Fern – My Fiddle Headed Frond

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.

35 thoughts on “Fern – My Fiddle Headed Frond

  1. 145 million years, wow! The formula for one transformation is amazing; I won’t try to calculate it though.
    I love, love fern, the leaves are just graceful. Thank you so much for introducing your frond.


    • Hi Amy – Hominids walked the Earth as early as several million years ago. Modern Homo sapiens may have appeared about 50,000 B.C. That makes us babies compared to how long Fern’s family have been around!


  2. Fern is amazing. I enjoy your delightful way of looking at the world. Thanks for sharing Fern with us and teaching us her interesting history and traits. She’s a beauty. 🙂


  3. Hi,
    It’s great that you found the perfect spot for the fern, we also have this fern here in OZ, and in small yards is very much a nuisance, but it is fantastic that it will grow where not much else will.
    I love your font, very nice. 🙂
    If you would like to put a Creative Commons license on the side of your blog under copyright, you can choose what you would like, and just click select, have a look at it if you are happy with it, the code does work in the free WP blogs.


    • Hi Mags – People think that ferns only grow in wet climates, but ferns such as mine can grow in relatively dry climates, and still be quite invasive!

      Thanks for the info about Creative Commons Licenses. It isn’t something I am interested in right now, but could be in the future!


    • Hi Ruth – Yes, some fiddleheads are quite tasty, but I’ve never tried the ones in my garden. I think the easiest way to have a really good feed of them is to buy a bag of frozen ones! Besides, I just can’t imagine what Fern would say if I ate some of her offspring!


  4. It’s a beautiful post Margie. I love it that you think of your plants as personalities. It probably makes them happy and it certainly makes for a delightfully happy blog. Thanks for sharing.


    • Hi Dor – You are right about my relationship with my plants. I am a seed saver, and some of my plants have followed me from house to house by way of little brown packages of saved seeds. Other plants, like Fern, were purchased from a local nursery that has since been torn down in order to build a highway.


      • Hi again Margie. I was just given the Versatile Blogger Award and I love your blog so much that I am passing it forward to you. I know you probably have that award and others over and over, but you deserve them all. Check out my blog post I named “Promoting Pride in Blogging.” Dor.


  5. Margie, thanks so much for this post! I showed it to my daughter, and we got into this great conversation about fractals, including looking up websites with more instances of fractals in nature. She has a good head for math but has been struggling with it this year and last year due to a TERRIBLE textbook that the teachers are required to use. It was great to have her be interested in something involving math and graphing – thanks! 🙂


    • Hi Bee – I’m glad your daughter has discovered the fascinating world of Fractals. You both might be interested in a Post by composerinthegarden. She explains the Fibonacci series of numbers – with music!

      My interest in Fractals started many years ago when I bought a book about Chaos and Fractals with wonderful pictures and easy explanations! When I started using a macro lens on our camera this summer, the fractal nature of plants was a lot more visible for me.


    • Hi Amanda – Plants are good friends, as are birds and animals. I can see how some people would prefer to spend time with nature and ignore humans as much as possible!


  6. I love ferns, too. I have ostrich ferns in my shady yard and they do great here. Have you ever tried fiddle-heads? They are a member of the fern family, I think. People eat them here in the spring of the year–quite a delicacy. I’m not a huge fan of them–would rather just look at plants in my yard…


  7. Since moving from Philadelphia to Maine 9 years ago I have been introduced to the Fiddlehead Fern as a gastronomical delight (especially sauteed in garlic). In my beach-side community the arrival of fresh Fiddleheads at the local produce/farm stand is heralded with a celebration just short of a plane banner over the beach! Thank you for a beautiful and informative “biography” of Fern. I will now see her in a new light!


    • Hi Carol – I will have to tell Fern about this next spring. I’m sure she will be impressed that some of her cousins are held in such esteem. I’m not so sure she will be pleased that they get eaten, though.


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