This beautiful filmy fern is one of the hardier species, and grows in nice compact colonies. The rhizomes are rather thick, and the fronds only stand 1-2″ tall. It has a very simple leaf structure, and like most filmys, likes it shady and wet. I don’t put any filmys in direct light, as their leaves burn easily. They do very well with ambient room light and I wouldn’t suggest putting them within at least two feet of any bright lights.
This photo was taken in May, the second photo was taken just four months later. As you can see in the second picture, there is a frond coming from the Asplenium that has a frond that looks entirely different than the rest of the plant- more similar to Ascogrammitis than Asplenium! This species shows some resemblance to fragrans but it is a lot more delicate and less rigid in it’s structure.
I remember thinking to myself while taking these photos that this was the perfect opportunity to capture both the softness and the details of a filmy fern at the same time. The way that the leaves presented themselves on one plane, all facing in the same direction was perfect. This species was also one of my favorites of the trip. It could be a Hymenophyllum or Trichomanes, but I am unsure of it’s identity. It was small fern, the largest […]
This diminutive species is found at higher elevations where it is cooler, and misty clouds and rain is an everyday occurrence. In these conditions you can see them in colonies with their long serrated leaves shooting out from the moss. When C. serrulatum grows in more open areas, they tend to stay small and hug the tree a little more. It is common and abundant if the conditions are right. Growing alongside other ferns and mosses is when it looks […]
While hiking in the El Cope area in Panama, I was caught off guard when I came across this fern in the family Polypodiaceae that had bright red new leaves. I could try to take a guess at the genus, like maybe a Pleopeltis. Probably the best thing to do would be to just identify it down to the family for now. It’s not uncommon to see new leaves that are red in fern genera like Adiantum, Blechnum, and others. But, I […]
It would be a difficult decision to choose between a small filmy fern and a small Asplenium, as ferns go those are my two favorite groups. Although if you threw in a small Elaphoglossum, a Moranopteris, or a Cochlidium that would definitely create a problem. When it comes to small Aspleniums, the fact that they look like miniaturized versions of a more classic type of fern is what always gets me. And while some have more simplified fronds, others are […]
One unfortunate thing about filmy ferns is that the slight differences in size, “filminess”, and presentation is easily lost in photographs. The delicate nature of these ferns isn’t always translated to the viewer and many filmy’s end up looking similar. Maybe this is the case with this species from El Cope, Panama. When looking at this photo, I don’t see all the traits that made this one of my favorites of the trip. It is a bit more delicate in texture than many […]