October Fern Society

This month on October 18 we will be privileged to have Dr Jon Rebman at the San Diego Fern Society. Dr Rebman is Curator of Botany at the San Diego Natural History Museum, directly across the street from our meeting room, Casa del Prado Room 101. He will explain to us the fern diversity in San Diego County and Baja California, and also provide information on the fern Pentagramma triangularis, one of our natives.

Dr Rebman has been with the Natural History Museum for over twenty years, working on floristics of Baja California and San Diego and Imperial Counties. He discovered around fifteen plants new to science, and he is working on a publication of Ferns and Lycophytes of San Diego County. This is a great meeting to invite your friends interested in nature and plants.

Found in Balboa Park, Pentagramma triangularis shown here grows in Florida Canyon and many areas of San Diego County. Photo credit: K. Russell.

These ferns are common in Torrey Pines Reserve and other locations in San Diego County. Polypodium californicum is green for much of the year, just not in summer. Look for plants on shaded hillsides. Photo credit: K. Russell.

Report on September Garden Visit

On a recent Saturday evening Fern Society members and friends enjoyed a casual social event at the home of Bob and Patty Charlton. Bob's many interesting ferns were there to enjoy, and Bob shared his tips for watering to maintain the lush patio garden, even when he is away.

This plant of Adiantum tenerum 'Elegans' was grown by Bob Charlton in his patio area and displayed at the 2018 Fern Show. With its tiny pinnae, this Maidenhair Fern does best in a humid area. Adiantum tenerum has several cultivars and is native to the American tropics. Plants should have protection from cold as they are more tender than the similar Adiantum raddianum. Photo credit: K. Russell.

California Flora

Credit: ucjeps.berkeley.edu

The California Floristic Province encompasses the areas in the first column above and extends into southwestern Oregon, northwestern Baja California and the Lake Tahoe region of Nevada, but not the Great Basin nor Desert.

San Diego County includes the floristic subdivisions of South Coast (dark purple), Peninsular Ranges (dark pink) and Sonoran Desert.
California's unique habitats are home to many plants and animals found nowhere else, making California one of the most biologically diverse places in the world.

With California's coastal areas heavily urbanized and agriculture dominating the state, it is important to study and understand the species that are found here. With this knowledge, options include protecting and restoring natural spaces within both agricultural and urban areas.

Rosenzweig (Reference 2) in what he calls reconciliation ecology suggests that developers, ranchers and others can and should earn a living while making environmental peace. He feels we must get beyond just setting aside reserves. Even modest natural areas, such as within the urban landscape, can promote and preserve the environment and species diversity. Reconciliation ecology joins with human work to enhance economies along with environments throughout the world.

1. California Academy of Sciences. (2005). Hotspot: California on the edge. Retrieved from nps.gov
2. Rosenzweig, M.L. (2003). Win-win ecology: how the earth’s species can survive in the midst of human enterprise. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press.

Aglaomorpha meyeniana at the Show

A beautiful specimen of Aglaomorpha meyeniana was recognized as the Best Fern in Show for 2018. Don Callard grew this plant, which is native to Philippines and Taiwan. In nature this fern is generally epiphytic, forming a ring-shaped basket around a tree trunk and collecting forest debris like Platyceriums. It also is known to grow in the ground or on rocks. The habitat of this plant is open forests, from elevations just above sea level to perhaps 5000 feet. Aglaomorpha meyeniana is one of many ferns in the Polypodiaceae family.

This fern has unique fronds which may extend 25 inches, with the outer third having constricted fertile pinnae. These carry the large, rounded sori, appearing as strings of beads. A tropical fern, Aglaomorpha meyeniana needs protection when grown in the San Diego area.

Plants of
Aglaomorpha meyeniana can become large. Fronds may be brown papery at the base of the plant. An interesting feature of this fern is the location of the sori on the distal part of the frond. Additional views next page. Photos credit: K. Russell.

Don Callard acquired his plant in the Philippines more than ten years ago. Since the plant is considered tender, he grows it in a greenhouse. He mounted the young plant on a tree fern log and it wrapped around the log, as it would in the rain forest. He suggests that like most ferns, it should be kept moist and in a humid location. New fronds grow out in spring and summer. Additional photos next page.

1. efloras.org
2. Hoshizaki, B. & Moran, R. (2001). Fern grower's manual. Portland, OR: Timber Press.
3. Huang, T. (1980). Flora of Taiwan (Vol. 1). Taipei, Taiwan: Editorial Committee of the Flora of Taiwan, Second Edition.

The sori with spores of
Aglaomorpha meyeniana are on the constricted pinnae of the outer portion of the fertile fronds. Some fronds do not have spores.

Unusual plants, hiding in the garden
by Kathie Russell

I first noticed Polypodium californicum 'Sarah Lyman' while visiting the Leaning Pine Arboretum at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2011. This garden features trees and plants of the Mediterranean climate areas of the world including California, and is a worthwhile garden with free admission. Not much time elapsed before I found P. californicum 'Sarah Lyman' plants for sale at Walter Anderson nursery, and purchased one.

Polypodium californicum 'Sarah Lyman' at the Leaning Pine Arboretum, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Photo credit: K. Russell.

This container grown Polypodium californicum 'Sarah Lyman' is producing new fiddleheads in late September. This naturally found variety of a California native fern is summer dormant but green and attractive in winter and spring. It spreads slowly in a clump, which can be divided to obtain more plants.

I kept my fern in a container for a while, then purchased another to maintain plants both in the ground and in a container. Polypodium californicum absolutely does not cooperate for the August San Diego Fern Show, as summer dormancy is complete, even if watered.

Now at the first of October, however, the container fern (which gets a little water) is growing out, but the fern in the yard is not yet producing fiddleheads.

I highly recommend growing Polypodium californicum 'Sarah Lyman' in the San Diego area. We just have to remember where we planted this fern when it is dormant, and be patient for fall. Plants remain green until early summer, and fronds fall off with no trimming needed. The story on this fern variety is that in 1897 Sarah Lyman found it while walking in Napa County CA. For further information see: theodorepayne.org

The most common variety of Polypodium californicum, which does not have the ruffled fronds, grows naturally around the County and may be viewed at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park and Mission Trails Park, Torrey Pines Reserve and other locations. Look for it during the coming months on shaded hillsides .

The Year of the Garden

Campyloneurum angustifolium on display at the San Diego Fern Show 2018. Bart Keeran grows this fern and many interesting ferns and other plants on his patio. Below: view of sori (the spores). Photos credit: K. Russell.

San Diego Fern Society Officers

President Kathy Thomson kmthomson@att.net
1st Vice President Paula Couturier
2nd Vice President Bart Keeran
Secretary Kathie Russell klrkath@yahoo.com
Treasurer OPEN
Board Members:
Bruce Barry
Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com
Richard Lujan
Past President Don Callard dcallard@san.rr.com

Webmaster: Bob Charlton kwyjibo@san.rr.com

Fern Society email

Bring $12 cash or check (payable to San Diego Fern Society) to a meeting or mail to:

San Diego Fern Society
4780 Glen
La Mesa CA 91941

The San Diego Fern Society was established in 1976 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, and exhibits; to interest people in the beauty and 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 XXXXII, Number 10