Have you ever had a plant pop up that you didn't know what it was or how it got to your garden?
Southern belle Betty Jurich has had the same question ever since Katrina. Betty's sweet garden spot is a tropical paradise located in Gulfport, Mississippi. Her zone 8b-9a coastal landscape survived Katrina's category 4 winds and torrential rain. Not only survived (after a in-depth clean-up, I'm sure) but the tender microclimate landscape thrived. Betty has her hands full with twins and helping her husband, Dennis, an electrical engineer, in his greenhouse. The photos below are of her bromeliads, gingers, bananas, bleeding hearts, aspagagus fern, and a beautiful unknown wood fern, a dryopteris spp. that volunteered right after the 2005 hurricane. She took it around to see if anyone could identify it with no luck. The wood ferns' fronds are wider than three inches and they are three feet tall.
Betty writes that she and her husband saved the seeds from the tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and watermelon from last year to start in the greenhouse. They have been enjoying the tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash. She has propagated lantana while Dennis likes to hybridize the day lilies by hand pollination. Betty promises to send photographs of her platter hibiscus when they bloom.
Bleeding hearts, Clerodendron spp.
If you can correctly identify Betty's volunteering wood fern, please let me know. She says it looks like this dryopteris, but hers is much bigger than most of the dryopteris species.
Want to read more about ferns? Here's some excellent resources.
- American Fern Society
- Ferns of the Northwoods
- Growing Ferns - UF/IFAS
- Key to the Ferns of Florida - UF/IFAS
- The Fern Lover's Companion, by George Henry Tilton 1923
- Desert Fern Guide - Arizona
- Connecticut Ferns
- Bracken Fern Guide
- Tropical Fern and Exotic Plant Society - South Florida
- Boston Ferns
- Hardy Fern Library
- Ferns - Herbal Folklore
- British Fern Identification Database
- Invasive Fern Species