A climbing fern

A bit of a mystery today: a fern that I saw last month at Mount Usher. It is a mystery because I am not sure what it is! I am fairly sure it is a pyrrosia fern, usually called tongue ferns because of the thick, leathery fronds. Most also have a felted underside. This one was growing in shade at the top of a well-drained bank, running around with long rhizomes and simple, upright fronds about 8-10cm apart.

pyrrosia lingua tree

I was fairly certain it was Pyrrosia lingua, a species from east Asia but then I noticed that some of the fronds were lobed or ‘fingered’ and that threw me. So now I am not sure at all! I am still convinced the genus is right though and the way it has found a tree and started romping up it sort of confirms that – unless you know different.

pyrrosia lingua


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6 Comments on “A climbing fern”

  1. Meriel
    April 30, 2015 at 9:37 am #

    Interesting, I will look out for it. I have an idea the head gardener is a fernophyle!

  2. katiezarn
    March 20, 2016 at 4:08 pm #

    You may have solved this mystery already, but I think that’s a Kangaroo Fern! I live in the US and just bought one to keep as a houseplant. 🙂

    • thebikinggardener
      March 20, 2016 at 4:55 pm #

      Hello and thank you. I will look into that and see. Common names can be confusing and applied to different plants in different countries but I will have a dig around the recesses of the internet and have a look! Thank you again for visiting and for commenting.

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