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.
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 […]
This beautiful filmy fern is found in Costa Rica and Panama, but it’s distribution may be wider. The thin, membraneous, undulating leaves are fanciful especially when the plant is given time to cover a branch or rock. To achieve the best look, humidity needs to be kept lower than 100%. With filmy ferns it is easy to put them in a sealed container and to forgot about them. But in these situations, the rhizome will leave the substrate (as in the photo). With a […]
I have this little plastic bin that has a lawn of Trichomanes ankersii gametophytes that on occasion produces a few sporophytes. I’m still at the stage of trying to understand what conditions will induce successful fertilization and regular production of little fernlets. Many other filmy ferns that I have tried to reproduce in this way will fill the container with gametophytes, but this is as far as it gets. I have containers that are several years old with no further stages. […]
The development and maturity of filmy fern leaves always strikes me as a little different from more conventional fern leaves. For one, it can take a long time as opposed to the relatively quick unfurling of the fiddlehead in more commonplace ferns. The images show the same frond from a Trichomanes species. While they do start off as little fiddle heads they open up to reveal quite undeveloped fronds. Over 3 or 4 months they unhurriedly expand to their fully matured state. […]
This genus of filmy ferns form a very interesting group that is perfect for even the smallest of terrariums. The rhizomes given the opportunity will adhere tightly to rocks and wood in the hardscape. The small translucent leaves are small intricately shaped, and closely spaced on the rhizome. In time a beautiful carpet of undulating leaves will cover it’s anchor creating a centerpiece of unique qualities. Fairly easy to grow with a good source of soft water and high humidity. Patience like […]
Filmy ferns as a group is a perfect starting point for this blog. Their diversity overwhelms the enthusiast and puzzles the uninitiated. “Aren’t these all the same plant” is a common phrase heard while looking at my collection. These shy ferns with their subtle and transparent fronds, hiding in the shadows, require close and thorough observation. If they were bolder or larger ferns the differences may be more apparent to the casual observer. I don’t mind stepping in to point out […]