Last November I went to Pinnacles National Park. I found many ferns, most of which were Goldback Fern (Pentagramma triangularis, pictured below).
We also saw Coffee Fern (Pellaea andromedifolia) andBird’s Foot Fern (Pellaea mucronata) growing in the sandy soils around the Pinnacles.
I was surprised to find so much Giant Chain Fern (Woodwardia fimbriata), because this fern usually requires a lot of water, but it grew in the streams that ran through Pinnacles and near the waterfalls created by the giant rock formations.
Of course, there were no ferns growing inside the caves, but they did grow in the crevices outside.
Beautiful lichen grew on the rocks at the top of the Pinnacles!
Photo credits: Helen Holmlund (except for featured image, Sabrina Shirazi)
This summer I visited the Hoh Rainforest in Olympic National Park in Washington State. Here in the temperate rainforest, the plants receive more than 100 inches of rain each year! The trees are covered with moss, and the ferns thrive in the understory.
The Hoh Rainforest is next to a river fed by melted glaciers. I saw a family of elk by the river!
In addition to covering the forest floor, many ferns grow as epiphytes on the moss-covered tree limbs (see polypody to the left).
Naturally, beautiful mushrooms also thrive in this environment.
This summer I went camping in Redwood National and State Parks to look for ferns! Many fern species grow well in damp and shaded redwood understory of northern California.
I found several species of ferns that were new to me! The fern above is Blechnum spicant, which is a dimorphic fern, meaning that the fronds with and without spores have a different shape. The top picture shows a fertile frond (with spores) and the leaves in the bottom picture are all sterile fronds (without spores).
I also found Polypodium scouleri, which is a leathery polypody with large fuzzy sori (spore groups), pictured above. This species often grows as an epiphyte, meaning that it grows on the branches of a tree.
Finally, I went to this beautiful place called “Fern Canyon,” near Prairie Creek State Park. The walls of this canyon are coated with ferns, mostly Adiantum aleuticum (Five-fingered Fern). There are naturally little trickles of water coming down the canyon walls, and the ferns thrive in this environment.
Of course, there are also many beautiful mushrooms that thrive in the redwood forest!