Cinnamon Fern

cinnamon fern

Not to be outdone by the springtime display put on by flowering plants, cinnamon fern  is putting on its own show these days! The “poster child” for dimorphism,  cinnamon fern’s fertile and sterile fronds are totally different in function and appearance. The sterile fronds, built solely for photosynthesis, form a vase-like shape  surrounding the fertile fronds, which  resemble sticks covered in cinnamon powder. Cinnamon ferns are usually limited to wetter environments. On the plateau look for them in marshy areas and sometimes the lower stretches of gentle undulations of the topography. Once you find them, they are unmistakeable. Our largest fern, cinnamon fern’s fronds can reach six feet in  length. Although deer and other mammals nibble at the unfurling fiddleheads and birds often use the fuzz covering fiddleheads and leaf bases for nesting material, the plants seem fairly  impervious to herbivory.

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