I’d like you to meet my frond, Fern. At first glance, she seems to lead a pretty simple life. She doesn’t have flowers, nor does she bear seeds, but that doesn’t stop her from creating an extensive family. She sneaks off underground with her rhizome, and then pops up as a new fern every few feet. In the not so distant past she lived with other plants in my yard, but her sneaky underground incursions made her unpopular. So I was forced to enter her into a relocation program – it was that or banish her forever, and I hated to do that in this land where only the hardy survive. She has been replanted in an isolated spot near the Spruces, in a shady patch of earth where nothing else likes to grow. She is happy there.
Fern says she can trace her family history back at least 145 million years. That is quite a feat – I thought I was doing good to find some ancestors in England in the late 1700’s . Fern comes from a group with the beautiful, but tongue twisting name Pteridophyta. I come from a group of not so beautiful Fishmongers.
Fern knows advanced mathematics. She shows off her knowledge every time she raises another frond. Fronds are examples of Fractals. You can see more of these mathematical wonders if you visit my Dill Flowers.
The more I learn about the plants in my yard, the more humble I feel.