Photograph - Photograph
Resurrection fern (Polypodium polypodioides) is an air plant (epiphyte) which attaches itself to other plants, such as this oak tree, and gets its nutrients from the air and the water and nutrients that collect on the outer surface of the host's bark.
The fern is almost imperceptible when conditions are dry, when it appears desiccated, grey-brown, and dead. But when moisture is present, the fern will uncurl and reopen, appearing to "resurrect," and is a vivid spring green color. In such times, it is thick and lush, and can be seen carpeting the shady areas on limbs of large oak trees.
When the fronds dry, they curl with their bottom sides upwards, which permits them to rehydrate quickly when rain comes, as most of the water is absorbed on the underside of the leaf blades.
February 27th, 2013
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