderson. Photo credit: Rick Russell.

                                                              asplenium1
                                                              Hanging from a tree or structure, this Asplenium cultivar covered with bulbils would make a dramatic statement. Available at Cordova Gardens, Encinitas. Photo credit: Kathie Russell.

                                                              Meeting Calendar 2013

                                                              April 18
                                                              May 16
                                                              June 20
                                                              July 11 (2nd Thursday of the month)

                                                              August 15
                                                              Fern Show: August 17-18
                                                              September 19
                                                              October 24 (4th Thursday of the month)
                                                              November 21
                                                              December 19

                                                              Board Meetings
                                                              Room 104, 7:30 pm on Tuesdays May 7, July 2, September 3, November 5


                                                              San Diego Fern Society Officers for 2013


                                                              President
                                                              Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com

                                                              1st Vice President and Secretary
                                                              Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com

                                                              2nd Vice President
                                                              open (shared board responsibility)

                                                              Treasurer
                                                              Jay Amshey coastbiomaterials@cox.net

                                                              Board Members:
                                                              Bruce Barry
                                                              Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                                                              Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net
                                                              Richard Lujan
                                                              Bill Mous wim54321@gmail.com

                                                              Past President
                                                              Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

                                                              Website

                                                              www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                                                              Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                                                              Membership

                                                              Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting or mail to:
                                                              San Diego Fern Society
                                                              2350 Jennifer Ln
                                                              Encinitas CA 92024




                                                              San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                                                              The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                                                              * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                                                              * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                                                              * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                                                              The Society aims
                                                              *
                                                              to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                                                              * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                                                              * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                                                              * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                                                              * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.


                                                              Volume XXXVII, Number 4

                                                              MARCH MEETING

                                                              The March meeting will be on the fourth Thursday of the month.

                                                              The San Diego Fern Society will meet Thursday, March 28, 2013. The Society will meet at 7:30pm in Casa del Prado Room 101, Balboa Park.

                                                              For March we will have the continuation of photos of San Diego's desert ferns and habitat. Early spring months are excellent times to visit the Anza-Borrego desert. Several ferns grow in San Diego County deserts, as well as an interesting variety of other botanical wonders. Bob Charlton will share his explorations using his newly reconditioned computer.

                                                              Annual Budget

                                                              At the March meeting members will vote on the Fern Society Budget for 2013, presented by the board to the membership and published on page 3.

                                                              Spring Gardener's Sale this Month

                                                              Bring a little cash to enjoy the sale following our March program. This is our opportunity to creatively reuse the gardening items many of us collect. These gardening treasures are too good to throw out, but we no longer need these tools, decorative plant containers, aquariums, yard art and gardening books.

                                                              This sale provides a great opportunity to buy and sell plants between Fern Society members. You may donate some ferns and specialty plants to the sale, or sell them on consignment. As always, make sure any plants you bring are in clean containers or mounted or bagged, trimmed and free of pests, and labeled.

                                                              Also, you may either donate to the Fern Society, or sell on consignment any of these: decorative, usable containers
                                                              (no plastic nursery pots)
                                                              terrarium containers, aquariums
                                                              small water features
                                                              tools in good condition
                                                              gardening books
                                                              small statuary or other garden art
                                                              plant stands
                                                              ferns and specialty plants
                                                              Please note: no pesticides or toxic substances are allowed.

                                                              Sorry, the Fern Society is unable to accept credit cards for your purchases.

                                                              Unsold items must go home with the seller. The Fern Society has no extra storage space in Balboa Park.

                                                              Consignment sales policy:
                                                              Plants and sale items shall be clearly priced; two-thirds of sales price will go the seller and one-third to the San Diego Fern Society. A correct plant name tag is desirable. Vendor shall provide an inventory list stating seller name, number and type of plants or other gardening items for sale and their retail price. To sell consignment items, check your list and sale items in with a board member in Room 101 at 7 pm, and check out at the end of the sale.


                                                              NEWS AND NOTES
                                                              Memberships

                                                              $12.00 will pay for a single or a household membership in the San Diego Fern Society, covering your enrollment through December 2013. See Jay Amshey or mail to the address on page 6.

                                                              Refreshments

                                                              February refreshments will be provided by Nancy Hoyt, Amna Cornett and Bill Mous. We will have a clipboard at the meeting where you can sign up to bring goodies for the coming 2013 meetings.

                                                              Sad News

                                                              Mickey Sundstrom, a long time member of the San Diego Fern Society, died recently. Mickey volunteered with our group for many years, with sales and setup at our annual Fern Show, hosting refreshments for meetings, and in countless other ways. Our thoughts are with Millie, Frank and family.

                                                              Report on February Meeting

                                                              The San Diego Fern Society met on February 21. We began our photo tour of the Anza-Borrego desert but were cut short by computer issues. We had a couple of xeric ferns for show and tell, and also looked at the resources in our library on San Diego County ferns and California ferns. This month, March, we will have the completion of this program.

                                                              Meaning of the word xeric

                                                              Plant names and many botanical terms come from Latin, but this one is from Greek. The prefix
                                                              xero- means dry, and phyll relates to leaves. Thus xeric means deficient in moisture, xerophyllus means with dry leaves. A xerophyte is a plant adapted to a dry environment. It is common to refer to xeric ferns or xerophytic ferns as those which grow in deserts or relatively dry environments. The amount of water needed varies, as does the season of rainfall.

                                                              Local Selaginellas

                                                              Selaginellas are low growing moss-like terrestrial plants. In the past they were categorized as fern allies, but that term is no longer used in botany. They are not ferns but reproduce by spores. About eleven species are found in California, and four species are known from San Diego County.


                                                              Selaginella eremophila is found in Anza-Borrego desert. It is low growing, somewhat flat, with much branched stems about four inches long. S. cinerascens is common on the coastal plains areas such as Camp Pendleton, Del Mar and Point Loma. S. bigelovii is common in the hills and dry rocky slopes of western San Diego County. The stems grow upward and may be eight inches long. S. asprella grows in the mountain areas of San Diego County and southern California.

                                                              sel smaller1
                                                              Selaginella bigelovii growing on rocks with Cheilanthes newberryi in Mission Trails Park, San Diego. Photo credit: Kathie Russell.

                                                              References:

                                                                INCOME

                                                                Advertising 0.00
                                                                Book sales 100.00
                                                                Donations 600.00
                                                                Dues 600.00
                                                                Hort. material 60.00
                                                                Interest income 0.00
                                                                Merchandise 0.00
                                                                Name badges 0.00
                                                                Other not-tax income 0.00
                                                                Party income 100.00
                                                                Plant sales 300.00
                                                                Plant table income 300.00
                                                                Prizes & Awards 1,350.00
                                                                Show income:
                                                                Plant sale 2,000.00
                                                                TOTAL Show Income 2,000.00

                                                                TOTAL INCOME 5,410.00

                                                                show plant 2012 sm
                                                                P viechii1


                                                                Views from the San Diego Fern Society Show and Sale 2012. Selling ferns at the show provides some income for the society as well as introducing the public to the pleasures of growing ferns. Photo credit: Kathie Russell.


                                                                EXPENSES

                                                                Assn. Dues:
                                                                Am. Fern Soc. 0.00
                                                                Quail Botanical 0.00
                                                                SD Botanical 75.00
                                                                SD Floral 40.00
                                                                SD Horticultural Society 0.00
                                                                TOTAL Assn. Dues 115.00
                                                                Bank charge 180.00
                                                                Books for sale 100.00
                                                                Domain name 0.00
                                                                Exhibit expenses 300.00
                                                                Fees 20.00
                                                                Fern World:
                                                                Other costs 50.00
                                                                Postage 350.00
                                                                Printing 615.00
                                                                TOTAL Fern World 1,015.00
                                                                Gifts & Honors 100.00
                                                                Hort. supplies 50.00
                                                                Library:
                                                                Books 50.00
                                                                Supplies 30.00
                                                                TOTAL Library 80.00
                                                                Marketing 0.00
                                                                Meeting plant cost 300.00
                                                                Name badge cost 0.00
                                                                Off Budget 0.00
                                                                Operating expense 0.00
                                                                Party costs 80.00
                                                                Program 400.00
                                                                Refreshment 30.00
                                                                Sale plants 150.00
                                                                Show expense:
                                                                Misc. expense 250.00
                                                                Plants 1,200.00
                                                                PR Costs 50.00
                                                                Trophies etc. 255.00
                                                                TOTAL Show Expense 1,755.00
                                                                Storage rental 450.00
                                                                Tax:
                                                                State 185.00
                                                                TOTAL Tax 185.00
                                                                Web page 100.00

                                                                TOTAL EXPENSES 5,410.00

                                                                OVERALL TOTAL 0.00



                                                                Dry Land Ferns of Southern Africa

                                                                Some areas of South Africa have a Mediterranean climate similar to San Diego. Many plants that we commonly grow here have origins in Africa. Southern Africa also has deserts and semi-deserts, and a few ferns are found in this dry habitat.

                                                                The Great Karoo, in Cape Province, South Africa, is an inland desert with mountains to the south and east. In the southern areas of this desert, seasonal winter rains support xeric ferns. The genus names should be familiar by now,
                                                                Cheilanthes and Pellaea. The ferns are C. contracta, C. parviloba, C. depauperata, C. induta and P. rufa.

                                                                Another arid area is the Namib Desert of Namibia. Around the desert several ferns can be found growing in granite rocky areas. These include
                                                                Cheilanthes eckloniana, C. rawsonii, C. hirta, C. marlothii, Pellaea calomelanos and Ceterach cordatum.

                                                                Ceterach cordatum is widespread in southern Africa. The undersides of fronds are densely covered with pale brown scales. This plant tolerates very arid situations and survives in semi-desert, in dry subtropical woodlands, and scrub and forested areas.

                                                                Pellaea rufa grows just a few inches tall with purplish green pinnules. Found only in the Cape Province of South Africa, it grows among rocks, usually on the southern shady side, and is considered rare. This arid habitat generally records less than six inches of seasonal rain and from below freezing temperatures to fairly hot. Plants are deciduous during the extended dry season. In contrast, Pellaea calomelanos is common and widespread in southern Africa. It also grows in rocky areas but in both wet and arid climates.

                                                                About 30 species of
                                                                Cheilanthes ferns are found in southern Africa. Found only in Cape Province, South Africa, C. depauperata grows to about a foot tall, with undersides of fronds covered with yellowish, sticky hairs. It is considered rare and grows in full sun, in rock crevices or next to boulders on the fringes of the Great Karoo. This plant is thought to better withstand cold, drought and heat extremes than any other fern in southern Africa. The name means starved or impoverished, and the pinnae lobes and pinnules are just a millimeter wide and the frond 6-18 mm across (that is, less than an inch). Cheilanthes depauperata is quite distinct from other species of Cheilanthes.

                                                                Pellaea_calomelanos001
                                                                Pellaea calomelanos. wikipedia.org. Public domain.

                                                                Cheilanthes hirta is widespread in southern Africa and is able to survive a long dry season, when it shrivels in the shelter of rock crevices. Along with C. eckloniana, these are xeric ferns of summer rainfall areas. Cheilanthes marlothii is found among rocks in Namibia in dry woodland, savanna and semi-desert habitats. It turns green with the first rains of summer. C. contracta and C. induta grow in the winter rainfall areas of the Cape. Cheilanthes parviloba is found in the southern Cape as well as Namibia.

                                                                Cheilanthes rawsonii is another rare desert fern, dried for most of the year. Sporadic winter rains cause the pinnae to unroll and turn green, and new fronds to grow.

                                                                Reference:
                                                                Burrows, J. E., & Burrows, S. (1990). Southern African ferns and fern allies. Sandton, South Africa: Frandsen.


                                                                Where to Purchase Xeric Ferns


                                                                It can be a challenge to find xeric ferns for sale, as they have limited popularity. Since they are generally small, seasonally green and often hidden away in rock gardens, this is perhaps understandable. However, fern lovers have always sought out the unusual, and ferns with low water needs have definite potential for San Diego growers.

                                                                We look to native plants for winter/spring growth due to our rainy season. In other parts of the US, there may be better availability in summer. Frequent visits to local independent nurseries, chains and sometimes even big box stores may produce interesting ferns, and please share your shopping secrets with the club.

                                                                On the internet, a few sources show potential. As noted last month, the University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley (botanicalgarden.berkeley.edu) has a collection of xerophytic ferns. They may have some for sale in their native plants nursery. Georgia Perimeter College Native Plant Botanical Garden in Decatur GA (depts.gpc.edu/~decbt/) has xeric ferns and expects to propagate and sell them. They recommend these as potential ferns for the southeastern US:
                                                                Cheilanthes lanosa, called hairy lip fern; C. tomentosa, woolly lip fern; C. alabamensis, Alabama lip fern; C. lindheimeri, white colt lip fern; C. myriophyll, Argentine lip fern; C. argentea, desert lip fern; Pellaea ovata, Texas cliff brake fern; Pellaea wrightiana, Wright's cliff brake fern; Astrolepis sinuata, wavy cloak fern. Note that some of these plants grow naturally in the Southwest.

                                                                Foliage Gardens of Bellevue WA (foliagegardens.com) carries Cheilanthes lanosa. Fancy Fronds Nursery, Goldbar WA (fancyfronds.com) lists Polypodium calirhiza 'Sarah Lyman', common name plumose California hybrid polypody, a natural hybrid of two native California ferns.

                                                                Plant Delights Nursery in Raleigh NC (plantdelights.com) has several Cheilanthes listed for sale: C. argentea, silver cloak fern from China; C. distans, bristly cloak fern from New Zealand; C. eckloniana 'Naude's Neck', called Ecklon's lip fern, from South Africa; C. lanosa, hairy lip fern; C. quadripinnata, four-pinnate leaf African fern from South Africa.

                                                                Crow Dog Native Ferns, Pickens SC (crowdognativeferns.com) carries Chelianthes lanosa, C. tomentosa and Pellaea atropurpurea. Fern Ridge Farms, Canton GA (fernridgefarms.com) lists Cheilanthes lanosa, C. argentea, Cheilanthes sinuata (alternate name Astrolepis sinuata) and Woodwardia virginiana. Glasshouse Works, Stewart OH (glasshouseworks.com) does not currently show any xerics available but is a source for many types of ferns and selaginellas. Casa Flora, Dallas TX (casaflora.com) lists Astrolepis sinuata, Cheilanthes tomentosa, C. lanosa, C. argentea, Woodwardia virginica, W. orientalis and W. unigemmata.

                                                                Pasted Graphic
                                                                Plants of Cheilanthes eckloniana are offered for sale by Plant Delights Nursery. http://www.plantdelights.com/Cheilanthes-eckloniana-Naudes-Neck-Ecklons-Lip-Fern/productinfo/8805/#.UT6X3BnlW2w



                                                                Meeting Calendar 2013

                                                                March 28 (4th Thursday of the month)
                                                                April 18
                                                                May 16
                                                                June 20
                                                                July 11 (2nd Thursday of the month)

                                                                August 15
                                                                Fern Show: August 17-18
                                                                September 19
                                                                October 24 (4th Thursday of the month)
                                                                November 21
                                                                December 19

                                                                Board Meetings
                                                                Room 104, 7:30 pm on Tuesdays May 7, July 2, September 3, November 5


                                                                San Diego Fern Society Officers for 2013


                                                                President
                                                                Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
                                                                1st Vice President and Secretary
                                                                Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com
                                                                2nd Vice President
                                                                open (shared board responsibility)
                                                                Treasurer
                                                                Jay Amshey coastbiomaterials@cox.net
                                                                Board Members:
                                                                Bruce Barry
                                                                Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                                                                Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net
                                                                Richard Lujan
                                                                Bill Mous wim54321@gmail.com
                                                                Past President
                                                                Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

                                                                Website

                                                                www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                                                                Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                                                                Membership

                                                                Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting or mail to:

                                                                San Diego Fern Society
                                                                2350 Jennifer Ln
                                                                Encinitas CA 92024



                                                                San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                                                                The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                                                                * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                                                                * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                                                                * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                                                                The Society aims

                                                                * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                                                                * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                                                                * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                                                                * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                                                                * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.

                                                                Volume XXXVII, Number 3

                                                                FEBRUARY MEETING

                                                                The February meeting of the San Diego Fern Society will be held Thursday, February 21, 2013. The Society will meet at 7:30pm in Casa del Prado Room 101, Balboa Park.

                                                                February and early spring months are excellent times to visit the Anza-Borrego Desert. Several ferns grow in San Diego County deserts, as well as an interesting variety of other botanical wonders. You have the opportunity to learn more this month, with photos and commentary.

                                                                NEWS AND NOTES

                                                                Memberships

                                                                $12.00 will pay for a single or a household membership in the San Diego Fern Society, covering your enrollment through December 2013. See Bill Ganger or mail to the address on page 6.

                                                                Refreshments

                                                                February refreshments will be provided by Paula Couturier and Kathy Thomson. We will have a clipboard at the February meeting where you can sign up to bring goodies for the coming 2013 meetings.

                                                                Report on January Meeting

                                                                The San Diego Fern Society held its annual
                                                                Platycerium night on January 17. This year, the ever-popular staghorn ferns were the focus of a hands-on program. Those attending were treated to a demonstration by Don Callard and then had the opportunity to mount a staghorn pup to take home. Don along with other Platycerium growers assisted those working with staghorn pups, and also addressed questions and provided horticultural tips for San Diego gardeners of staghorns.

                                                                Looking Ahead

                                                                March means spring is on its way, and that is a season for new gardening adventures including new plants. We encourage you to spring clean your useful but no longer needed tools and garden items to sell to others. Your ferns and specialty plants as well as repurposed tools, decorative plant containers, aquariums, plant stands, yard art and gardening books may be sold on consignment or donated for the Spring Gardener's Sale following the March 28 meeting.

                                                                Take time to clean up your extra ferns and gardening items to prepare for this yard sale. Someone else is sure to enjoy your bonus plants, and then you will make room in your growing area for something you always wanted. As always, make certain that ferns are free of pests before this sale.

                                                                Xeric Ferns

                                                                Since everyone knows that ferns need water, the concept of drought-adapted ferns can be a bit hard to grasp. In San Diego County we have several species of ferns growing in the desert. However in our gardens the rule might be stated: no water, no ferns. The popularity of water saving in the garden and of using drought tolerant plants does not seem compatible with ferns.

                                                                The xeric ferns, also called xerophytic ferns, do not directly give us the tropical paradise style of garden. San Diego gardeners want to retain their
                                                                Platycerium ferns, tree ferns and various beautiful tropical and subtropical fern varieties. Comments from Fern Show guests indicate that ferns enhance a peaceful and serene environment. The Fern Society will continue to study all types of ferns at our meetings.

                                                                If you grow xeric ferns, you may not gain immediate attention from your friends but you certainly will impress the members of the San Diego Fern Society. The planting and care of xeric ferns is generally different from other ferns. It is important to research these plants and their environments. Most of the ferns in the desert have roots stretching back under rocks, which enhances collection of needed moisture. Often these plants are summer dormant when there is no summer rainfall. Some have fronds which curl up in dry times and open out again with moisture. Desert areas sometimes have late summer rainfall to complicate the watering issues.

                                                                Sue Olsen recounts her amazement at seeing xeric ferns growing in a remote Arizona dry gulch. Although she resides in the ferny habitat of western Washington State, she chooses to grow
                                                                Cheilanthes ferns, using a mix of well-washed pumice, bark and granite grit with a little loamy compost. She locates the containers where air circulates, in full sun but under eaves to protect from excess rain in winter. In summer the plants are protected with light shade and receive water as needed.

                                                                The University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley has a collection of xerophytic ferns. The informational website explains that these ferns do not have succulent, water-retaining leaves, roots or stems like cactuses. Some species have waxy coatings on their leaves that reduce water loss during prolonged dry spells. Others have silvery scales, which protect fronds and deflect harsh sunlight. Naturally, some ferns go dormant during periods of prolonged drought. Such plants may survive up to five years in this dormant state.

                                                                The northern California Berkeley garden, according to website information, has found xeric ferns to be quite adaptable and suggests that they have potential for Bay Area landscapes. For use in the garden they recommend porous, well-drained soil, with bright light and good air circulation.

                                                                Untitled-1
                                                                Kirkpatrick, R. (2007, Winter). Dessication-Tolerant Ferns? University of California Botanical Garden Newsletter, 32(1&2), 1-2. Retrieved February 6, 2013. Photos: Ruth Kirkpatrick.

                                                                Fern Grower's Manual by Hoshizaki and Moran informs us that most ferns in the genera Actiniopteris, Astrolepis, Cheilanthes, Doryopteris, Notholaena, Pellaea and Pityrogramma can be considered xerophytic. Some of these ferns are considered challenging to grow. The authors suggest planting xeric ferns in bright but indirect sunlight, or up to full sun in coastal areas. Soil should drain well and may be kept lightly moist. A simple mix suggestion is one part leaf mold or peat moss and two parts gravelly sand. The plant crown should be slightly above soil level.

                                                                Xeric ferns are a special treasure of rock gardens. All of the
                                                                Astrolepis, Cheilanthes, Pellaea and Pityrogramma ferns are recommended for rock plantings.

                                                                References:

                                                                  Locating Ferns in Anza-Borrego
                                                                  Using ferns listed for Anza-Borrego as compiled by W.P. Armstrong between 1970 and 2003; augmented by Tom Chester. Specimen record locations from (2007) Jepson Online Interchange for California Floristics. http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/jeps/ Retrieved February 11, 2013. These place names are for Anza-Borrego.

                                                                  Adiantum capillus-veneris (Venus-Hair fern) Palm Canyon, Hellhole Canyon, upper Sheep Canyon.
                                                                  Cheilanthes covillei (Bead fern) Hellhole Canyon, Oriflamme Canyon, Palm Canyon, upper Blair Valley, Sentenac Canyon.
                                                                  C. parryi (Cottony Lipfern) Palm Canyon, Mountain Palm Springs, Canebrake, upper Blair Valley, Yaqui Wells, wash near Split Rock.
                                                                  C. viscida (Viscid Lipfern) upper Blair Valley, Palm Canyon, Mountain Springs, Sentenac Canyon, Hellhole Canyon.
                                                                  Pellaea mucronata (Bird's Foot fern) Palm Canyon.
                                                                  Pentagramma triangularis ssp. maxonii (Goldenback fern) Oriflamme Canyon.
                                                                  Pentagramma triangularis ssp. triangularis (Goldenback fern) Palm Canyon.
                                                                  Notholaena californica (California Cloak fern) Yaqui Wells, Vallecito Valley, Palm Canyon.

                                                                  Dividing Ferns

                                                                  Dividing a fern can provide a few good-sized plants much more quickly than growing from spore. For many desirable sterile cultivars, dividing is the only method recommended for propagating these plants.

                                                                  Suggested hardy ferns for division include
                                                                  Dryopteris spp., sometimes known as wood ferns, and Matteuccia struthiopteris, the ostrich fern, both of which produce offshoots that can be separated from the main stem. Microlepia strigosa, the lace fern, and Nephrolepis ssp. are examples of subtropical species that forms clumps with many growing points and can be divided.

                                                                  Ferns are best divided in spring or early summer while actively growing. For ferns dormant over winter, the earlier in the season you divide the plant, the longer the new division has to stabilize. Ferns that form clumps or have stems that branch above or below ground are suggested for division. Appropriate plants to divide include overgrown ferns which have secondary growing points or offshoots in the rhizome or roots. Secondary crowns of growth may be divided off to produce a new plant. Larger clumps or rhizome pieces are more likely to grow successfully than small ones. Clumps of
                                                                  Adiantum should be four inches or more across for easiest success.

                                                                  Before you begin dividing your fern, plan and prepare a garden location for the divisions. Choose areas of shade or partial shade away from drying winds. Prepare your garden planting area with humus-rich soil by including peat moss or leaf mold. Check the drainage of garden areas before planting ferns. Add perlite or coarse sand to improve drainage of San Diego area soils. Consider planting in raised beds or containers which can be prepared with soil mix to provide adequate drainage. Small divisions especially may be easier to grow in containers, then planted into the garden later.

                                                                  Dig up the entire plant from the ground, or remove from its container. You may choose to divide plants with a small sharp spade or a repurposed kitchen tool such as a disused knife. Forks can be inserted at the division line to gently separate the roots. A typical division consists of a portion of rhizome with one or more growing points and the attached roots and leaves. Although healthy roots or leaves are not absolutely necessary, fern divisions establish much more quickly if they are present. Large divisions give the best results, and more growing points in a division should produce a full plant more quickly. For small ferns, the rhizome length in a division should be at least two inches. For larger ferns, four or more inches are suggested. Cut only the stem and avoid cutting the roots.

                                                                  Trim away dead or broken stems, fronds, and roots and reduce the number of fronds for a large division. As recently demonstrated at the San Diego Fern Society meeting on staghorn ferns, the growing point must be protected. Plant the division into its location or keep roots moist if you are delayed. The growing point should be level with the soil surface. Use care while placing roots and soil, gently packing the soil. Replant the remaining divisions in the same way. Some gardeners like to try both a planting into the ground and another one in a container.

                                                                  Immediately after planting, water the fern thoroughly. Use a watering can with a fine sprinkler head to prevent washing away the soil. If the plant is not secure, straighten and support it with a rock or stake. Protect the new divisions from heat and drying winds. Keep the container or ground area around the new plant moist but never soaking wet. Often fronds wilt at first, and they can be trimmed off if they do not recover. When new fronds show, the planting is considered a success. However, continue to care for the new divisions carefully.

                                                                  References:

                                                                    Growing Xeric Ferns in San Diego
                                                                    Adapted from comments of David Schwartz, Bakersfield CA.

                                                                    xeric 3
                                                                    Cheilanthes bonariensis

                                                                    For the plants pictured above and next page, and most xerics, a well draining mix with lots of sun are key. Water regularly, but not to excess (soil should be dry to slightly damp/moist between waterings). In the ground, planting at the base of half submerged rocks seems to help give the roots a cool, moist environment for growth. In pots, the excellent drainage allows for more frequent moisture. San Diego is a perfect climate for growing xeric ferns; much more so than my conditions in Bakersfield.

                                                                    A general note on growing xerics: California xerics seem to be more difficult than most others I've grown, especially compared to those from the Arizona/New Mexico/Texas area. It is my belief that the reason lies in our dry summers, versus the monsoonal summers found in the Arizona to Texas desert areas. California natives seem to dislike water when the temperature gets much above the middle nineties. Ferns I grow from the Southwest do much better with summer water, especially with our hard summers here in Bakersfield.

                                                                    San Diego, with much milder summers, doesn't seem to have quite the issue. That observation seems to be born out watching how the same plants did in my garden versus the Halley garden in La Jolla. Our soils were comparable, but he had better luck with California natives than did I, and some were xeric ferns from the foothills and mountains here in Kern County.

                                                                    xeric 1
                                                                    Mildella fallax

                                                                    These plants were photographed at the Halley garden in coastal San Diego. All photos: Kathie Russell.

                                                                    xeric 2
                                                                    Cheilanthes tomentosa

                                                                    Rock Gardening with Ferns

                                                                    Reginald Kaye of England specialized in hardy ferns and also alpine plants. The British grew both types of plants in rock gardens and rock walls. These planting locations give excellent drainage and somewhat dry conditions. In his book, Kaye provides instruction in preparing a rock garden specifically for ferns. He recommends a two foot deep base, where all soil is removed and only coarse rock drainage material is used. He suggests a few inches of material such as leaves or fibrous peat over this to separate the planting mix from the gravelly base. The soil on top should be a light spongy combination of soil with leaf mold, peat, broken stone and sand, and must drain well. Form the soil into irregular mounds.

                                                                    Kaye advises making a garden picture with the rock. A few large and interesting pieces should be saved for the higher dominant feature in the design. He recommends placing the rocks firmly, setting them into the mounds at the same angle throughout the garden to appear as a rocky outcrop. Rocks with stratification lines should be placed uniformly. Generally he suggests planting the larger side down. An irregular pattern of terraces provides places for plantings. The dominate rock features should be in higher position.

                                                                    This type of planting will have a variety of places for ferns. Consider the sunlight, heat and water plans when locating ferns. Kaye specifically recommends some of the
                                                                    Cheilanthes as useful in the rock garden.

                                                                    Reg Kaye reminisces regarding his grandfather's rock garden, always shady and green with
                                                                    Polystichums. He found this a pleasant retreat, even in England's winter.
                                                                    It is interesting to remember that Reginald Kaye spoke to the San Diego Fern Society some years ago.

                                                                    Reference:
                                                                    Kaye, R. (1968). Hardy ferns. London: Faber.

                                                                    Meeting Calendar 2013
                                                                    February 21
                                                                    March 28 (4th Thursday of the month)
                                                                    April 18
                                                                    May 16
                                                                    June 20
                                                                    July 11 (2nd Thursday of the month)
                                                                    August 15
                                                                    Fern Show: August 17-18
                                                                    September 19
                                                                    October 24 (4th Thursday of the month)
                                                                    November 21
                                                                    December 19

                                                                    Board Meetings
                                                                    Room 104, 7:30 pm on Tuesdays March 5, May 7, July 2, September 3, November 5


                                                                    San Diego Fern Society Officers for 2013


                                                                    President
                                                                    Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
                                                                    1st Vice President and Secretary
                                                                    Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com
                                                                    2nd Vice President
                                                                    open (shared board responsibility)
                                                                    Treasurer
                                                                    Jay Amshey coastbiomaterias@cox.net

                                                                    Board Members:
                                                                    Bruce Barry
                                                                    Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                                                                    Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net
                                                                    Richard Lujan
                                                                    Bill Mous wim54321@gmail.com

                                                                    Past President
                                                                    Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

                                                                    Website

                                                                    www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                                                                    Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                                                                    Membership

                                                                    Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting or mail to:

                                                                    San Diego Fern Society
                                                                    2829 30
                                                                    th Street
                                                                    San Diego, CA 92104

                                                                    San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                                                                    The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                                                                    * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                                                                    * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                                                                    * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                                                                    The Society aims
                                                                    * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                                                                    * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                                                                    * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                                                                    * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                                                                    * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.

                                                                    Volume XXXVII, Number 2

                                                                    JANUARY FERN SOCIETY MEETING

                                                                    The January meeting of the San Diego Fern Society will be held Thursday, January 17, 2013. The Society will meet at 7:30pm in Casa del Prado Room 101, Balboa Park.

                                                                    January is our annual
                                                                    Platycerium night. The ever-popular staghorn ferns are the focus of a hand-on program. Each person attending will have the opportunity to mount a pup and begin or increase his/her personal staghorn collection. Bring your own pup, or purchase one from the club at modest cost. All supplies will be provided by the Society. Bring your questions also, as experienced Platycerium hobbyist growers will available.

                                                                    NEWS AND NOTES
                                                                    Memberships

                                                                    $12.00 will pay for a single or a household membership in the San Diego Fern Society, covering your enrollment through December 2013. See Bill Ganger or mail to the address on page 6.

                                                                    Report on December Annual Meeting

                                                                    The San Diego Fern Society held its annual meeting and dinner on December 20, 2012 in Casa del Prado Room 101, Balboa Park. Ham, turkey and assorted delicious dishes and desserts were shared by all. Following dinner, elections were held and the officers installed. (A listing of 2013 officers is found on page 6.) The meeting concluded with a spirited singing of Sherry Worthen’s version of “Deck the Halls With Boughs of Ferns.” Each family attending took home a beautiful six-inch fern to end the year 2012.

                                                                    Looking Ahead

                                                                    February and early spring months are excellent times to visit Anza Borrego Desert. Several ferns grow in San Diego County deserts, as well as an interesting variety of botanical wonders. Learn more at our meeting February 21.

                                                                    March means spring is on its way, and that is a season for new gardening adventures including new plants. We encourage you to spring clean your useful but no longer needed tools and garden items to sell to others. Your ferns and specialty plants as well as repurposed tools, decorative plant containers, aquariums, plant stands, yard art and gardening books may be sold on consignment or donated for the Spring Gardener's Sale at the March 28 meeting.

                                                                    A Sampling of Platyceriums from Far Away

                                                                    Africa:
                                                                    Southern and eastern Africa is the home of Platycerium alcicorne, which grows in the usual staghorn form with shield fronds against a tree but fertile fronds growing upward, divided into several fingers. The fertile fronds extend upright as much as two feet, and spore patches are on the frond lobes. In Africa the P. alcicorne can be found in the lowlands of Mozambique and the eastern edge of Zimbabwe. It also grows on Madagascar and the nearby Comoro Islands and Seychelles. Destruction of woodlands has reduced the occurrence of P. alcicorne in Zimbabwe.

                                                                    Platycerium alcicorne grows in deciduous woodland or semi-deciduous forest habitats. As it is found high in tall trees, plants are subject to dry winds and full sunlight. The fronds are covered with fine hairs which may reduce moisture loss. Shield fronds flare outwards at the top, collecting falling leaves and water.

                                                                    Madagascar, off the coast of Africa, is home to several
                                                                    Platyceriums. P. elephantotis, alternately named P. angolense, may be found in areas of east Africa also. This fern needs water but grows naturally in hot tropical locations with brief dry periods.

                                                                    P. madagascariens is a small plant with unique ridged shield fronds. Plants naturally attract ants. This fern is found in moderate elevation wet forests only in central Madagascar. P. quadridichotomum has tall upward shield fronds. It is found in forests of east and north Madagascar, on limestone rocks as well as on trees.

                                                                    Malaysia:
                                                                    Malaysia is dominated by rainforest, and numerous ferns grow in these habitats. Platycerium coronarium is frequently found on old trees in lower elevations. Plants are established in urban areas as well as forests. These ferns are large, and offshoots
                                                                    may circle the tree. Ants, snakes, rats and other small animals often live in the sterile shield fronds, which grow upward to 3 feet tall in a nest shape, collecting organic debris. Branched fertile fronds hang down six feet. Spore lobes about five inches across are attached to the hanging fronds, in a pattern that differs from most other
                                                                    Platyceriums. P. coronarium is widespread from Philippines to Indonesia.

                                                                    drawing1
                                                                    A single frond of Platycerium coronarium showing the location of spore lobe. After Wee (1997), Reference 3.

                                                                    Untitled0
                                                                    Spore lobe of Platycerium coronarium.
                                                                    Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Lindsay, S. & Middleton, D.J. (2012 onwards). Ferns of Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. Photo credit: P. Karaket
                                                                    http://rbg-web2.rbge.org.uk/thaiferns/
                                                                    Platycerium holttumii sometimes grows even larger than P. coronarium. The upward growing shield fronds may extend four feet. Pendulous fertile fronds have spore patches in the areas between the sterile lobes. This plant is found in hills in the north of the Malay Peninsula and northward into Thailand. It is tropical and grows in bright forest locations.

                                                                    Platycerium wallichii is usually a small plant and often grows near the sea in Langkawi, an island of Malaysia, and also areas of Thailand, Burma and India. The shield fronds are bright green during the rainy season and the fertile fronds spread outward in a dusky green with spores under the lobes. Plants become dormant during the dry season and then fertile fronds appear gray and twisted.

                                                                    Untitled11
                                                                    Plants of Platycerium wallichii are offered for sale by Siam Exotica in Thailand. http://www.siamexotica.com/AboutUs.html

                                                                    Platycerium ridleyi is a lowland forest epiphytic fern, often found near rivers in parts of Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo. A small plant growing high in the trees, it displays shield fronds that are strongly ribbed. The fertile fronds branch upwards rather than hanging down. Like P. coronarium, this fern develops spores on lobes from the fertile frond.

                                                                    References:

                                                                      Getting out to see ferns

                                                                      Recent rains have brought new life, literally, to local native ferns. Almost any wildlands preserve in San Diego County will show some ferns at this time of year. Along the coast you can see Polypodium californicum. Try Torrey Pines State Reserve or the Sunset Cliffs area for beautiful views of the coastline with ferns right in sight. P. californicum also will be found in Mission Trails Regional Park and many open spaces in the county.

                                                                      Pentagramma triangularis grows right in Balboa Park, very near where Fern Society meetings are held. Walk the marked trail located down the hill between Park Boulevard and Florida Drive. Look for this tiny fern low on the hillside in the moist banks and rocky areas along the trail. The variety in our area has a bright white farina (wax-like coating) on the reverse of fronds.

                                                                      Adiantum jordanii can be found in Mission Trails as well as many other areas of the county. This lovely maidenhair, growing in shade on rocky or grassy hillsides, is at its best this time of year.

                                                                      Cheilanthes newberryi, sometimes called cotton fern, Pellaea andromedifolia, commonly known as coffee fern, and Pellaea mucronata, known as bird's foot fern, survive in fairly dry and sunny areas around San Diego County. All can be found in Mission Trails Regional Park.
                                                                      Nearby Platycerium Viewing

                                                                      As most know, staghorn ferns do not grow naturally in San Diego. However this popular fern can be viewed at San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas, the Botanical Building in Balboa Park just north of Casa del Prado, and at the San Diego Zoo.


                                                                      platy front of zoo1
                                                                      Several Platycerium species and many cultivars can be grown without the protection of a greenhouse. Remember that the climate areas in San Diego County vary greatly from the coast through inland valleys, mountains and desert. However with appropriate location and care San Diego area residents can enjoy growing many Platyceriums.

                                                                      large platy zoo1

                                                                      platy hands zoo1

                                                                      hand from zoo1
                                                                      All photos on this page show Platyceriums growing outdoors near the entry plaza of San Diego Zoo. These are nicely mounted in large Ficus trees with drip watering, and seem be attractive all year. Photo credit: Kathie Russell.

                                                                      The name Platycerium is derived from Latin, meaning flat horn.


                                                                      Further information on Platyceriums

                                                                      The book generally recommended for learning about staghorn ferns is Platycerium Hobbyist's Handbook, unfortunately out of print. Roy Vail, the author, provided some biographical information to Texas Gulf Coast Fern Society this past year. He noted that he purchased his first Platycerium from a discount store in New Mexico where he then lived.

                                                                      As Roy Vail learned more about the genus, he developed his collection, traveling to see people and plants in Texas, Florida and California. While traveling he got the idea for the book and began writing, spending two years preparing
                                                                      Platycerium Hobbyist's Handbook. He had a greenhouse in New Mexico where he was a biology teacher. Now retired, he built another greenhouse in Arkansas when he relocated there. He currently maintains a small collection of staghorn ferns.
                                                                      Untitled3


                                                                      In addition to his teaching career, for which he was recognized as Outstanding Biology Teacher for New Mexico, Roy has brought focus to the need for conservation. He has made trips to Australia, and notably he traveled to Peru with Lee Moore, the rediscoverer of
                                                                      Platycerium andinum. On a later trip with Keith Rogers they became concerned about protection of P. andinum. Now, the Nature Conservancy has visited the conservation group in Pucacaca, Peru and intends to assist them.

                                                                      References:

                                                                        Fern Grower's Manual contains cultural information on Platyceriums (p.104-106) and extensive species descriptions, photos and drawings (p. 427-437).

                                                                        Hoshizaki, B. and Moran, R. (2001).
                                                                        Fern grower's manual. Portland, OR: Timber Press.

                                                                        Another source of fern information is
                                                                        http://www.rareferns.com/. Charles Alford has grown and sold Platyceriums and other plants for many years in Florida. He ships plants within the US. Using a computer, explore this website for great photos and cultural information on staghorn ferns.

                                                                        Further websites of interest are:
                                                                        http://www.platycerium.co.za/
                                                                        http://www.texasstaghornferns.com/

                                                                        Locally, finding
                                                                        Platyceriums to purchase might lead you to the San Diego Fern Society. Ask questions regarding various species and cultivars at the January meeting. Platyceriums will be sold by growers on consignment with the Society in January and at the August Fern Show.

                                                                        Various interesting cultivars and species of
                                                                        Platyceriums are available at local nurseries. Try Walter Andersen Nursery (locations in San Diego and Poway) and the various independent and chain nurseries throughout southern California.

                                                                        Meeting Calendar 2013
                                                                        January 17
                                                                        February 21
                                                                        March 28 (4th Thursday of the month)
                                                                        April 18
                                                                        May 16
                                                                        June 20
                                                                        July 11
                                                                        August 15
                                                                        Fern Show: August 17-18
                                                                        September 19
                                                                        October 24 (4th Thursday of the month)
                                                                        November 21
                                                                        December 19

                                                                        Board Meetings
                                                                        Room 104, 7:30 pm on Tuesdays March 5, May 7, July 2, September 3, November 5


                                                                        San Diego Fern Society Officers for 2013


                                                                        President
                                                                        Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com

                                                                        1st Vice President and Secretary
                                                                        Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com

                                                                        2nd Vice President
                                                                        open (shared board responsibility)

                                                                        Treasurer
                                                                        Jay Amshey coastbiomaterias@cox.net

                                                                        Board Members:
                                                                        Bruce Barry
                                                                        Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                                                                        Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net
                                                                        Richard Lujan
                                                                        Bill Mous wim54321@gmail.com

                                                                        Past President
                                                                        Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

                                                                        Website

                                                                        www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                                                                        Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                                                                        Membership

                                                                        Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting or mail to:
                                                                        San Diego Fern Society
                                                                        2829 30
                                                                        th Street
                                                                        San Diego, CA 92104

                                                                        San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                                                                        The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                                                                        * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                                                                        * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                                                                        * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                                                                        The Society aims
                                                                        * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                                                                        * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                                                                        * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                                                                        * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                                                                        * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.


                                                                        Volume XXXVII, Number 1

                                                                        DECEMBER FERN SOCIETY:

                                                                        Annual Meeting and Party

                                                                        The final meeting for 2012 of the San Diego Fern Society will be held on Thursday, December 20. The Fern Society meets in Room
                                                                        101 of Casa del Prado in Balboa Park. This month we start early, at 6:30 pm for the Annual Meeting and Party. Arrive around 6 pm to enjoy the company of fellow ferners and share festivities and the good food. After dinner we will conduct the election followed by the installation of officers.

                                                                        Dinner Party Plans

                                                                        The Fern Society party has the nominal cost of $3 per person. (See Bill Ganger if you have yet to pay). Delicious ham, turkey, dressing and gravy will be provided, as well as beverages, rolls and butter. Please bring a side dish or dessert (with serving utensils) to feed 8-10 people, and we request that you bring your own plates, glasses and silverware. Doors open at 5:30 for set-up and the dinner begins at 6:30. Come around 6 pm to set out food.

                                                                        Membership Renewal Time

                                                                        The annual membership fee is $12 for a single or household membership. This covers your enrollment from January through December 2013. See Bill Ganger or mail to the address on page 6.

                                                                        Report on November Meeting

                                                                        The November meeting of the San Diego Fern Society was a very engaging program on Ferns of Columbia, South America.
                                                                        Our speaker Dylan Hannon is Curator of Conservatory and Tropical Collections at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens. Dylan took us by photos to Columbia, showing us tropical and mountain habitat with ferns and other intriguing plants.

                                                                        Dylan works with plants from tropical and Mediterranean biomes. His interests include growing, propagating and distributing rare plants, as well as writing, photography and botany. His travels are part of collection management of the conservatory at Huntington Gardens. A special thanks to Amna Cornett, our 1st vice president, for contacting Dylan and arranging this special program. Also, some members and gardening friends may want to visit the Huntington Gardens together, so let Amna know if you are interested.

                                                                        Nominations for 2013
                                                                        San Diego Fern Society Officers


                                                                        President: Kathie Russell

                                                                        1
                                                                        st Vice President and Secretary: Amna Cornett

                                                                        2
                                                                        nd Vice President: open (shared board responsibility)

                                                                        Treasurer:
                                                                        Jay Amshey

                                                                        Board Members: Bruce Barry, Bob Charlton, Bill Ganger, Richard Lujan, Bill Mous

                                                                        Past President: Don Callard remains on the Board


                                                                        Victorian Times and the Fern Craze

                                                                        The Victorian Era is considered to be the period of British history while Queen Victoria reigned, 1837 to 1901. A time of (mostly) peace, Britain enjoyed improved health and prosperity, and its population doubled. Some customs of the Victorian Era are evident in the US today. Albert, Prince Consort, is popularly credited with bringing the Christmas tree to England. Sending of Christmas cards began in the mid 1800s, and also pulling apart Christmas crackers at dinners and parties. Even the law designating December 26 as a holiday in Britain expanded Christmas from religious observance only into extended times of "conviviality" with family and friends.

                                                                        Interest in natural history became popular among the general public. Hobbies developed, such as birding and collecting butterflies or seashells. Amateurs collected and pressed wild flowers and ferns into albums. With the transportation option of trains, people went out to the countryside and dug up fern plants for their homes. The Victorian Fern Craze caused some areas to be decimated of their ferns. Eventually nurserymen began propagating ferns rather than just collecting them, so many varieties of ferns continued to be available, although much damage was done.

                                                                        Fern designs were popular in decorative items during the Victorian era. A fern motif was common on garden art and furniture, glass and china, and wallpaper. Extensive garden ferneries were established on the estates of the wealthy. Since plants from around the world had arrived in England, glass conservatories were built to house ferns, orange trees and other tropicals.

                                                                        Persons of modest means were able to grow ferns in the Wardian case, a decorative glass enclosed box or dome. Industrial and heating pollution from use of coal was an issue in cities of Britain. The cases protected plants and conserved humidity. The Wardian case was the forerunner of terrarium fern growing.

                                                                        Struthiopteris1

                                                                        Woodcut of
                                                                        Struthiopteris germanica, now known as Matteucia struthiopteris, in the Victorian era book Ferns: British and exotic. Illustration prepared from fronds gathered from the Fernery and Highfield House (Reference 3).

                                                                        The Victorian era was characterized by interest in natural sciences. Britain's exploration and trade around the world brought numbers of ferns to England. Living tropical ferns were grown in glass conservatories and studied. Scientists in research institutions pressed fern specimens for botanic collections, a pattern which continues to the present. Many fern books were printed, showing the extensive study and demand for fern information. The era brought increased options for propagation, culture and hybridization of ferns. These activities of over a hundred years ago established a base for expanded horticultural and botanical study of ferns in our time.

                                                                        Southport Glasshouse
                                                                        The Glasshouse at Botanic Gardens in Southport, England. This structure was demolished during 1930s or 1940s. Photo from the 1920s; Unknown photographer; public domain.

                                                                        References:


                                                                          Color in Ferns for holidays
                                                                          or throughout the year

                                                                          Green is the color of the season, whether in an evergreen tree or a beautiful fern. There is even a hardy fern known as the Christmas fern, Polystichum acrostichoides, in recognition of its green beauty in cold winter landscapes. Although most of us find the many variations of green color to be part of the attraction of ferns, some other colors are also in the fern picture.

                                                                          Silverback fern is the common name of the local native fern,
                                                                          Pentagramma triangularis. The silver white color under the small fronds is the farina, a powdery coating which may reduce moisture loss during dry periods. Fern fronds curl up when rain is insufficient and reveal the silver white underside. P. triangularis subsp. rebmanii, described by local botanists Annette Winner of SD Natural History Museum and Michael Simpson of SDSU, has bits of the white coating on the top surface of the frond as well. P. triangularis subsp. triangularis is known by the name goldback fern, with the farina showing amber to yellow color.


                                                                          Red fir or silvertip fir, Albies magnifica, a California native evergreen in Lassen National Forest. red fir for FW 2
                                                                          Photo credit: Kathie Russell.

                                                                          goldback 2
                                                                          Goldback fern, Pentagramma triangularis subsp. triangularis, Irish Hills Preserve, San Luis Obispo County. Photo credit: Kathie Russell.

                                                                          silverback 2
                                                                          Silverback fern, Pentagramma triangularis, Mission Trails Regional Park, San Diego.
                                                                          Photo credit: Kathie Russell.

                                                                          Ferns which show variegation of white or cream color are grown for the nursery and floral trade. Some of these are commonly used in San Diego such as
                                                                          Pteris argyraea, P. albo-lineata, P. cretica 'Mayii' and P. ensiformis. Also some Boston fern varieties with variegation are sold such as "tiger fern." Maidenhairs occasionally show variegation.

                                                                          Several species of
                                                                          Blechnum have amazing pink/red color in their new growth. In San Diego these color bursts usually come in late winter. B. gibbum and B. appendiculatum are examples. Dryopteris erythrosora, known as the autumn fern, has new growth in a vibrant bronze tone, as do some Davallias. Adiantum hispidulum, the rosy maidenhair, shows a lovely pink in new spring growth, as do a few other Adiantums.

                                                                          A hispidulum 2
                                                                          Spring rosy pink growth of Adiantum hispidulum, rosy maidenhair, private garden, San Diego County. Photo credit: Brian Russell.

                                                                          autumn fern 2
                                                                          New pinkish bronze growth of the autumn fern Dryopteris erythrosora, private garden, San Diego County. The color is most interesting in late winter. Photo credit: Kathie Russell.



                                                                          apple court WA 2
                                                                          Athyrium niponicum 'Apple Court' seasonal color photographed in May, Washington Park Arboretum, Seattle WA. Photo credit: Kathie Russell.
                                                                          The ghost fern, a hybrid between Japanese painted fern,
                                                                          Athyrium niponicum 'Pictum' and lady fern, A. felix-femina, shows silvery color. Varieties of A. niponicum of interest for their color include 'Apple Court' and 'Burgundy Lace'. An interesting variation of the lady fern, Athyrium felix-femina, has violet-red stipes during the growing season spring through fall. This colorful native originally from Vermont is recommended for areas with cold winters and acidic soil types.

                                                                          red lady WA 2
                                                                          Red variety of Athyrium felix-femina in May, Washington Park Arboretum, Seattle WA.
                                                                          Photo credit: Kathie Russell.
                                                                          The iridescent blue fern frond is unknown to most of us. These unique blue ferns are found in areas of very low light, and the color is not blue pigment but rather an optical observation of thin-film interference. Certain wavelengths of light interfere in reflection between top and bottom layers in the filmy frond.
                                                                          Trichomanes elegans is one example, a terrestrial filmy fern which grows in very dark tropical forests of Panama. Robbin Moran reported that it was so dark when he found this fern that he was unable to photograph it. Blue color has been studied in a few species of ferns and a Selaginella. For further discussion and explanation of blue iridescence in ferns see Reference 3.

                                                                          References:

                                                                            Looking Ahead

                                                                            Platycerium night is this coming January 17. All those attending will have the opportunity to mount a platy pup onto a board. You may bring a small pup or purchase one that evening. Supplies will be provided by the society. Platycerium ferns will be sold on consignment, so bring your surplus to sell and also some funds to acquire new varieties for your collection.

                                                                            Meeting Calendar 2013

                                                                            January 17
                                                                            February 21
                                                                            March 28 (4th Thursday of the month)
                                                                            April 18
                                                                            May 16
                                                                            June 20

                                                                            Board Meetings
                                                                            Room 104 on January 8 and the first Tuesday of March, May, July, September, November

                                                                            San Diego Fern Society Officers


                                                                            President
                                                                            Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
                                                                            1st Vice President and Secretary
                                                                            Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com
                                                                            2nd Vice President
                                                                            Gary Bourne
                                                                            Treasurer
                                                                            Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net
                                                                            Past President
                                                                            Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com
                                                                            Board Members:
                                                                            Bruce Barry
                                                                            Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                                                                            Richard Lujan
                                                                            Bill Mous

                                                                            Website

                                                                            www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                                                                            Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                                                                            Membership

                                                                            Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting or mail to:
                                                                            San Diego Fern Society
                                                                            2829 30
                                                                            th Street
                                                                            San Diego, CA 92104

                                                                            San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                                                                            The San Diego Fern Society was formed

                                                                            * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                                                                            * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                                                                            * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                                                                            The Society aims

                                                                            * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                                                                            * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                                                                            * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                                                                            * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                                                                            * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.




                                                                            Volume XXXVI, Number 12

                                                                            NOVEMBER FERN SOCIETY MEETING

                                                                            The November meeting of the San Diego Fern Society will be held Thursday, November 15, 2012. The Society will meet at 7:30pm in Casa del Prado Room 101, Balboa Park. The program will be "Ferns of Columbia, South America," presented by Dylan Hannon, Curator of Conservatory and Tropical Collections at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens.

                                                                            Dylan Hannon will give a photo presentation on ferns in Columbia, South America. He will include some begonias, showing us some species mostly from Laos that he has never seen anywhere else, as well as a few from Colombia, and also other intriguing plants.

                                                                            Dylan maintains a special focus on plants from tropical and Mediterranean biomes. His interests include growing, propagating and distributing rare plants, as well as writing, photography and botany. His work background is in commercial nursery, botanical garden and botanical research. Dylan combines the talents and experiences that always make for a fascinating program. Members, fern friends and guests will want to take advantage of this opportunity.

                                                                            Memberships

                                                                            $12.00 will pay for a single or a household membership in the San Diego Fern Society, covering your enrollment through December 2013. See Bill Ganger or mail to the address on page 6.

                                                                            Refreshments

                                                                            November refreshments will be provided by Kathie Russell and Bill Mous.

                                                                            Report on October Meeting

                                                                            In October we were privileged to view photos from Alaska, with all the ferns there are to see, courtesy of adventure traveler Jay Amshey. Southeast Alaska has an amazing cultural heritage, protected natural waterways and the Tongass National Forest, the largest in the US. Secluded waterways, glaciers and forests provided the backdrop for many interesting ferns, mosses and other flora, as well as a few bears.

                                                                            Nominations for 2013

                                                                            The Nominations Committee nominates Fern Society members for election to fill the positions of officers and board members for the coming year 2013. These nominations will be presented at the November general meeting, and additional nominations are accepted from the floor in November only, with prior consent of the person being nominated. Elections are held at the annual meeting of the San Diego Fern Society in December.

                                                                            Nominations for 2013 San Diego Fern Society Officers


                                                                            President: Kathie Russell
                                                                            1
                                                                            st Vice President and Secretary: Amna Cornett
                                                                            2
                                                                            nd Vice President: open (shared board responsibility)
                                                                            Treasurer: Jay Amshey
                                                                            Board Members: Bruce Barry, Bob Charlton, Bill Ganger, Richard Lujan, Bill Mous

                                                                            Past President: Don Callard remains on the Board

                                                                            About The Huntington

                                                                            The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens is one of the world’s great cultural, research, and educational centers. A private, nonprofit institution, it was founded in 1919 by Henry E. Huntington, a businessman who built a financial empire that included railroad companies, utilities, and real estate holdings in Southern California.

                                                                            Mr Huntington was also a man of vision with a special interest in books, art, and gardens. During his lifetime, he amassed the core of one of the finest research libraries in the world, established a splendid art collection, and created an array of botanical gardens with plants from around the globe. These three distinct facets of The Huntington are linked by research, education, and beauty.

                                                                            Brief Description of the Gardens at The Huntington

                                                                            In 1903 Henry Huntington purchased the San Marino Ranch, a working ranch at that time with citrus groves, nut and fruit orchards, alfalfa crops, a small herd of cows, and poultry. His superintendent William Hertrich was instrumental in developing the various plant collections of the gardens. The property, originally nearly 600 acres, today consists of 207 acres, of which about 120 are landscaped and open to visitors. More than 14,000 different varieties of plants are showcased in more than a dozen garden areas.

                                                                            Huntington and Hertrich worked together to mold the working ranch into a botanical garden of rare and exotic plants. They searched local nurseries and visited other plant collectors to find unique specimens, and imported plants from many parts of the world to experiment with their cultivation in Southern California. The Lily Ponds were developed first. Huntington and Hertrich worked together on the Palm, Desert, and Japanese gardens and planned the North Vista and the landscaping around the mansion.

                                                                            Today The Huntington features more than a dozen garden areas, specializing in camellias, herbs, roses, subtropicals and Australian plants. There is a Chinese garden and a garden for children, a conservatory and a Shakespeare garden. A new project, the Huntington Ranch, draws from the history of the estate to provide a place for research and demonstration of sustainable urban agriculture.

                                                                            For further information see
                                                                            http://www.huntington.org/ and also the article on page 5. Naming the Mother Fern

                                                                            Asplenium ferns were studied at the September Fern Society meeting. We looked at some of the birds nest types of Aspleniums to determine their botanical classification, as labels from the nursery trade are often not botanically correct. Similarly, botanists in New Zealand studying Asplenium bulbiferum have determined that these plants are mostly labeled incorrectly in the nursery trade. Amna took note of a newsletter article from the Fern Society of Victoria, Australia. There, author Barry White provided an explanation. The plant in the nursery trade known as mother fern and labeled Asplenium bulbiferum is actually a sterile hybrid of A. bulbiferum ssp bulbiferum, growing only in New Zealand, and another Asplenium from Norfolk Island, A. dimorphum. (A different subspecies, A. bulbiferum ssp gracillimum, grows naturally in Australia.)

                                                                            The New Zealand botanists have named and published the hybrid as Asplenium x lucrosum, and it is suggested that the hybridization occurred in England in the early 1800s. The parent plants are recorded at Kew for 1820 and 1831. In 1858, Lowe wrote that A. bulbiferum was commonly grown in nearly all greenhouses in Britain, in his work Ferns: British and exotic. This set of eight volumes is in the Botanical Foundation library in Casa del Prado, room 104. In an unpublished thesis of 1954, D.L. Knowlton, in taxonomic study of Aspleniums, stated that all the plants in cultivation of this hybrid were descended from one plant (reported in reference 2).

                                                                            This hybrid Asplenium x lucrosum is only propagated from the bulbils along the fronds and is not grown from spore. The spores are irregular in size and shape, and considered infertile. In Australia and New Zealand the mother fern is commonly called hen and chicks fern. This fern is widely sold in the US as well as around the world.

                                                                            mother fern for FW2
                                                                            Fern presumed to be Asplenium x lucrosum, Fern Canyon, San Diego Zoo. Photo credit: Kathie Russell.

                                                                            References:

                                                                              Ferning in San Diego in the Fall
                                                                              by Bob Halley, first published in Fern World, 1993


                                                                              If you like summer in San Diego, you should love fall. The hardest part is trying to find it. I think we agree that winter generally starts with the first real rains in November, and the summer may last into October. Doesn't leave much for fall, does it? Anyway, as far as the ferns are concerned fall is to enjoy. I guess we may say that it starts when many of the ferns stop growing, and the deciduous ones start to turn brown. I would arbitrarily say it starts when the nighttime temperatures in your area fall below 60°F.

                                                                              The next question is what to do about it. The answer is, "Pretty much what comes naturally." As fronds turn brown and ugly, cut them off. If we had a cold snowy climate, those old fronds would serve to help protect the plant through the winter, but here they simply become a home for pests. Until the first rains come we have to keep watering, but since most of the plants are not growing they should be watered sparingly. After the rains, start to be very careful not to add your own water to the rain and thus drown the plants.

                                                                              On the other hand, dry spells of more than a week or so mean that some water should be added to the plants that are still green and trying to grow. In the case of a Santa Ana condition when hot dry winds blow across our area from the desert to the east of us, everything in your yard that is still growing will need water. And more importantly, you must try to keep the humidity up by sprinkling the whole area several times a day and keep the mulch well dampened.

                                                                              Feeding should stop except for plants such as Platyceriums and Polypodium formosanum that like to grow through the winter.

                                                                              Most pests should have given up by now since there is very little good fresh sap to suck, and the old fronds aren't very attractive to snails. As the old fronds die back and the plants become easier to see into, it is a good time to inspect for hard scale and get rid of them.

                                                                              Even though a plant may have outgrown its home during the summer growth period, this is not the time to repot or separate it. Wait until the growing period starts again in the spring or you will be encouraging more drowning.

                                                                              Bob Halley, a native San Diegan, was a retired physicist who was very active in the San Diego Fern Society for many years, serving as author, president, fern enthusiast and educator.

                                                                              Huntington Botanical Gardens, the Early Years

                                                                              William Hertrich, a young landscape gardener, set out from New England in 1903 for a visit to relatives in California and stayed to work as a landscaper. By the end of the following year, he was offered a position on Huntington's San Marino Ranch. At first his work was establishing a drainage system for the extensive property which included sections of citrus and grain. Soon the perennial need of Southern California became his work focus – water supply and reservoir storage. In the early years he was able to complete the lily ponds. Since the family resided in San Marino during the winter months, Hertrich engineered a heating system for one large pond and grew tropical water lilies, including the giant-leaved Victoria, which could then flower into mid-January.

                                                                              Mr Huntington was interested in a tropical look for his gardens, so a palm garden was begun on a four acre site. Collection was a slow process, with palms coming from Southern California nurseries as well as sources in the eastern US, Europe and Japan. Huntington and Hertrich had decided to introduce palms from different parts of the world and test their suitability as landscape material for California home gardens and parks. Nearly 150 species and varieties were successfully grown, but very cold years would always reduce the extensive palm collection. Tropical plants suffered greatly in years such as 1913 which had a low temperature of 20º F. No truly tropical species survived in San Marino, where the climate is similar to areas of east San Diego County such as El Cajon or Ramona.

                                                                              Mr Hertrich's account states that after the palm area was under development, he requested permission from Mr Huntington to establish a cactus garden. Mr Huntington thoroughly disliked all types of cacti, explaining that he had had an unfortunate personal introduction to prickly cactus while working in Arizona. However, noting the uniqueness of this type of garden and the opportunity to bring in American plants which would have scientific and education value, Mr Huntington was finally convinced. There was a barren hillside, unsightly and unsuitable for most plantings, available for a cactus garden. The initial planting of 300 cactus and desert plants went well, and further plants were collected from Arizona and Mexico.

                                                                              Starting in 1908, glass houses were constructed for tropical plants. At first these were for orchids, a favorite of Mrs Huntington. Then rare tropical palms, ferns, anthuriums and ornamentals were cultivated in these shelters. Edible crops of vegetables were grown in small greenhouses as well for the family to enjoy during the winter.

                                                                              The first avocado orchard was grown from seeds acquired from a restaurant chef, with seven acres of seedlings planted by 1907. However the previously mentioned freeze of 1913 killed back these plants. The following spring Hertrich was surprised to find new growth from the roots, and after two years of care the trees were rebudded with grafts of avocado varieties.

                                                                              William Hertrich tells interesting tales of acquiring rare cycads, attempts to reduce the gopher population, finding suitable stone for the rockery garden, and establishing the Japanese Garden. Reading his stories and viewing the historic black and white photos of the property in the early years, in the book listed below, would make an excellent preview to a visit to the gardens today. The San Marino Ranch, after more than a hundred years of cultivation and special care, is truly a treasure and is open to the public.

                                                                              Reference:
                                                                              Hertrich, W. (1949). The Huntington Botanical Gardens 1905-1949. San Marino, CA: Huntington Library.



                                                                              Meeting Calendar 2013
                                                                              January 17
                                                                              February 21
                                                                              March 28 (4th Thursday of the month)
                                                                              April 18
                                                                              May 16
                                                                              June 20


                                                                              Board Meetings
                                                                              Room 104 on the first Tuesday of January, March, May, July, September, November


                                                                              December 20, 2012
                                                                              San Diego Fern Society
                                                                              Annual Meeting and Party
                                                                              Room 101, 6:30 pm





                                                                              San Diego Fern Society Officers


                                                                              President
                                                                              Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
                                                                              1
                                                                              st Vice President and Secretary
                                                                              Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com
                                                                              2
                                                                              nd Vice President
                                                                              Gary Bourne
                                                                              Treasurer
                                                                              Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net
                                                                              Past President
                                                                              Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com
                                                                              Board Members:
                                                                              Bruce Barry
                                                                              Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                                                                              Richard Lujan
                                                                              Bill Mous wim54321@gmail.com

                                                                              Website

                                                                              www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                                                                              Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                                                                              Membership

                                                                              Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting or mail to:
                                                                              San Diego Fern Society
                                                                              2829 30
                                                                              th Street
                                                                              San Diego, CA 92104




                                                                              San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                                                                              The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                                                                              * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                                                                              * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                                                                              * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                                                                              The Society aims
                                                                              * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                                                                              * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                                                                              * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                                                                              * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                                                                              * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.


                                                                              Volume XXXVI, Number 11

                                                                              OCTOBER FERN SOCIETY MEETING

                                                                              The October meeting of the San Diego Fern Society will be held Thursday, October 11, 2012. The Society will meet at 7:30pm in Casa del Prado Room 101, Balboa Park.

                                                                              In October we will be privileged to view photos from Alaska, with all the ferns there are to see, courtesy of adventure traveler Jay Amshey. Southeast Alaska has an amazing cultural heritage, protected natural waterways and Tongass National Forest, the largest in the US. This promises to be a program that Californians will enjoy.

                                                                              Meeting Date Change in October


                                                                              For the month of October, the Fern Society will meet on the second Thursday of the month, October 11. Occasionally our meeting date is shifted to accommodate the shows of other groups using Room 101

                                                                              NEWS AND NOTES
                                                                              Memberships

                                                                              $12.00 will pay for a single or a household membership in the San Diego Fern Society, covering your enrollment through December 2013. See Bill Ganger or mail to the address on page 6.

                                                                              Refreshments

                                                                              October refreshments will be provided by Don Callard and Gary Bourne.

                                                                              Report on September Meeting

                                                                              September brought us a program on
                                                                              Asplenium ferns, facilitated by Amna Cornett and Kathie Russell. We viewed photos depicting the variety of the genus, then looked at live plants brought by members, especially observing the many birds nest forms. One birds nest Asplenium with three growing crowns was divided in a live demonstration. Then, using cut fronds of various birds nest Aspleniums, we tried our hand at identifying them, using drawings and descriptions to help us sort out A. nidus, A. australasicum and A. antiquum. As a door prize, each person attending received a free fern.

                                                                              In Memoriam: Ed Moore

                                                                              The San Diego Fern Society recently lost our oldest member, Ed Moore. Ed has been active in the San Diego Fern Society for many years and continued to enjoy his garden until the end of his life at age 97. Through his years of travels and gardening he acquired many species and varieties of ferns as well as botanically significant collections of other plants, notably cycads. Ed was gracious about sharing his garden and plants, and will be missed.

                                                                              Nominations for 2013

                                                                              A Nominations Committee is forming to nominate the officers and board members for the coming year 2013. Members interested in serving on the committee should contact Kathie Russell at the October meeting, or email in advance to: sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com

                                                                              Also, suggestions for officer and board positions may be given to the committee. The nominations will be presented at the November general meeting, and elections are held at the annual meeting of the San Diego Fern Society in December.


                                                                              Ferns which grow along the continental United States coast

                                                                              About 400 species of ferns and lycophytes are listed for North America north of Mexico. The coastal lands of the US are mostly temperate in climate as the oceans moderate extremes of heat and cold. The ferns discussed here are a very small sample of those growing in coastal areas of the continental US.

                                                                              Atheryrium filix-femina, the lady fern, is found in moist woods, swamps and stream banks, both coastal and inland. It is terrestrial and winter-dormant. Four varieties are recognized and their natural habitats include most of the coastlines of the United States. Lady ferns grow in the eastern interior of the US and the coast from Maine southward to Florida and along the Gulf Coast, and also in the Western US, from southern California (San Gabriel mountains and Santa Cruz Island) northward to Alaska. The lady fern is considered by many to be an ideal garden fern for moist, shady, cool locations. This fern does not grow naturally in San Diego County, which lacks those ideal conditions. Thus it is less likely for successful gardening here.

                                                                              lady fern
                                                                              Atheryrium filix-femina. Photo credit: US Forest Service.
                                                                              Polystichum acrostichoides, the Christmas fern, grows in eastern US forests and rocky hillsides. Staying green year-round, it has different sterile and fertile frond forms. It can be found both inland and in the coastal areas from Maine south to Florida and along the Gulf Coast to Texas, growing two or three feet tall. It is not found on the West Coast.

                                                                              Polystichum munitum, also green all year, is the common sword fern of the West Coast. It is found from Santa Cruz Island and Monterey County northward to Alaska. Commonly seen in coastal forests, it forms large clumps up to five feet tall or more. A similar plant with fronds up to two feet high, P. imbricans, formerly considered a variety of P. munitum, grows naturally in San Diego County in the Laguna and Palomar mountain areas and also along the central California coast from Santa Barbara County and Santa Rosa Island northward. P. munitum is available from nurseries.

                                                                              Adiantum pedatum is the five-fingered maidenhair of eastern US deciduous woodlands. The similar plant, A. aleuticum, primarily grows in the western US, in moist wooded ravines and rocky areas including coastal cliffs. In California it is found in the San Bernardino and San Gabriel mountains, Santa
                                                                              Cruz Island and northward.

                                                                              Two types of
                                                                              Woodwardias, W. areolata and W. virginica, grow in coastal New England southward to the Gulf Coast in acidic bogs. These are smaller plants than Woodwardia fimbriata, which is primarily in California, often coastal such as in redwood forests. It is native to San Diego County growing near streams, and is in some SDFS private collections.

                                                                              Osmunda regalis L. var. spectabilis, known as the royal fern, is large and almost tree-like with fronds sometimes extending four to six feet. Fronds are dimorphic; fertile fronds have contracted fertile pinnae covered in green (turning to brown) sporangia at the end of the frond. This dramatic plant is another fern growing naturally from Maine to Florida to Texas, both in coastal and inland areas of the eastern US.

                                                                              osmunda regalis
                                                                              Osmunda regalis L. var. spectabilis. Photo credit: Merel R. Black, University of Wisconsin Stevens Point.

                                                                              Osmunda cinnamomea, the cinnamon fern, is
                                                                              found in bogs and stream banks in the eastern US. Fertile stalks are erect with the broad sterile fronds arching around up to four feet tall.
                                                                              Osmundas thrive in wet, acidic conditions but do not grow naturally in the West.

                                                                              Thelypteris palustris,
                                                                              known as the marsh fern, grows in wet woods and swamps as its common name suggests, throughout the eastern US. A couple of additional species of Thelypteris grow in the eastern US. Several species of Thelypteris are found in the Everglades in Florida where it is warm.

                                                                              In the West, mostly in wet shaded canyons around Santa Barbara, the fern
                                                                              Thelypteris puberula var. sonorensis grows. Another Thelypteris is found in northern California northward to Washington, T. nevadensis, the Nevada marsh fern. It is a plant of wet areas near springs and streams, both coastal and in the Sierra Nevada mountains, but not in the state of Nevada.
                                                                              Many species of
                                                                              Dryopteris are found in the US. Dryopteris intermedia and D. carthusiana both grow naturally from Virginia northwards along the East Coast, and also inland in the eastern US.

                                                                              Dryopteris arguta, sometimes called the coastal wood fern, is found along the West Coast from San Diego County northward to Washington. Dryopteris expansa, the spreading wood fern, grows from the Central California coast northward to Alaska and also in eastern Canada.

                                                                              Dryopteris arguta
                                                                              Dryopteris arguta, Irish Hills Preserve, Los Osos Valley CA. Photo credit: Kathie Russell.

                                                                              The wild Boston fern,
                                                                              Nephrolepis exaltata,
                                                                              is found naturally in Everglades National Park and peninsular Florida. The fronds may be four feet long. Its habitat is swamps and wet places, and is usually terrestrial but also grows on trees and logs.

                                                                              The large plant
                                                                              Blechnum serrulatum, the swamp fern, grows up to six feet tall in shady Florida swamps. It has toothed leaves and is generally terrestrial, but can also grow epiphytically in areas of brackish water.

                                                                              Other
                                                                              Blechnums in the US are the smaller B. occidentale in the Gulf Coast states and B. spicant, known as the deer fern, in the Pacific Northwest. Note that most cultivated garden plants called Blechnum occidentale in horticulture are actually the similar B. appendiculatum. Blechnum spicant is available in the nursery trade but does not tolerate alkaline conditions and is not suggested for San Diego gardens.

                                                                              Found in Everglades National Park,
                                                                              Cheiroglossa palmata (older name: Ophioglossum palmatum L.), also called the hand fern, grows on trees like a staghorn fern but does not transplant. It is endangered in Florida, destroyed by fires and perhaps draining of land.

                                                                              hand fern by NC Orchid sm
                                                                              Cheiroglossa palmata, South Florida. Photo credit: NC Orchid, licensed under Creative Commons.

                                                                              The
                                                                              Polypodium ferns in the US grow naturally in both the East and the West. P. virginianum is found from Virginia northward into Canada and throughout the eastern US but not the Gulf Coast. It is considered abundant, growing on acliffs and rocky slopes. A very similar fern is P. appalachianum, with a smaller range along the East Coast.

                                                                              Polypodium glycyrrhiza and P. scouleri are found along the West Coast. The Polypodies are a fern family with numerous hybrids and variant forms.

                                                                              Polypodium californicum
                                                                              is fairly abundant locally at Torrey Pines State Preserve, and northward through California. The cultivar 'Sarah Lyman' is available in the nursery trade and is suggested for garden use.

                                                                              poly sunset cliffs sm
                                                                              Polypodium californicum, Sunset Cliffs, San Diego CA. Photo credit: Kathie Russell.

                                                                              P_cal_Sarah_Lyman
                                                                              Polypodium californicum 'Sarah Lyman,' Leaning Pine Arboretum, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo CA. Photo credit: Kathie Russell.

                                                                              Pentagramma triangularis is an epipetric and terrestrial fern from northern Baja California northward to British Columbia, Canada. Subspecies viscosa is found in coastal areas of San Diego County and southern California including the Channel Islands. Look for it in Balboa Park down the hill east of Park Boulevard.


                                                                              balboa park silverback fern
                                                                              Pentagramma triangularis subsp. viscosa, Balboa Park, San Diego CA. Photo credit: Kathie Russell.

                                                                              At the October meeting of the San Diego Fern Society we will view photos of ferns and learn about their habitats along the coastal areas of Southeast Alaska.

                                                                              References

                                                                              • 1. Flora of North America: North of Mexico (Vol. 2). (1993). New York: Oxford University Press.
                                                                              • 2. Flora of North America. (n.d.). Retrieved from www.efloras.org. October 3, 2012.
                                                                              • 3. Lellinger, D. B. (1985). A field manual of the ferns & fern-allies of the United States & Canada. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.
                                                                              • 4. Munz, P. A. (1965). A California Flora. Berkeley: University of California Press.
                                                                              • 5. Avery, G. N., & Loope, L. L. (1983). Plants of Everglades National Park (Rep. No. TRT-574, National Park Service). Retrieved October 3, 2012.
                                                                              • 6. Tryon, A. F., & Moran, R. C. (1997). The ferns and allied plants of New England. Lincoln, MA: Center for Biological Conservation, Massachusetts Audubon Society.
                                                                              • 7. Rickard, M. (2002). The Plantfinder's guide to garden ferns. Portland, OR: Timber Press.
                                                                              • 8. Hoshizaki, B. and Moran, R. (2001). Fern grower's manual. Portland, OR: Timber Press.

                                                                              Meeting Calendar 2012

                                                                              October 11 (this is the second Thursday)
                                                                              November 15
                                                                              December 20 (annual meeting and party)


                                                                              San Diego Fern Society Officers


                                                                              President
                                                                              Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
                                                                              1st Vice President and Secretary
                                                                              Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com
                                                                              2nd Vice President
                                                                              Gary Bourne
                                                                              Treasurer
                                                                              Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net
                                                                              Past President
                                                                              Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com
                                                                              Board Members:
                                                                              Bruce Barry
                                                                              Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                                                                              Richard Lujan
                                                                              Bill Mous

                                                                              Website

                                                                              www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                                                                              Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                                                                              Membership

                                                                              Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting or mail to:
                                                                              San Diego Fern Society
                                                                              2829 30
                                                                              th Street
                                                                              San Diego, CA 92104

                                                                              San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                                                                              The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                                                                              * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                                                                              * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                                                                              * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                                                                              The Society aims
                                                                              * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                                                                              * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                                                                              * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                                                                              * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                                                                              * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.

                                                                              Volume XXXVI, Number 10

                                                                              SEPTEMBER FERN SOCIETY MEETING

                                                                              The September meeting of the San Diego Fern Society will be held Thursday, September 20, 2012. The Society will meet at 7:30pm in Casa del Prado Room 101, Balboa Park.

                                                                              Our meeting will be a program on Asplenium ferns, hosted by Amna Cornett and Kathie Russell. We will start with an overview of the genus, then show photos and live plants of some of the many species.
                                                                              Please bring one or two Asplenium plants for Show and Tell, and plan to share where and how you grow the plant. We will also discuss the various birdsnest Aspleniums, using diagrams and descriptions to help us sort out A. nidus, A. australasicum and A. antiquum. Those of you who have these plants may bring a frond with spores to be identified. Cut off an old frond from the outside of your plant(s). Bring a hand lens magnifier if you have one.

                                                                              For 2012 there are no formal Fern Show awards. However, our September meeting will conclude with a grand door prize. Each person attending will receive a small fern.

                                                                              NEWS AND NOTES

                                                                              Meeting Date Change for October


                                                                              For the month of October, the Fern Society will meet on October 11, the second Thursday of the month. Occasionally our meeting date is shifted to accommodate the shows of other clubs in Room 101.

                                                                              In October we will be privileged to view photos from Southeast Alaska, with all the ferns there are to see, courtesy of traveler Jay Amshey.

                                                                              Refreshments

                                                                              September refreshments will be provided by Bruce Barry, Kathie Russell and Martin Dominguez.

                                                                              Plant Table for September

                                                                              At the September regular meeting there will be a fern opportunity table. Each attendee will receive a door prize fern in a drawing, and additional tickets will be available to purchase for $2. Members are encouraged to take home one or more plants. If your gardening space is filled, This is your chance to share a fern with a neighbor or friend.
                                                                              Report on August Meeting

                                                                              In August we took a tropical photo tour of Asian ferns given by Don Callard. The Philippines, with diverse and mostly tropical habitats, is an amazing place for ferns. Platyceriums and various other beauties were viewed in the photos. It was of note that the gardens/nurseries shown had an abundance of fern varieties with ruffled edges, crested fronds and unusual forms, including many Aspleniums.

                                                                              Report on August Fern Show

                                                                              The 2012 San Diego Fern Show took place on Saturday and Sunday, August 18-19. Last minute arrangements (the city permit) allowed us to hold our show and sale in Room 101, our usual location. This gave us room for an uncrowded show, with the sales area in the room and space to breathe.

                                                                              The 2012 show was an all display show, without competitive judging. Certain aspects of operating the show were much easier this way, and the Fern Society Board would appreciate feedback on this show from members and comments from the guests at the show.

                                                                              Our annual Fern Show and Sale requires the teamwork of all of our members and friends. The Fern Society Board would like to thank those who brought in stands/platy boards, set up the show room, entered plants, sold ferns and assisted with sales, hosted in the show room and plant holding area, brought refreshments, and helped take down the show property.

                                                                              parrot1
                                                                              Fern Show 2012. Photo credit: Kathie Russell


                                                                              platy
                                                                              Fern Show 2012. Photo credit: Kathie Russell

                                                                              Evaluating the Fern Show

                                                                              In planning for the future, it would be most helpful to the Fern Society Board to receive comments from members and guests regarding the 2012 Show and Sale. Especially those persons who entered show plants, please provide a brief evaluation of this year's show at the September meeting to a board member, or by email to:
                                                                              sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com . Similarly, the board would appreciate comments from show volunteers and guests.

                                                                              Asplenium Ferns

                                                                              Ferns in the Asplenium genus are many and varied. Some grow in the ground, primarily on rock, and some on trees. Small types are used in rock gardens, and many of the larger subtropical species may be grown indoors in pots. There are approximately 700 known species, and many hybrids.

                                                                              The small Asplenium marinum is found on rocky habitat around the Mediterranean, areas subject to sea spray. Similarly, medium-sized A. obtusatum grows near the sea in New Zealand, Australia and Pacific islands.

                                                                              Asplenium_marinum_001
                                                                              Asplenium marinum, on cliffs, Costa de Cantabria, Spain. Photo credit: Johan N., licensed under Creative Commons for use under GFDL.

                                                                              In tropical America, A. cuspidatum is widespread. A tender plant, it is suggested for the humid environment of terrariums. Asplenium trichomanes, growing on every continent except Antarctica, is quite small and useful in rock gardens and terrariums. There are genetically different forms, one of which prefers limestone areas making it a choice for San Diego growers.

                                                                              Asplenium_trichomanes_subsp_quadrivalens
                                                                              Asplenium trichomanes subsp. quadrivalens. Photo credit: Kurt Stueber, used by permission under GFDL.

                                                                              A. trichomanes-ramosum, also know as A.
                                                                              viride, grows on limestone cliffs and is very cold hardy. A. ruta-muraria, a temperate Northern Hemisphere fern, is one of the smallest, with fronds 2 to 5 inches. It is found growing on limestone and on mortared walls.

                                                                              Among the many Aspleniums in the US is a
                                                                              plant that gives the appearance of a clump of grass. A. septentrionale generally grows at high elevations, mostly in the west. In California it has been recorded in mountains at 6000 to 10000 feet elevation, is uncommon, and may go unrecognized in its natural habitats. It is considered difficult to keep in cultivation. It is also found in Europe and Asia.

                                                                              Another hardy Asplenium of the US is A. platyneuron. It is somewhat common throughout the eastern US and also found in South Africa. These plants are dimorphic, having tall, erect fertile fronds and smaller spreading sterile fronds. A. resiliens grows in North and South America and islands on limestone rocks. It is similar in appearance to A. platyneuron.

                                                                              Just one species of Asplenium is found in San Diego County, A. vespertinum, and it is not common. Specimens have been found in Mission Gorge, Sweetwater Valley, Alpine, Tecate, Lyon's Peak, and Cuyamaca and Laguna mountain areas. This plant is endemic to southern California and Baja, and listed as a rare/endangered species. It is small, and will be found sheltered under rocks.


                                                                              Aspleniums known as mother ferns

                                                                              Asplenium bulbiferum goes by the common name, mother fern. San Diego gardeners can grow it either outside or indoors, and it tolerates low light situations. Plants are medium in size, with fronds highly divided and producing baby plants along the surface. These bulbils may be carefully grown to produce more plants. (Try this in a covered plastic container or terrarium.) Slugs and snails are a concern, sometimes destroying a garden fern rather quickly. A. bulbiferum is native from South Asia to Australia and Pacific islands.

                                                                              A similar fern which produces bulbils is A. daucifolium, native to the Macarene Islands and Madagascar. In southern Africa, A. gemmiferum develops fronds up to 3 feet long with a bulbil at the tip. It can establish colonies in the forests of the Cape area, growing on rocks near streams. In a similar geographic range and habitat, A. monanthes develops a bulbil positioned on the stipe. These are also called by the common name, mother ferns.

                                                                              1Asplenium_daucifolium_Berlin_-_IMG_8708
                                                                              Asplenium daucifolium, Berlin Botanical Garden, Germany. Photo credit: Daderot, public domain.

                                                                              New Zealand and Australia are home to many Aspleniums. In addition to the birds nest species found in Australia and mother fern A. bulbiferum found in both areas, the necklace fern A. flabellifolium is of interest. It grows in somewhat dry and rocky locations, and a plantlet may form at the tip of a frond. It is suggested for basket culture.

                                                                              A. Fl
                                                                              Asplenium flabellifolium on sandstone, New South Wales, Australia. Photo credit: Tony Rodd, licensed under Creative Commons.

                                                                              A large tropical Asian Asplenium, found from the Philippines to Indonesia, is A. longissimum. Plantlets form at the tips of fronds. The plants are best cultivated in a hanging basket but must be kept moist. This plant may need protection from cold in San Diego.

                                                                              A fern with the common name, walking fern, grows across central and eastern areas of the US, from Canada to the South. Asplenium rhizophyllum usually grows on limestone rocks, and will root at the tips of fronds.

                                                                              Birds nest form of Aspleniums

                                                                              Several species of Asplenium are commonly called birds nest ferns. These have simple fronds growing in a funnel or bowl shape. Plants are often labeled by growers as A. nidus, but many are A. australasicum or A. antiquum. To confuse the situation, many cultivars are available showing wavy fronds, fringed or forked fronds and variations. The characteristics of these birds nest ferns will be discussed at the September meeting of San Diego Fern Society. These are all from Australia, Asia and islands. A. nidus also grows naturally from eastern tropical Africa, Southeast Asia to Philippines, Taiwan and Hawaii, as well as Australia. A. australisicum grows in Australia and islands. A. antiquum is found on Taiwan and Japan.

                                                                              In addition to the above three species of Aspleniums in the birds nest form, there are similar plants in other parts of the world. A. serratum grows in southern Florida as well as tropical America, and is found on logs and the base of trees. A different birds nest fern grows in southern Africa (areas of Zimbabwe and Mozambique), A. holstii, which strongly resembles A. nidus.

                                                                              Asplenium goudeyi was brought to the US by Bob Halley and Robin Halley of the San Diego Fern Society It is endemic to Lord Howe Island (New South Wales, Australia) and is found in rocky areas. Another birds nest species in Australia is A. simplicifrons.

                                                                              References:
                                                                              Olsen, S. (2007). Encyclopedia of garden ferns. Portland, OR: Timber Press.
                                                                              Hoshizaki, B. and Moran, R. (2001). Fern grower's manual. Portland, OR: Timber Press.
                                                                              Brownsey, P. J., Smith-Dodsworth, J. C., and Galloway, T. N. (2000). New Zealand Ferns and Allied Plants. Auckland: David Bateman.
                                                                              Chaffey, C. H. (1999). Australian ferns: Growing them successfully. East Roseville NSW: Kangaroo Press.
                                                                              Palmer, D. D. (2003). Hawai'i's ferns and fern allies. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press.
                                                                              Lellinger, D. B. (1985). A field manual of the ferns & fern-allies of the United States & Canada. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Press.
                                                                              Tryon, R. M., Tryon, A. F., and Hodge, W. H. (1982). Ferns and allied plants: With special reference to tropical America. New York: Springer-Verlag.
                                                                              Huang, T. (1980). Flora of Taiwan (Vol. 1). Taipei, Taiwan: Editorial Committee of the Flora of Taiwan, Second Edition.
                                                                              Australia National Botanic Gardens. Retrieved September 10, 2012, from
                                                                              http://www.anbg.gov.au/cpbr/databases/
                                                                              San Diego County Plant Atlas/Herbarium of San Diego Natural History Museum. Retrieved September 9, 2012,
                                                                              http://www.sdnhm.org/ science/botany/projects/plant-atlas/

                                                                              Meeting Calendar 2012

                                                                              September 20
                                                                              October 11 (this is the second Thursday)
                                                                              November 15
                                                                              December 20 (annual meeting and party)


                                                                              San Diego Fern Society Officers

                                                                              President
                                                                              Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com

                                                                              1
                                                                              st Vice President and Secretary
                                                                              Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com

                                                                              2
                                                                              nd Vice President
                                                                              Gary Bourne

                                                                              Treasurer
                                                                              Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net

                                                                              Past President
                                                                              Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

                                                                              Board Members:
                                                                              Bruce Barry
                                                                              Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                                                                              Richard Lujan
                                                                              Bill Mous

                                                                              Website

                                                                              www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                                                                              Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                                                                              Membership

                                                                              Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting or mail to:
                                                                              San Diego Fern Society
                                                                              2829 30
                                                                              th Street
                                                                              San Diego, CA 92104


                                                                              San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                                                                              The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                                                                              * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                                                                              * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                                                                              * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                                                                              The Society aims
                                                                              * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                                                                              * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                                                                              * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                                                                              * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                                                                              * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.


                                                                              Volume XXXVI, Number 9

                                                                              AUGUST FERN SOCIETY MEETING

                                                                              The August meeting of the San Diego Fern Society will be held Thursday, August 16, 2012. The Society will meet at 7:30pm in Casa del Prado Room 101, Balboa Park.

                                                                              Our program will be a tropical photo tour of Asian ferns given by Don Callard. The Philippines, with diverse and mostly tropical habitats, is an amazing place for ferns. Platyceriums and various other beauties will be included in the photos.

                                                                              We will also discuss plans our show, including set up, registration and staffing needs.

                                                                              NEWS AND NOTES

                                                                              Memberships

                                                                              $12.00 will pay for a single or a household membership in the San Diego Fern Society, covering your enrollment from January through December. See Bill Ganger or mail to the address on page 6. Encourage guests at the show to join our group.

                                                                              Refreshments

                                                                              August refreshments will be provided by Bob Charlton, Walt Meier and Bill Mous.

                                                                              No Plant Table this month

                                                                              At the August regular meeting there will not be a fern table. Plants will be for sale as always at the Fern Show, so bring some cash with you.

                                                                              Audit of Fern Society Finances

                                                                              Thanks very much to Jay Amshey for completing an audit of the Fern Society financial records for year 2011, and providing feedback on society financial planning matters.

                                                                              Report on July Event

                                                                              Our July social event was a garden potluck at Dean and Susan Turney's home in Encinitas. Those who enjoyed this casual time were privileged to walk among the camellias, begonias, ferns, palms and other interesting plants in this backyard "jungle". Additionally, the food and friendships were a special treat for the evening. Dean noted that the San Diego Fern Society was originally organized and held its first meeting at this location, at that time the residence of Mildred Murray. We extend our thanks to the Turneys for their hospitality.

                                                                              FERN SHOW: New Location for 2012

                                                                              The 2012 San Diego Fern Show will be Saturday and Sunday, August 18-19. This year we will hold our show and sale in Room 104, across the patio from our usual location. The August regular meeting will be in Room 101 on Thursday evening August 16. (Remember that Room 104 is occupied on Thursday night and you should not yet bring your plants.) On Friday morning about 9am we will set up Room 104 and Friday afternoon around 2pm we will check in plants.

                                                                              Although we are merely moved across the patio, this does mean a few changes to our usual pattern. The 2012 show will be an all display show, so there will not be competitive judging. Our location in room 104 has space limitations and we will be challenged as we prepare a beautiful and educational show for the public. As always, bring ferns you have owned and grown during the three months prior to the show. They must be groomed and free of pests and pest damage, including free from ants. Containers and hanging displays must be clean and tidy, appropriately displaying plants to the public. Anyone, society member or not, may enter ferns in the show.

                                                                              We will have a fern sales area and you may sell your own plants on consignment. It is important to have only clean and pest free plants in the sales area. Let a board member know if you would like to sell plants, and also plan to help during the show.

                                                                              Invite your friends to come whether or not you think they are gardeners. A personal invitation may be what encourages someone to visit and grow ferns and perhaps join our organization.

                                                                              Our annual Fern Show and Sale requires the teamwork of all of our members and friends. Volunteers would enjoy lunch/snack foods, both Saturday and Sunday. You may bring ready-to-eat foods to share either day. Some beverages including drinking water, coffee and tea will be provided in Room 104 for workers. We will not be serving meals, and there is no cooking facility, microwave, refrigerator nor sink near Room 104. (The kitchen next to Room 101 is usually open.) There are some food services in Balboa Park; the Village Grill is just north of the Prado Theater and there is a cafe at the Fleet Science Center.


                                                                              Fern Show 2012

                                                                              show view smaller3

                                                                              Bringing your plants:

                                                                                Our August Fern Show is our primary opportunity to present ferns and fern growing to the public. We both show locally grown ferns and have ferns for sale. It is up to all of us to share our enjoyment of ferns with the guests at our show.

                                                                                Most San Diego home gardens, patios or balconies will have suitable spots for ferns. Areas under trees provide ideal fern habitats; shadecloth may be used for patio or garden areas that receive hot sun. A drip irrigation system can assist the home gardener in water management. San Diego's mild climate gives seemingly unlimited fern garden options.

                                                                                Those of us who are room hosts at the show can share the growing tips below with our show guests. Many local people are reluctant to grow ferns because of past experience or perceived watering requirements with ferns. The show is our opportunity to share accurate growing information along with our love of ferns with interested visitors.

                                                                                Water-wise ferns: People generally assume ferns require a great deal of water. Ferns like moisture, but they are very reasonable about water consumption. As with any plant in the garden, it's best to learn a little about what you are growing. Many local residents do not realize that there are ferns living in the Anza Borrego Desert of eastern San Diego County, as well as in Mission Trails Park in San Diego. Garden ferns generally have similar water needs to other garden plants.

                                                                                Actively growing ferns need water, and most look best when not allowed to completely dry out between waterings. The key to the water issue is drainage. Gardeners most often kill their ferns with too much water surrounding the root system, so watch drainage needs carefully in selecting garden sites and containers for fern growing.

                                                                                Growing hints: Some ferns are tiny and will remain small; others become trees, so consider the space need of your fern. Some ferns have a dormant season when they stop growing or even die back, looking dead. They will produce new fronds after rain or in spring or the appropriate season or growing condition. Ferns that are dormant don't require much water.

                                                                                Planting ferns in containers: A suggested mix for container ferns could have one-third perlite, one-third peat moss, and one-third forest compost. This preparation differs from most commercial bags of houseplant soil. When using a commercial mix it is worthwhile to add up to a third part of perlite to improve drainage. Ferns need little or no fertilizer when growing in the right mix. If fertilizer is used, it should be at one-quarter to one-half strength, applied when the plant is actively growing. Shallow pots are recommended for ferns. Containers must have good drainage!

                                                                                Suggested ferns for the San Diego area:

                                                                                Adiantum raddianum, Adiantum hispidulum (maidenhair ferns). Adiantum raddianum is available in many cultivars, and grows well near a concrete wall or patio. These ferns are partially dormant in winter. Adiantum hispidulum then produces new pink fronds which soon turn green. The maidenhair ferns do not appreciate complete dryness, but with watering may come back to produce new fronds. They remain small to medium in size and are attractive most of the year.

                                                                                maidenhair
                                                                                Adiantum raddianum, Fern Show 2011


                                                                                Nephrolepis exaltata and Nephrolepis cordifolia (Boston fern, sword fern). There are many attractive cultivars, providing variety to a fern collection. Some are frilly, some are small (such as 'compacta') to fit your space requirements. Boston ferns grow well indoors when given good light, and outside in patios. Suggested cultivars include 'Dallas' and 'Sassy.' Some N. cordifolia varieties are tolerant of low water and partial sun and make excellent garden choices, including 'Western Queen,' 'Lemon Buttons' and 'Medusa.'

                                                                                Cyrtomium falcatum (holly fern). This grows readily in the garden, especially placed near a concrete wall. Plants are tolerant of low water and some sun. The holly fern has naturalized in San Diego County.

                                                                                Platycerium bifurcatum (staghorn fern). These ferns are mounted on boards with sphagnum moss, and hung in a partial shade location. Water should be put into the moss behind the plant, and must drain. There are many hybrids and varieties which do well in San Diego. Some of the other species of Platycerium require special care.

                                                                                Asplenium australasicum, Asplenium antiquum (birdsnest fern). These ferns grow slowly into medium or large plants, and can be kept in containers indefinitely. Protect them from snails and slugs.

                                                                                aspenium quail
                                                                                Asplenium australasicum, SD Botanic Garden

                                                                                Pteris albo-lineata. Plant forms a small to medium open clump. It needs just moderate water and humidity, and will flourish in medium light situations, indoors or outside. It can be planted in rocky areas. Small plants are suited to terrariums. Plants become partially dormant in winter, with new growth in early spring.

                                                                                pteris albo
                                                                                Pteris albo-lineata

                                                                                Blechnum gibbum (silver lady fern).
                                                                                Growing slowly into a small tree fern, silver lady forms a lovely specimen plant for the shade garden or patio. New fronds arrive in late winter and the plant remains attractive all year.

                                                                                Blechnum7
                                                                                Blechnum gibbum fiddlehead

                                                                                Photo credit: Brian Russell;
                                                                                All other photos: Kathie Russell

                                                                                Meeting Calendar 2012

                                                                                August 16
                                                                                Fern Show: August 18-19
                                                                                September 20
                                                                                October 11 (this is the second Thursday)
                                                                                November 15
                                                                                December 20 (annual meeting and party)


                                                                                San Diego Fern Society Officers

                                                                                President
                                                                                Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com

                                                                                1
                                                                                st Vice President and Secretary
                                                                                Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com

                                                                                2
                                                                                nd Vice President
                                                                                Gary Bourne

                                                                                Treasurer
                                                                                Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net

                                                                                Past President
                                                                                Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

                                                                                Board Members:
                                                                                Bruce Barry
                                                                                Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                                                                                Richard Lujan
                                                                                Bill Mous

                                                                                Website

                                                                                www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                                                                                Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                                                                                Membership

                                                                                Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting or mail to:
                                                                                San Diego Fern Society
                                                                                2829 30
                                                                                th Street
                                                                                San Diego, CA 92104

                                                                                San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                                                                                The San Diego Fern Society was formed

                                                                                * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                                                                                * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                                                                                * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                                                                                The Society aims
                                                                                * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                                                                                * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                                                                                * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                                                                                * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                                                                                * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.


                                                                                JULY FERN SOCIETY SPECIAL EVENT

                                                                                The July meeting of the San Diego Fern Society will be held Thursday, July 19, 2012. The Society will meet at Dean and Susan at 6:30pm.

                                                                                This summer's social event is a garden potluck. (There will not be a meeting program.) A grill will be available, so you may bring something to grill if you wish. Please bring a dish to share and your own table service.

                                                                                We will meet earlier, at 6:30 to allow daylight enjoyment of Dean and Susan's garden paradise. Dean grows camellias, begonias, ferns, palms and various interesting plants in his Encinitas jungle. We appreciate his loan of large plants for the recent fair display and over many years, and his support of the plant clubs.

                                                                                NEWS AND NOTES

                                                                                Memberships

                                                                                $12.00 will pay for a single or a household membership in the San Diego Fern Society, covering your enrollment from January through December. See Bill Ganger or mail to the address on page 6.

                                                                                No Refreshments needed this month

                                                                                No Plant Table this month

                                                                                For the months of July and August there will not be a fern table. Plants will be for sale as always at the August Fern Show.

                                                                                Report on June Meeting

                                                                                We viewed an animated video clip on spore growth and new fern development in June. Our education on the spore-to-plant fern cycle follows a few months after our February meeting of sowing spores. Don Callard brought samples of spore culture and young plants of Platycerium andinum and Kathie Russell also had spore cultures to show. No attendees brought their spore cultures from February.

                                                                                San Diego County Fair Report

                                                                                The Del Mar Fair for 2012 was held June 8 through July 4. We again presented both a container exhibit and a small landscape exhibit, featuring ferns appropriate for San Diego area gardens. The container exhibit had an amazing collection of ferns grown in San Diego and the landscape exhibit displayed many ferns, most of which are available locally, in a simple patio garden design. Thanks to all who helped set up, maintain and take down the fair exhibit and to those who loaned their plants.

                                                                                Surveys of guests at the fair consistently verify that the garden show is a highlight, and so we showcase ferns to thousands of people who come to the fair each year.

                                                                                FERN SHOW

                                                                                New Location for 2012


                                                                                The 2012 San Diego Fern Show will be on Saturday and Sunday, August 18-19. This year only we will hold our show and sale in Room 104, across the patio from our usual location. The August regular meeting will be in Room 101 on Thursday evening August 16. (Please remember that Room 104 is occupied on Thursday night and you should not yet bring your plants.)

                                                                                On Friday morning we will set up Room 104 and Friday afternoon we will check in plants. Anyone, society member or not, may enter ferns in the show.

                                                                                Although we are merely moved across the patio, this does mean a few changes to our usual pattern. The 2012 show will be an all display show, so there will not be competitive judging. Our location in room 104 has space limitations and we will be challenged as we prepare a beautiful and educational show for the public.

                                                                                As always, bring ferns you have owned and grown during the three months prior to the show. They must be groomed and free of pests and pest damage, including free from ants. Containers and hanging displays must be clean and tidy, appropriately displaying plants to the public.

                                                                                We will have a fern sales area and you may sell your own plants on consignment. It is important to have only clean and pest free plants in the sales area. Let a board member know if you would like to sell plants, and also plan to help during the show.
                                                                                Our annual Fern Show and Sale requires the teamwork of all of our members and friends. Save these dates and make plans to join us. Invite your friends whether or not you think they are gardeners. A personal invitation may be what encourages someone to visit and grow ferns and perhaps join our organization.

                                                                                What to do in July and early August to prepare for the show

                                                                                • Select ferns for the show, plants that you have owned and cared for during the past three months. These ferns might be rare and unusual, or just lovely or interesting ferns, perhaps your own favorites. This year our show area is smaller than in the past, so consider sharing your small but beautifully presented ferns, to inspire the public to grow ferns even in limited space such as window areas, condo balconies or small yards.
                                                                                • Determine the plant names, using books and help from other fern growers. It is best to establish the plant name before old fertile fronds are removed.
                                                                                • You may transplant a fern into a new clean container of similar size if the old container has become unsightly.
                                                                                • Pay a little extra attention to these plants, and certainly water adequately for summer.
                                                                                • Check for pests and disease, using the least toxic controls as needed. Infested plants will be disqualified from the show. Thrip is sometimes an issue in summer, and you must remove insect damaged fronds ahead of time. We do not want infested plants in the show room at all.
                                                                                • Keep your show plants in the best locations for the remaining weeks where you can watch over them.






                                                                                1. Woodwardias –
                                                                                the chain ferns

                                                                                The genus Woodwardia consists of about 14 species of medium to large ferns, named after British botanist Thomas Woodward. These plants, in the Blechnaceae (Blechnum) family, are mostly native to the north temperate zones, North America south to Costa Rica, the Mediterranean area of Europe and eastern Asia. The common name, chain ferns, apparently reflects the appearance of chains of sori on fertile fronds.

                                                                                W sori 2
                                                                                Woodwardia fimbriata showing chains of sori

                                                                                In the recent San Diego County Fair, our exhibits included Woodwardia fimbriata. This California native is found along the Pacific Coast from Baja California north into British Columbia, including the Sierra Nevada mountains. In San Diego County, botanical specimens were collected by Daniel Cleveland in the nineteenth century in the upper Sweetwater Valley and in Julian. (See historical note page 5). More recent specimens come from Palomar Mountain, Heise County Park, Cleveland National Forest and Cuyamaca Rancho State Park.

                                                                                Woodwardia fimbriata is also found in the Sierras, reported by Robert Rodin along the Kawea River in Sequoia National Park and several places in Yosemite including Happy Isles in the valley. W. fimbriata is most abundant in coastal redwood forests and remains green and beautiful through the year, often with fronds as long as eight feet. Its common name is giant chain fern.

                                                                                W fimbriata Cowell SP
                                                                                Woodwardia fimbriata, about 6 feet tall, in Cowell Redwoods State Park, Santa Cruz County, CA

                                                                                W. fimbriata tolerates snow cover and light frost, and thus cold is not an issue in San Diego gardens. It does require water, so even though it is a native plant, some summer watering is necessary to maintain its beautiful appearance. In nature, look for it in shady areas along streams and seeps.

                                                                                In addition to W. fimbriata, W. areolata and W. virginica are native to the US. Both are suggested for acidic soils which indicates they would be challenging to grow in San Diego. Woodwardia areolata is common on the Atlantic coastal plain and inland areas of the eastern US, growing in wet woodlands and acidic bogs. It is cold tolerant but deciduous, with fronds about two feet long. Fertile fronds grow later in the season, and are narrower and distinctive.

                                                                                Woodwardia virginica has a similar but larger range, from Canada to Burmuda along the eastern US and as far inland as Illinois and Michigan. In bogs and marshes it can flourish in full sun, and will spread when planted in wet gardens. Young fronds are golden in color, extending up to three feet in length, and are deciduous.

                                                                                Other species of interest are those from Asia. Woodwardia orientalis is another large plant, useful in the garden and providing winter color – bright pink new fronds. W. orientalis is native to Japan, China, the Himalayas, Taiwan and Philippines. It is semi-hardy and easy to grow in San Diego, with fronds to about five feet in length, spreading outward. Mature fronds produce little plantlets on the upper surface, which may be carefully rooted. The late Bob Halley did this, sharing his little plants with fern friends.

                                                                                bot bldg Woodwardia closer
                                                                                Woodwardia orientalis new frond growth in winter, Balboa Park Botanical Building

                                                                                Another Asian fern is Woodwardia unigemmata, a favorite of Sue Olsen. Its native areas are similar to W. orientalis but it is slightly more cold tolerant. Bulbils form on the tip of fronds, which may grow into new plants. With young fronds a bright red color, it is popular in conservatories, and grows slightly larger than W. orientalis.

                                                                                From southern Europe, Woodwardia radicans is a smaller plant and also semi-hardy. It also develops bulbils on the tip of fronds. Mary Z has been growing this plant, and in the ground it has spread in her garden from the tip growth.

                                                                                W radicans
                                                                                Woodwardia radicans
                                                                                All photo credits: Kathie Russell
                                                                                --------------------
                                                                                References:


                                                                                  Historical note: Daniel Cleveland authored The Ferns of San Diego County, published by the Society of Natural History. He seems to have shared his name with Cheilanthes clevelandii, a San Diego County native fern, as well as our closest national forest (Cleveland National Forest), and plants such as a local sage, Salvia clevelandii, an aster, a plant in the borage family, a mimulus, a penstemon, and more (as found in the San Diego Natural History Museum herbarium).
                                                                                  --------------------
                                                                                  Reference:
                                                                                  Amero, R.W. History of the San Diego Natural History Museum, in Balboa Park History, San Diego Historical Society (Chapter 17). Retrieved July 2, 2012 from www.balboaparkhistory.net/chapter17.pdf
                                                                                  Pre-historical note: Many examples of Woodwardia ferns are found as fossils. Very well preserved Woodwardia virginica fossils categorized as middle Miocene have been studied by botanists Kathleen Pigg and Gar Rothwell in central Washington. Identification of the fossils was based on vegetative pinnules, rhizomes and stipe anatomy, and also including fertile pinnules showing sori. These fossils demonstrate that ferns similar to those of the present time were well established in western North America.
                                                                                  Reference:
                                                                                  Pigg, K.B. and Rothwell, G.W. (2001). Anatomically preserved Woodwardia virginica (Blechnaceae) and a new filicalean fern from middle Miocene Yakima Canyon flora of central Washington, USA. American Journal of Botany, 88(5), 777-787.


                                                                                  San Diego Fern Society Officers


                                                                                  President
                                                                                  Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com

                                                                                  1
                                                                                  st Vice President and Secretary
                                                                                  Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com

                                                                                  2
                                                                                  nd Vice President
                                                                                  Gary Bourne

                                                                                  Treasurer
                                                                                  Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net

                                                                                  Past President
                                                                                  Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

                                                                                  Board Members:
                                                                                  Bruce Barry

                                                                                  Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                                                                                  Richard Lujan

                                                                                  Bill Mous

                                                                                  Website

                                                                                  www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                                                                                  Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                                                                                  Membership

                                                                                  Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting or mail to:
                                                                                  San Diego Fern Society
                                                                                  2829 30
                                                                                  th Street
                                                                                  San Diego, CA 92104

                                                                                  San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                                                                                  The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                                                                                  * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                                                                                  * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                                                                                  * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                                                                                  The Society aims
                                                                                  * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                                                                                  * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                                                                                  * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                                                                                  * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                                                                                  * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to culture of ferns.


                                                                                  JUNE FERN SOCIETY MEETING

                                                                                  The June meeting of the San Diego Fern Society will be held Thursday, June 21, 2012. The Society meets in Room 101 of Casa del Prado in Balboa Park, San Diego, at 7:30 PM. We will have an informative program, followed by a plant table and refreshments.

                                                                                  This month we will view an interesting video clip on spore growing which will help your understanding of the spore to plant fern cycle. This is the time to bring in any spore cultures, sporelings or plants grown by you (or others) from spore for show and tell.

                                                                                  NEWS AND NOTES

                                                                                  Memberships

                                                                                  $12.00 will pay for a single or a household membership in the San Diego Fern Society, covering your enrollment from January through December. See Bill Ganger to join or continue your membership through 2012.

                                                                                  Refreshments

                                                                                  June refreshments will be provided by Nancy Hoyt, Miles Goodman and Gary Bourne. Enjoy!

                                                                                  June 2012 Plant Table

                                                                                  This month the plant table features ferns from our local supplier, and Gary Bourne brings us the best choices available. We will not have a fern table for the two coming meetings so this is your opportunity to acquire some new green growing things for your summer patio. There will be plants for sale as always at the August Fern Show.

                                                                                  Name Tags

                                                                                  You may order your own Fern Society name tag. Gary Bourne has clip-on or pin name tags available at the low cost of $6. It is very helpful if Fern Society members wear name tags during the coming August Fern Show, so order them this month.


                                                                                  Report on May Meeting

                                                                                  In May, George Plaisted shared his findings on fertilizers available at a local nursery, and what they contain. We learned about the numbers identifying fertilizer ingredients, and what is needed for plant nutrition. There are so many products, some of which are labeled for a specific type of plant. With a basic understanding of fertilizer ingredients, gardeners can make informed choices on nutritional supplements and not spend excessively on purchasing so many products. Fern growers generally use fertilizer products at reduced strength and only during the growing season.

                                                                                  San Diego County Fair

                                                                                  The Del Mar Fair opened June 8 and continues through Wednesday, July 4, 2012, except Mondays during June. You might skip the chocolate covered bacon and red velvet funnel cakes, and just enjoy the gardens. We again have a container exhibit and a small landscape exhibit, and both feature ferns appropriate for San Diego area gardens. The container exhibit has an amazing collection of ferns grown in San Diego. You ought to be impressed with this display, even if some are your own plants on loan to our fair exhibit.

                                                                                  The Flower and Garden Show has taken the theme "Cosmic Spaces" to complement the 2012 fair theme, "Out of this World." Our landscape exhibit has a small educational panel showing the fern fiddlehead spiral through photos. The equiangular spiral, known as spira mirabilis, is found naturally in various plants, shells and, yes, spiral galaxies. More information on spira mirabilis is given on page 4 of this newsletter.

                                                                                  Our county fair effort has both financial and promotional value to the San Diego Fern Society. Surveys of guests at the fair consistently verify that the garden show is a highlight, and so we showcase ferns to thousands of people of all ages who come to the fair each year.

                                                                                  Take down of exhibits is July 5.

                                                                                  Looking ahead

                                                                                  For July we will have a change of meeting venue! Amna has arranged with Dean Turney to meet at his house for a potluck. There will be a grill, so you may bring something to grill as well as a dish to share. We will meet at 6:30 to allow daylight enjoyment of Dean and Susan's garden paradise. Dean has grown camellias, begonias, ferns, palms and various interesting plants in his Encinitas jungle. We appreciate his loan of large plants for the fair displays over the years, and his support of the clubs.

                                                                                  Watch for further information and directions in the July Fern World. Ride sharing may be arranged.
                                                                                  New show location for this year

                                                                                  The 2012 San Diego Fern Show will be on Saturday and Sunday, August 18-19. This year only we will hold our show and sale in Room 104, across the patio from our usual location. The August regular meeting will be in Room 101 on Thursday evening August 16. Then, on Friday morning we will set up Room 104 and Friday afternoon we check in plants. Anyone, society member or not, may enter ferns in the show.

                                                                                  Our annual Show and Sale requires the teamwork of all of our members and friends. There is a place for everyone at the Fern Show. Save these dates, invite your friends and make plans to join us.

                                                                                  San Diego Fern Society Show and Sale
                                                                                  August 18 - 19, 2012
                                                                                  Casa del Prado Room 104, Balboa Park, San Diego
                                                                                  Saturday noon to 5pm ~ Sunday 10am to 4pm



                                                                                  Although we are merely moved across the patio, this does mean a few changes to our usual pattern. The board voted to make the 2012 show an all display show. This means there will not be competitive judging. Our location in room 104 has space limitations and we will be challenged as we prepare a beautiful and educational show for the public. As always, you are encouraged to bring ferns you have owned and grown during the three months prior to the show. They must be groomed and free of pests and pest damage, including free from ants. Containers and hanging displays must be clean and tidy, appropriately displaying the plant.

                                                                                  We plan to have a sales area and you may sell your own plants on consignment. It is especially important to have only clean and pest free plants in the sales area. Let a board member know if you would like to sell plants, and plan to help during the show.

                                                                                  What to do in June

                                                                                  Now is the time to prepare your plants for the upcoming August Fern Show. Choose some ferns you have owned and cared for during the past three months. These potential show ferns could be rare and unusual, or just lovely or interesting ferns, perhaps your own favorites. We want the public to see what we grow, including the beautiful ferns that need just ordinary care.

                                                                                  Determine the plant names, using books and help from other fern growers. It is best to establish the plant name before old fertile fronds are removed. Learn about any special care needed, and pay a little extra attention to these plants. You may want to fertilize lightly, and certainly water adequately for summer. Check for pests and disease, using the least toxic controls as needed. Infested plants will be disqualified from the show. Remove damaged fronds and thin out old fronds to accommodate new growth. Keep your show plants in the best locations where you can watch over them until August.
                                                                                  Spira Mirabilis

                                                                                  NautilusCutawayLogarithmicSpiral
                                                                                  This Wikimedia Commons image is from the user Chris 73 and is freely available at //commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:
                                                                                  NautilusCutawayLogarithmicSpiral.jpg under the creative commons cc-by-sa 3.0 license.


                                                                                  Spira mirabilis, the equiangular spiral, is found in nature in the shells of Nautilus,
                                                                                  ammonites and foraminifera. It also shows up in certain floral inflorescences, where the
                                                                                  flower branches repeatedly to one side at a constant angle, such as in heliotropes,
                                                                                  borages and forget-me-nots. The spiral becomes a conical helix in the curvature of the
                                                                                  ram's horn and plant tendril.
                                                                                  Robbin Moran explains this as unequal growth of the inner and outer surfaces. This
                                                                                  occurs regardless of the material–whether shell, bone or plant tissue. In fern
                                                                                  fiddleheads the cells on the outer surface of the spiral elongate more that those inside.
                                                                                  The fiddlehead uncoils when the inner surface cells elongate, and the frond straightens.



                                                                                  fiddlehead from panama
                                                                                  Fern fiddlehead in Panama
                                                                                  photo credit: Tiffany Russell



                                                                                  Pasted Graphic
                                                                                  Blechnum gibbum
                                                                                  photo credit: Brian Russell



                                                                                  Pasted Graphic 1
                                                                                  Sphaeropteris cooperi
                                                                                  photo credit: Brian Russell

                                                                                  --------------------
                                                                                  Reference:
                                                                                  Moran, R. (2004). A natural history of ferns. Portland, OR: Timber Press


                                                                                  Loss of a fern friend

                                                                                  Fern lovers are saddened to learn that Barbara Joe Hoshizaki died recently. Many in the San Diego Fern Society have known her over the years. Her book, Fern Grower's Manual, co-authored with Robbin Moran, is our constant reference source for fern information, identification and plant care. One member recalls that when she came to our show a few years back, she supported the show plant registration by cutting and folding the plant label tags, as well as helping with fern identification. We were impressed by her helpfulness with these small details as well as her extensive fern knowledge. In addition to many professional accomplishments, Barbara Joe Hoshizaki was an all-around great person.

                                                                                  San Diego Fern Society Officers

                                                                                  President
                                                                                  Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
                                                                                  1
                                                                                  st Vice President and Secretary
                                                                                  Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com
                                                                                  2
                                                                                  nd Vice President
                                                                                  Gary Bourne
                                                                                  Treasurer
                                                                                  Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net

                                                                                  Directors

                                                                                  Past President
                                                                                  Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com
                                                                                  Board Members:
                                                                                  Bruce Barry
                                                                                  Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                                                                                  Richard Lujan
                                                                                  Bill Mous

                                                                                  Website

                                                                                  www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                                                                                  Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                                                                                  Membership

                                                                                  The San Diego Fern Society is now taking dues for 2012 memberships. Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting or mail to:
                                                                                  San Diego Fern Society
                                                                                  2829 30
                                                                                  th Street
                                                                                  San Diego, CA 92104



                                                                                  San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                                                                                  The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                                                                                  * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                                                                                  * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                                                                                  * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                                                                                  The Society aims
                                                                                  * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                                                                                  * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                                                                                  * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                                                                                  * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                                                                                  * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to the culture of ferns.

                                                                                  Volume XXXVI, Number 6

                                                                                  MAY FERN SOCIETY MEETING

                                                                                  The May meeting of the San Diego Fern Society will be held Thursday, May 17, 2012. The Society meets in Room 101 of Casa del Prado in Balboa Park, San Diego, at 7:30 PM. We will have an informative program, followed by a plant table and refreshments.

                                                                                  This month we will be privileged to hear from our own George Plaisted. He will share his findings on the fertilizers available from local nurseries: what they contain, what they cost, and how to get your money's worth. George explored this subject in recent months and will share his results, giving you the knowledge to make your own fertilizer choices for your ferns and other plantings.

                                                                                  George is experienced in growing many types of plants in San Diego, their container choices, watering techniques, planting mixes and supplemental nutrition. He has been active with local plant clubs and the Botanical Garden Foundation, our parent organization in Balboa Park. He will bring gardening supplies including planting mix ingredients for you to purchase. Bring a little extra cash so you can stock up on these items at modest cost.

                                                                                  NEWS AND NOTES

                                                                                  Memberships

                                                                                  $12.00 will pay for a single or a household membership in the San Diego Fern Society, covering your enrollment from January through December. See Bill Ganger to join or continue your membership through 2012.

                                                                                  Refreshments

                                                                                  May refreshments will be provided by Nancy Hoyt and Kathie Russell. Enjoy!

                                                                                  May 2012 Plant Table

                                                                                  This month the plant table features ferns from our local supplier, and Gary Bourne brings us the best choices available this spring. You may find some new ferns to brighten your May patio or garden.

                                                                                  2012 LAIFS Fern and Exotic Plant Show and Sale
                                                                                  Saturday June 9, 9 am - 4:30 pm
                                                                                  Sunday June 10, 9 am - 4 pm

                                                                                   Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Gardens
                                                                                  301 N Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA
                                                                                  (1/2 mile south of the 210 Freeway)

                                                                                     
                                                                                    Los Angeles International Fern Society
                                                                                    www.laifs.org 562-864-0883



                                                                                    Report on April Meeting

                                                                                    In April, Kathie Russell narrated her photos of Washington Park Arboretum in Seattle. This 230 acre garden, one of the most important tree collections in North America, showcases over 10,000 trees and plants. Throughout the trees are beautiful rhododendrons and ferns. Members of the Hardy Fern Foundation maintain a planted patio area to demonstrate fern gardening choices for the Pacific Northwest. Additionally, hardy ferns are intermixed with mature trees, water features, woodland areas and the Pacific Connections Garden, all alongside beautiful Lake Washington.

                                                                                    San Diego County Fair

                                                                                    The Del Mar Fair will be open Friday, June 8 through Wednesday, July 4, 2012, except Mondays during June. We again have reserved a container exhibit and a small landscape exhibit, and both will feature ferns appropriate for San Diego area gardens. Our county fair effort has both financial and promotional value to the San Diego Fern Society. We need landscape design ideas and implementation from our members. By participating in our displays, you can show your plants to the thousands of people who come to the fair.

                                                                                    The Flower and Garden Show has taken the theme "Cosmic Spaces" to complement the 2012 fair theme, "Out of this World." Unique and rare plants are encouraged for exhibits this year. Watching how garden designs and plants develop into cosmic spaces promises to be entertaining, to say the least.

                                                                                    The Fern Society plans to prepare and arrange the larger features in the exhibits on Saturday, May 26 and then set in the plants on Saturday, June 2. Come around 9 am each Saturday, and support our outreach at the fair. Take down of exhibits is July 5.
                                                                                    Coming in August

                                                                                    The 2012 San Diego Fern Show will be on Saturday and Sunday, August 18-19. This year only we will hold our show and sale in Room 104, across the patio from our usual location. The August regular meeting will be in Room 101 on Thursday evening August 16. Then, on Friday morning we will set up Room 104 and Friday afternoon we check in plants for judging. Anyone, society member or not, may enter ferns in the show.

                                                                                    Our annual Show and Sale requires the teamwork of all of our members and friends. There is a place for everyone at the Fern Show. Save these dates, invite your friends and make plans to join us.

                                                                                    San Diego Fern Society Show and Sale
                                                                                    August 18 - 19, 2012
                                                                                    Casa del Prado Room 104, Balboa Park, San Diego
                                                                                    Saturday noon to 5pm ~ Sunday 10am to 4pm


                                                                                    Soils and Planting Mixes

                                                                                    With George's presentation on fertilizers this month, it may be helpful to understand the various soils and planting media used by fernists and gardeners in general. Inorganic soil material is sand, silt and clay. Sand has the largest particles, and clay the smallest (less than 0.002 mm). Loam is a mixture of sand, silt and clay. Humus, the decomposed remains of plants and animals, improves loam for growing plants.

                                                                                    Sand drains quickly and does not hold nutrients. It requires more frequent watering and fertilizing than other soils.

                                                                                    Clay soil, although retaining water, packs down so tightly that it is difficult for roots to penetrate. The lack of air spaces means that clay soil can get water-logged, not allowing needed oxygen around roots. To improve clay garden soil, add a liberal amount of organic matter, and also some gritty material (sand/gravel) and gypsum. If 50% clay and 50% organic matter is used, this will be suitable for gardening only about three years. Thus, every 6 to 12 months, organic matter should be added as topper. Better yet, dig out ferns, add organic matter, perlite and/or gypsum, and replant the ferns.

                                                                                    Two suggested mixes for ferns (Hoshizaki):


                                                                                      --------------------
                                                                                      References:
                                                                                        Container Culture of Ferns

                                                                                        Gardening in containers has replaced or supplemented growing ferns in the ground for many Californians. Condo gardens and smaller yards may be the primary reason, but containers have the advantage of moving with you when you relocate and allowing transport of plants to shows. The gardener can easily provide adequate drainage and then water individual plants as needed. Ferns can be moved around for ideal placement through the seasons of the year, and even hidden away when dormant. Tropicals may be sheltered from frost or wind, then later returned to showplace locations. As shade patterns of a yard change through the year, a plant can be seasonally placed under shady trees and patios to take advantage of ideal light conditions or humidity areas.

                                                                                        Epiphytic ferns are those that grow naturally on trees. These are particularly suited to growing in baskets and on plaques. Sphagnum moss is commonly used to line a wire basket or placed against a board for mounting ferns. These plants have no soil, so careful attention to their nutritional needs is important. In addition to Playtcerium, ferns such as Asplenium and Drynaria are suggested for plaques.

                                                                                        Container fern gardening allows you to customize the planting mix and nutrition for each type of fern. At this month's meeting, we will learn about fertilizers so that you can optimally care for your container ferns.
                                                                                        --------------------
                                                                                        References:

                                                                                          Acidic and Basic Conditions for Ferns

                                                                                          When ferns are growing well, the gardener does not need not be concerned with soil acidity. However, this does affect the ability of plants to use soil nutrients. Arid regions such as San Diego generally have basic (alkaline) soils. The greatest amount and variety of nutrients are available to plants when soil is neutral to slightly acidic, as is common in rainy areas.

                                                                                          Most ferns grow optimally in slightly acidic conditions, pH between 6 and 7, where 7 is neutral. Soils high in peat and other organic material will provide acidic conditions for ferns. Some Blechnum, Dryopteris and Polystichum ferns grow best in acidic conditions.

                                                                                          Other ferns are native to basic soils or limestone areas, and need more calcium. Calcium can be added in the form of dolomite, ground limestone or oyster shells. Ferns for basic or limestone soils are some of the Adiantum and Asplenium ferns, and Phyllitis scolopendrium. Photos below show ferns in basic and acidic natural habitats.

                                                                                          --------------------
                                                                                          Reference:
                                                                                          Hoshizaki, B. and Moran, R. (2001). Fern grower's manual. Portland, OR: Timber Press.

                                                                                          Pasted Graphic 3

                                                                                          Fern growing in rocky hillside (basic conditions), Mission Trails Park, San Diego, CA



                                                                                          Pasted Graphic 4
                                                                                          Ferns growing on travertine, a form of limestone, Tonto Natural Bridge State Park, AZ

                                                                                          Pasted Graphic 5

                                                                                          Ferns growing in peat bog (highly acidic), Tongass National Forest, AK

                                                                                          Photo credits: Kathie Russell


                                                                                          San Diego Fern Society Officers

                                                                                          President
                                                                                          Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
                                                                                          1
                                                                                          st Vice President and Secretary
                                                                                          Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com
                                                                                          2
                                                                                          nd Vice President
                                                                                          Gary Bourne
                                                                                          Treasurer
                                                                                          Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net

                                                                                          Directors

                                                                                          Past President
                                                                                          Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com
                                                                                          Board Members:
                                                                                          Bruce Barry
                                                                                          Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                                                                                          Richard Lujan
                                                                                          Bill Mous

                                                                                          Website

                                                                                          www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                                                                                          Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                                                                                          Membership

                                                                                          The San Diego Fern Society is now taking dues for 2012 memberships. Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting or mail to:
                                                                                          San Diego Fern Society
                                                                                          2829 30
                                                                                          th Street
                                                                                          San Diego, CA 92104



                                                                                          San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                                                                                          The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                                                                                          * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                                                                                          * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                                                                                          * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                                                                                          The Society aims
                                                                                          * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                                                                                          * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                                                                                          * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                                                                                          * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                                                                                          * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to the culture of ferns.


                                                                                          Volume XXXVI, Number 5

                                                                                          APRIL FERN SOCIETY MEETING

                                                                                          The April meeting of the San Diego Fern Society will be held Thursday, April 19, 2012. The Society meets in Room 101 of Casa del Prado in Balboa Park, San Diego, at 7:30 PM. We have planned a program, followed by a plant table and refreshments.

                                                                                          This month you may visit the Washington Park Arboretum in Seattle without leaving San Diego! We will offer photos and commentary of this 230 acre garden, known as one of the most important tree collections in North America. Throughout the trees are beautiful rhododendrons and ferns. Members of the Hardy Fern Foundation maintain a planted patio area to demonstrate fern options for the Pacific Northwest.

                                                                                          Kathie Russell will narrate photos showing hardy ferns intermixed with mature trees, water and woodland areas, and the Pacific Connections Garden. With 10,000 living trees and plants, there is much to view. Adjacent to Lake Washington, the Washington Park Arboretum is jointly operated by the University of Washington and city of Seattle.

                                                                                          NEWS AND NOTES

                                                                                          Memberships

                                                                                          $12.00 will pay for a single or a household membership in the San Diego Fern Society, covering your enrollment from January through December. See Bill Ganger to join or continue your membership through 2012.

                                                                                          Refreshments

                                                                                          April refreshments will be provided by Don Callard and Gary Bourne. The refreshments sign-up list for 2012 still has openings for future months. Also, consider taking a turn at being our refreshment host/hostess.

                                                                                          April 2012 Plant Table

                                                                                          This month the plant table will feature ferns from our local supplier, and Gary Bourne brings us the best choices available for spring. Some new ferns will brighten your April patio or garden.
                                                                                          Coming in May

                                                                                          For the San Diego Fern Society meeting on May 17, we will be privileged to hear from our own George Plaisted. He will share his findings on the fertilizers available from local nurseries: what they contain, what they cost, and how to get your money's worth. George explored this subject in recent months and will provide his results, giving you the knowledge to make your own fertilizer choices for your ferns and other plantings.

                                                                                          George is experienced in growing many types of plants in San Diego, their container choices, watering techniques, planting mixes and supplemental nutrition. He has been active with local plant clubs and the Botanical Garden Foundation, our parent organization in Balboa Park. He plans to bring planting containers and bagged portions from bulk planting mix ingredients for you to purchase. Set aside a little extra cash for next month so you can stock up on these items at modest cost.

                                                                                          Special Opportunity in June

                                                                                          LAIFS, the Los Angeles International Fern Society, will hold its annual show at the Los Angeles County Arboretum, 310 N Baldwin Av, Arcadia. Mark your calendar for Saturday/Sunday, June 9-10, to attend this important fern show and sale. Additional information will be provided in May, or see the LAIFS website for details:

                                                                                          http://www.laifs.org/

                                                                                          For Travelers: Grab your digital camera and head to ...

                                                                                          Hardy Fern Foundation presents Fern Festival 2012 on June 1 and 2, at the Center for Urban Horticulture in Seattle, Washington. There will be a fern lecture and plant sale.

                                                                                          Birmingham Fern Society will hold its annual Fern Show & Sale on Wednesday, June 20 at Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Alabama.

                                                                                          American Fern Society meets this year in Columbus, Ohio on July 7-11. A one-day fern foray is scheduled for Saturday, July 7, to the ferning areas of Hocking Hills State Park.

                                                                                          Spore Growing Results?

                                                                                          Your fellow Fern Society members are interested in your success (or not) with spore growing. Has anyone seen the hazy green growth or prothalli development from spores sown during the February meeting? Please share a progress report with us at upcoming Fern Society meetings.

                                                                                          Name Tags

                                                                                          You may order your own Fern Society name tag. Gary Bourne has clip-on or pin name tags available at the low cost of $6.
                                                                                          Report on March Meeting

                                                                                          Our March program featured views of Balboa Park Botanical Building, with special emphasis on ferns. These beautiful photos were taken by Bill Mous, and narrated by Amna Cornett. The botanical wonders on view include plants from around the world which grow outdoors in San Diego with only the protection of the lath structure. We viewed many types of ferns, cycads, bromeliads, orchids and more.

                                                                                          Following the photo tour, the society held its popular Gardener's Sale. This special event allowed all of us to spring clean and clear out our own surplus gardening items, and then pick up bargains from other members (that we can't live without)! The Gardener's Sale is a great exchange, reusing and repurposing tools and containers, gaining new varieties of ferns and specialty plants, and just having fun.

                                                                                          More Ferns in Local Parks

                                                                                          Rain this year has continued into April, so the local native ferns are still green and waiting for you to take a walk outdoors. Kathie Russell, Amna Cornett and Bill Mous enjoyed a morning at Mission Trails Regional Park in San Diego in early April. Within a mile of Old Mission Dam, the Oak Canyon trail has Pentagramma triangularis (silverback fern), Pellaea mucronata (birdsfoot fern), Polypodium californicum (California polypody), Adiantum jordanii (California maidenhair) and Cheilanthes newberryi (cotton fern). Most of these ferns can also be seen along Father Junipero Serra Trail, a paved driving route with frequent parking stops for those who do not wish to hike. The Serra Trail is suitable for bicycles and pedestrians as well.

                                                                                          San Diego County Fair

                                                                                          The Del Mar Fair will be open Friday, June 8 through Wednesday, July 4, 2012, except Mondays during June. We again have reserved a container exhibit and a small landscape exhibit, and both will showcase ferns appropriate for San Diego area gardens. Our county fair effort has both financial and promotional value to the San Diego Fern Society. We will need landscape design ideas and implementation from our members. By participating in our displays, you can show your plants to the thousands of people who come to the fair.

                                                                                          The Flower and Garden Show has taken the theme "Cosmic Spaces" to complement the 2012 fair theme, "Out of this World." Unique and rare plants are encouraged for exhibits this year. Watching how garden designs and plants develop into cosmic spaces promises to be entertaining, to say the least. Bruce Barry and Bill Mous attended the exhibitor's meeting and we are ready to showcase our members' creativity with ferns.

                                                                                          The Fern Society expects to prepare and arrange the larger features in the exhibits on Saturday, May 26 and then set in the plants on Saturday, June 2. Save these dates, and plan to support our outreach at the fair. Take down of exhibits is July 5.
                                                                                          Botanical Names

                                                                                          Fern hobbyist growers, and commercial growers for that matter, often wish to use common names for ferns. After all, these names are in English rather than Latin, we can pronounce them and we may already know them. Botanists in their continuing studies seem to always be changing the names and we fern gardeners get confused.

                                                                                          The Polystichum ferns discussed below and in the coming program provide an example of the drawback of using common names. Certain Polystichums are known as holly ferns and sword ferns. San Diego growers have other ferns in mind for those names.

                                                                                          What is a Hardy Fern?

                                                                                          A hardy fern is one that grows (even when you neglect it) although most everything else does not survive, right? Just what is meant by the term, hardy fern?

                                                                                          John Mickel does provide an answer: hardy means enduring without protection, usually alluding to cold. It appears that gardeners elsewhere understand hardiness to be defined by cold temperature that a plant will tolerate and still survive. The US Department of Agriculture has established hardiness zones for plants so that growers can determine whether to try a certain crop or type of plant. Those of us in San Diego generally don't understand these zones; many of us just try whatever plants we wish. However we may notice that some tropical plants will only continue to thrive if kept in a greenhouse or shelter.

                                                                                          USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is the standard by which gardeners and growers can determine which plants are most likely to thrive at a location. The map is based on the average annual minimum winter temperature, divided into 10-degree F zones.

                                                                                          In San Diego County you may see frost-damaged banana plants after a very cold night; banana plants are not hardy and readily show frost damage in inland areas. Similarly some tropical ferns will suffer in San Diego's occasional cold or frost, or just not thrive over the cool winters. We can grow many hardy ferns in San Diego, but most of us do not know which ferns (or other plants for that matter) are actually cold tolerant.


                                                                                          Plant hardiness zone map:

                                                                                          http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/

                                                                                          Note that San Diego coastal areas are in zones 10 a and b. The Washington Park Arboretum is in zone 9a, which means average winter low temperatures of 20 to 25 F.
                                                                                          --------------------
                                                                                          Reference:
                                                                                          Mickel, J. (1994). Ferns for American gardens. New York: Macmillan.
                                                                                          Polystichum Ferns

                                                                                          Polystichums are found in temperate regions of the world, especially North America, Europe and east Asia, and in high elevations of the tropics. They are generally considered hardy ferns. This term may be confusing to those of us in San Diego, as it does not mean "easy to grow." Rather, refer to USDA plant hardiness zones as explained above.

                                                                                          In the plant collection at Washington Park Arboretum in Seattle, quite a few species and varieties are growing: P. andersonii, P. munitum, P. neolobatum, P. polyblepharum, P. setiferum (varieties 'Divisilobum', 'Plumosomultilobum', 'Rotundatum cristatum'), P. tsus-simense.

                                                                                          Polystichum imbricans is a native, but doesn't seem to appear in the retail trade. It is found in San Diego County in the Palomar, Cuyamaca and Laguna mountain areas, as well as California coastal and mountain regions. P. munitum is very similar but grows much larger with favorable conditions. In the Pacific Northwest it can be over five feet tall in rain forests. It is available in the nursery trade, and grows in nature from Southeast Alaska to central California.

                                                                                          Hardy ferns to try in San Diego include several of the Polystichums. P. tsus-simense is an Asian import which is sold in the nursery trade, and remains small for containers or rock gardens, about 18 inches. P. polyblepharum averages two feet in height but can become larger and is another garden option.
                                                                                          --------------------
                                                                                          References:
                                                                                          Mickel, J. (1994). Ferns for American gardens. New York: Macmillan.
                                                                                          Olsen, S. (2007). Encyclopedia of garden ferns. Portland, OR: Timber Press.

                                                                                          Polystichum tsus-semense

                                                                                           Polystichum tsussemense P tsu 2



                                                                                          Photo credit: Kathie Russell

                                                                                          San Diego Fern Society Officers

                                                                                          President
                                                                                          Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
                                                                                          1
                                                                                          st Vice President and Secretary
                                                                                          Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com
                                                                                          2
                                                                                          nd Vice President
                                                                                          Gary Bourne
                                                                                          Treasurer
                                                                                          Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net

                                                                                          Directors

                                                                                          Past President
                                                                                          Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com
                                                                                          Board Members:
                                                                                          Bruce Barry
                                                                                          Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                                                                                          Richard Lujan
                                                                                          Bill Mous

                                                                                          Website

                                                                                          http://www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                                                                                          Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                                                                                          Membership

                                                                                          The San Diego Fern Society is now taking dues for 2012 memberships. Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting or mail to:
                                                                                          San Diego Fern Society
                                                                                          2829 30
                                                                                          th Street
                                                                                          San Diego, CA 92104



                                                                                          San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                                                                                          The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                                                                                          * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                                                                                          * to arrange for people to study ferns together;
                                                                                          * to encourage the use and enjoyment of ferns in gardens, patios, and the home.

                                                                                          The Society aims
                                                                                          * to encourage all horticultural activities by example, education, exhibits, and donations;
                                                                                          * to interest people in the beauty & satisfaction to be found in garden, patio and home living;
                                                                                          * to promote and stimulate interest in ferns;
                                                                                          * to encourage and develop culture of various types and varieties of ferns;
                                                                                          * to provide for the exchange and dissemination among Society members of information relating to the culture of ferns.


                                                                                          MARCH FERN SOCIETY MEETING

                                                                                          The March meeting of the San Diego Fern Society will be held Thursday, March 8, 2012. The Society meets in Room 101 of Casa del Prado in Balboa Park, San Diego, at 7:30 PM. This month only, the meeting is the second Thursday of the month.

                                                                                          Amna Cornett took a walk in the park last month, in the Balboa Park Botanical Building. A short slide program of the botanical wonders on view there will be presented in March. This should inspire you to enjoy the fern wonders in our parks and backyards.

                                                                                          Following the program, we will have our Spring Gardener's Sale. This is our opportunity to creatively reuse the gardening items many of us collect. These gardening treasures are too good to throw out, but we no longer need so many tools, decorative plant containers, aquariums, yard art and gardening books. Ferns and specialty plants may be sold also. (See instructions page 2)


                                                                                          NEWS AND NOTES

                                                                                          Membership Renewal Time

                                                                                          $12.00 will pay for a single or a household membership in the San Diego Fern Society, covering your enrollment from January through December. See Bill Ganger to join or continue your membership through 2012.

                                                                                          Refreshment Table

                                                                                          March refreshments will be provided by Dick Ludwig, Bruce Barry and Bill Mous. The refreshments sign-up list for 2012 still has openings for future months. Also, consider taking a turn at being our refreshment host/hostess!

                                                                                          Gardener's Sale in March

                                                                                          Following a short program, the Fern Society will host a Spring Gardener's Sale! Your usable garden items can be brought to new life and at the same time augment the Society's treasury. Donated items will be sold, or you may sell by consignment.

                                                                                          Donate or sell on consignment any of these:
                                                                                          decorative, usable containers (no plastic nursery pots)
                                                                                          terrarium containers, aquariums
                                                                                          small water features
                                                                                          tools in good condition
                                                                                          gardening books
                                                                                          small statuary or other garden art
                                                                                          plant stands
                                                                                          ferns and specialty plants

                                                                                          Please note: no pesticides or toxic substances are allowed.

                                                                                          Unsold items must go home with the seller; we have no extra storage space in the park.

                                                                                          If your fern collection has expanded beyond its boundaries, you may donate some ferns to the sale or sell them on consignment. As always, make sure any plants you bring are in clean containers or mounted or bagged, trimmed and free of pests, and labeled.

                                                                                          Consignment sales policy: Plants and sale items shall be clearly priced; two-thirds will go the seller and one-third to the San Diego Fern Society. Plants must be groomed and neat in appearance, in tidy pots or bags, and de-bugged, showing no pests, no ants! A correct plant name tag is desirable. Vendor shall provide an inventory list stating seller name, number and type of plants or other gardening items for sale and their retail price. To sell consignment items, check in with a board member in Room 101 at 7 pm.




                                                                                          Name Tags

                                                                                          You may order your own Fern Society name tag. Gary Bourne has clip-on or pin name tags available at the low cost of $6.


                                                                                          Report on February Meeting

                                                                                          February's meeting was a hands-on activity of interest to fern growers. Amna Cornett led us in a demonstration on growing from spores. She provided spores from a Lycopodium as well as some ferns, and prepared growing medium. We were able to try our hand at sowing spores, and then take home our own containers sown with spores. The containers should be kept in high light but not direct sun, and evenly moist. Now, we wait and watch for growth.

                                                                                          Spore growing may take a few weeks to a few months to see results. The first growth may appear as a fine green haze. These containers should be watered with bottled water (labeled for distilled water use) or rain water. Tap water is not recommended as there is too much mineral content.

                                                                                          Later the little plants develop, and can be carefully transplanted to containers, spreading the individual plants to allow room for growth.

                                                                                          Further information on spore growing on page 5.

                                                                                          Budget for 2012 was approved by the membership at the February meeting, as printed in the February Fern World.

                                                                                          Planning Ahead: San Diego County Fair

                                                                                          The Del Mar Fair is scheduled for Friday, June 8 through Wednesday, July 4, 2012. We again plan to have a container exhibit and a small landscape exhibit, both featuring ferns appropriate for San Diego area gardens. Our county fair effort has both financial and promotional value to the San Diego Fern Society. We are looking for landscape design ideas, and by participating in our displays, you can show your plants to the thousands of people who come to the fair.

                                                                                          We expect to prepare and arrange the larger features in the exhibits on Saturday, May 26 and then set in the plants on Saturday, June 2. Mark your calendar, and plan to support our outreach at the fair. Take down is July 5.

                                                                                          Fern World Format Change

                                                                                          The board of the San Diego Fern Society decided to try a different printing format for the Fern World. We expect to use this for a few months and then evaluate it. This style makes the printed and emailed versions nearly identical, with email showing photos in color. The editor and the board would appreciate feedback from the membership regarding the type of articles you would like in the Fern World, whether you consider this format easy to read, and ideas to consider for the future. Let Kathie Russell or another board member know your thoughts, or email back to:

                                                                                          sandiegofernsociety@gmail.com
                                                                                          Fern Walk at the Botanical Building in Balboa Park

                                                                                          According to Balboa Park Central, operator of the Balboa Park website, the Botanical Building with the Lily Pond in the foreground is one of the most photographed scenes in the park. Built for the 1915-16 Exposition, the historic building is one of the largest lath structures in the world. The Botanical Building plantings include more than 2,100 permanent plants, and feature fascinating collections of cycads, ferns, orchids, other tropical plants, and palms. This free display also presents seasonal flowers.

                                                                                          On a rainy day in January about a dozen people, presumably tourists, were observed enjoying and photographing the botanical collection, commenting on its unique plants. Any time of year, this is a great place to bring your guests for fern viewing. The Botanical Building presents an abundance of ferns in outdoor display in all seasons. Early in February, Amna and friends toured the building with a special emphasis on the fern collection. Bill Mous photographed what we saw and we will present a brief photo tour for the March meeting.

                                                                                          Mycorrhiza in Terrestrial Lycopodiums

                                                                                          Several species of Lycopodiums grow in the United States, but they are not commonly cultivated. Many of these terrestrial Lycopodiums, also known as clubmosses, require special fungi called mycorrhiza in the roots and soil. The fungus may surround roots or even grow within roots, benefitting the plant with enhanced uptake of moisture and nutrients.

                                                                                          Terrestrial Lycopodiums need an acidic environment, constant moisture and shade. John Mickel suggests that a highly acidic soil is needed (pH of 4.0 to 4.5). Hoshizaki and Moran report some success growing in oak leaf mold using aluminum sulfate to maintain acidity.

                                                                                          For those who are growing Lycopodiums from spore, Amna will supply a bit of the native soil for you when your plants develop. According to the provided instructions, growth may take several weeks to several months.

                                                                                          New York Botanical Garden has discussion available on their website:
                                                                                          Hidden Partners: Mycorrhizal Fungi and Plants, by Matthew Pace

                                                                                          http://sciweb.nybg.org/science2/hcol/mycorrhizae.asp

                                                                                          Additional References:
                                                                                          Mickel, J. (1994). Ferns for American gardens. New York: Macmillan.
                                                                                          Hoshizaki, B. and Moran, R. (2001). Fern grower's manual. Portland, OR: Timber Press.

                                                                                          What happens to those spores?

                                                                                          According to John Mickel of New York Botanical Garden, a single fern plant commonly produces millions of spores in a season. So why isn't the world covered with ferns?

                                                                                          Spores need a suitable place for germination, shaded with constant moisture and room to grow. When the spore absorbs water the single cell enlarges and turns green. A hairlike structure, a rhizoid, acts as a root to absorb water and minerals. The green cell divides, soon sending a filament with rhizoids into the soil. The cells divide to broaden the filament and a plantlet, called a prothallus, grows.

                                                                                          Prothalli are generally heart-shaped and about one quarter of an inch across. The sex structures form on the lower surface of the prothallus. Tiny beadlike antheridia produce sperms, and a single egg cell develops in each tube-shaped projection called an archegonium. When one sperm "swims" in the moist environment to an egg and fertilizes it, the remaining archegonia become nonfunctional. The fertilized egg grows and divides, eventually forming roots and leaves. The process to produce a mature fern takes several months to as much as a few years.

                                                                                          When growing spores in containers, proper moisture and light must be maintained over an extended period of time. Use care in transplanting the tiny plants and continue to protect them from drying out by keeping them in a sheltered environment. Eventually, if all goes well, you will have many new ferns for your own collection and to share with others. So, this process is a bit complex, but in nature somehow it happens!

                                                                                          Reference:
                                                                                          Mickel, J. (1994). Ferns for American gardens. New York: Macmillan.

                                                                                          Pyrrosia in Balboa Park Botanical Building


                                                                                          Photo credit: Bill Mous

                                                                                          Pasted Graphic Pasted Graphic 1





                                                                                          San Diego Fern Society Officers

                                                                                          President
                                                                                          Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
                                                                                          1
                                                                                          st Vice President and Secretary
                                                                                          Amna Cornett amnacarol@yahoo.com
                                                                                          2
                                                                                          nd Vice President
                                                                                          Gary Bourne
                                                                                          Treasurer
                                                                                          Bill Ganger wganger@sbcglobal.net

                                                                                          Directors

                                                                                          Past President
                                                                                          Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com
                                                                                          Board Members:
                                                                                          Bruce Barry
                                                                                          Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
                                                                                          Richard Lujan
                                                                                          Bill Mous

                                                                                          Website

                                                                                          www.sandiegofernsociety.com
                                                                                          Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

                                                                                          Membership

                                                                                          The San Diego Fern Society is now taking dues for 2012 memberships. Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting or mail to:
                                                                                          San Diego Fern Society
                                                                                          2829 30
                                                                                          th Street
                                                                                          San Diego, CA 92104



                                                                                          San Diego Fern Society Objects and Purposes

                                                                                          The San Diego Fern Society was formed
                                                                                          * to provide a source of information on ferns;
                                                                                          * t