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 is an unidentified filmy that is similar in some ways to ekmanni in the simple leaves. The older leaves on this one are small and rotund, and grow tight to the substrate. It has been growing almost subterraenly and seems to benefit from the extra coverage.
A more elaborate frond than the true ankersii, this one is also painfully slow and has an even thinner membrane than ankersii. The fronds are about 3″ but only stand an inch off the ground as they are kept low by the weight of the fronds.
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 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 […]
This little glass piglet was sitting all the way back in the cupboard, covered in dust and filled with some well aged truffle oil. It was a souvenir that was purchased a decade earlier in some shop in the Paris airport. A funny little container for something special. The task of removing the oil was procrastinated upon and soon became a chore that just lingered. Recently, during a once in a decade rummage through the back of the cabinets, memories of this […]
Just a small, but interesting observation in the filmy fern Trichomanes reptans that I thought I would share. This is the first filmy fern that I have noticed doing this, but from now on I will definitely pay more attention. Initially when a new frond develops in this species, the stalk is rough in texture but the development of hairs is not present (at least to the naked eye). As these stalks start to age, they do develop coarse hairs that […]
This Trichomanes has distinctive black stems, that extend into the individual leaflets of the fern. It is a shiny, beetle like black. Recently spores have appeared in the form on a little lantern hanging off the tips of one frond. This was the first time I had seen this type of structure on a filmy fern. They are rather big and contain hundreds of spores, although when you look through the papery capsule, it looks more like a single black seed.
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. […]