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Jack Sanders
Jack Sanders

Buckler Fern


Welcome to Fancy Fronds Nursery! We are a small family run business located in Gold Bar, Washington, specializing in garden ferns for all occasions and growing zones in the U.S. Our nursery is open year-round by appointment, and a wide selection of plants are available for spring and fall shipping. Find the fern that's right for you!




buckler fern


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Ferns are primitive plants that evolved before the flowering plants and reproduce sexually by means of spores rather than seeds. This page covers the 'classic' fern species that form graceful clumps, the leaves all arising from a central point in the manner of a shuttlecock.


This is the most difficult group of ferns to tell apart and it is necessary to note details of the smallest segments of the leaves, the spore cases (if present) and the outline and shape of the overall leaf. In the buckler and male ferns, the spores are covered by a round or kidney-shaped structure called an indusium and these lie in a double row along the underside of the leaflets. For ease of describing the various parts, a couple of technical terms are used; the side arms that form the first division of a leaf are called pinnae (singular, pinna), while the secondary divisions of the pinnae are called pinnules, which make up the smallest parts of each leaf.


Native. Our most common clump-forming fern of shady places, found throughout the region in a very wide range of habitats. A deciduous species, with all of the leaves dying down over winter - thus, spring plants consist only of new, fresh green leaves. Leaves are narrower and more parallel-sided than those of Broad Buckler Fern and the pinnules have less sharply-pointed tips. Compared with Borrer's Male Fern, the pinnules are more sharply pointed and they tend to taper slightly towards the tip.


Native. The male ferns have been reviewed in recent years, such that the true status of the various forms has yet to be fully established. Scaly Male Fern consists of a difficult group of plants that are very closely related but their full taxonomy is still open to debate. It is most likely that they represent apomictic species that produce clonal populations, but for now, the are represented by Scaly Male Fern, which here represents the general group where the plant cannot be assigned to one of the subspecies. There also follows, details of two subspecies that are found in our region and which form relatively distinct populations; these are Golden-scaled Male Fern and Borrer's Male Fern. The group appears to be fairly widespread in damper woodlands. These are more or less evergreen species - thus, spring plants consist of both new, fresh green leaves and old, dark green leaves. Leaves are narrower and more parallel-sided than those of Broad Buckler Fern and the pinnules have less sharply-pointed tips. Compared with Common Male Fern, the pinnules are very rounded at the tip and have more or less parallel sides. At the base of the pinnules, there is a dark, blackish mark. The scales at the base of the leaf stalk are plentiful and very obvious.


Native. A rare plant which is classified as Critically Endangered. Found in a few, acidic bogs in Norfolk's Broadland and at two isolated locations on the north coast. Now lost from Suffolk, where it appears to have been last reported around 1975. Spore-bearing fronds may be found from late May to August. A distinctive plant, with open clusters of leaves that are not as tightly clumped as those of other buckler ferns - the outer leaves spreading outward, the inner more upright. The pinnae and pinnules are relatively broad but, on the inner, fertile (spore-bearing) leaves, they can appear narrow as the pinnae twist (sometimes to 90 degrees) on the main stem to give a ladder-like effect.


Dryopteris expansa; The Northern Buckler-fern is a large bipinnate, near to tripinnate fern having sori/sporangia on the bottom-side of the leaflets. On every leaflet are in two longitudal rows about 10 sori. However, on the first lobe and sometimes on other lobes as well, there are about 4 sori in two lateral rows. This shows that the first lobe is well on its way to become a leaflet by itself (making the whole leaf tripinnate). The similar Male-fern (Dryopteris filix-mas) does not have this feature.It is most common in the north-western fjord region of Iceland. Elsewhere, it can be found in certain northern, western and south-western regions. It grows in cracks/hollows of lava fields and in taller shrub vegetations (birches).It can easily be confused with the Male-fern and the Lady-fern. It differs frond the Male fern by the more incised leaflets (at the base tripinnate). The Dryopteris species (Male- & Buckler-fern) differ from the Athyrium species (Lady-ferns) by having the sporangia next to the main leaf-veins where on the Athyria's they are placed on top of the veins. It is a member of the Dryopteridaceae - shield fern / wood fern family. The Icelandic name for this species is Dílaburkni.


Commonly associated with streams and damp forests as well as rocky alpine crevices, the Spreading Wood Fern thrives wherever it has shade, moisture and acidic soils. They will grow well with other acid lovers like Evergreen Huckleberry, Serviceberry, Buffaloberry, Salal and alongside fellow ferns like Fiddlehead Fern. Make sure to chose a shady, damp location for your Spreading Wood Ferns, preferably with acidic soil. The plants will propagate from spores as well as division from new growth.


Buckler ferns, with their shuttlecock-like arrangement of fronds, are one of the commonest and most complex genera of British ferns. Once, the buckler ferns were thought to comprise a single species, the male fern or 'Filix mas'. Today, about 20 species and interspecific hybrids are recognised in Britain. Outside of Britain, Dryopteris is found on most continents, and comprises more than 150 species.


A sporangium looks like a bladder on a stick; the explosive release of its contents into an air stream is crucial for successful fern dispersal. Biologists have known for decades about the basic release process; sporangia split open when dehydrated, whilst energy stored in cells walls ejects the spores. However, recent biomechanical investigations show the mechanism is analogous to that used by medieval catapults, especially the mangonel. The crucial structure is the annulus, a strip of about a dozen cells with unevenly-thickened walls, which divides one side of the sporangium.


This striking deciduous fern has triangular-shaped fronds, which are a beautiful coppery-red colour when young and slowly mature to dark green, it contrasts beautifully with evergreen ferns and other woodland plants. This fern need plenty of moisture.


This fern also does surprisingly well when grown in pots, so it can also be used on shaded patios or under pergolas. The plant likes a lot of water and humidity, so it will need regular attention if it's grown in containers


Dryopteris Erythrosora Japanese Rosy Buckler Fern is a very striking rare evergreen fern. It has coppery pink triangular fronds when young that turn to light green when mature. RHS Award of Garden Merit.


There are about 200 species of terrestrial ferns, in this genus. They occur mainly in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, where they grow in woodland, by stream or lakes, and among mountain rocks. Most are deciduous, or semi evergreen. Pinnate to 4 pinnate, sometimes pinnatisect fronds form shuttlecocks in most cultivated species. Spores are produced in kidney shaped sori. The foliage looks effective with most herbaceous plants and shrubs.


Element-specific concentration ratios (CRs) assuming that plant uptake of elements is linear are commonly used in radioecological modelling to describe the soil-to-plant transfer of elements. The goal of this study was to investigate the validity of the linearity assumption in boreal forest plants, for which only limited relevant data are available. The soil-to-plant transfer of three essential (Mo, Ni, Zn) and two non-essential (Pb, U) elements relevant to the safety of radioactive waste disposal was studied. Three understory species (blueberry, narrow buckler fern and May lily) and two tree species (Norway spruce and rowan) were included. Examining CRs as a function of soil concentration showed that CR was not constant but decreased with increasing soil concentrations for all elements and plant species. A non-linear equation fitted fairly well with the empirical data; the R(2)-values for this equation were constantly higher than those for the linear fit. The difference between the two fits was most evident at low soil concentrations where the use of constant CRs underestimated transfer from soil to plants. Site-specific factors affected the transfer of Mo and Ni. The results suggested that systematic variation with soil concentrations explains a part of the large variation of empirically determined CRs, and the accuracy of modelling the soil-to-plant transfer might be improved by using non-linear methods. Non-linearity of soil-to-plant transfer has been previously reported for a few different species, elements and environments. The present study systematically tested the linearity assumption for five elements (both essential and non-essential) and in five boreal forest species representing different growth traits and phylogenies. The data supported non-linearity in all cases. 041b061a72


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