Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Pyrrosia hastata

Am normally not into ferns. Perhaps being snobbish, they are like easy common houseplants that thrive under a regime of lavish watering.  Being a succulent enthusiast there are few places for moisture loving ferns. Actually there are many drought tolerant or xeric ferns.  Their survival strategy is different from succulents; succulent stores water while xeric ferns curls and dries up and resurrects when water is available. Nowadays, i've been slowly adding on xeric ferns to my xeric theme collection.

This fern was acquired recently during a trip to Japan.  My Japanese friend was keeping this fern in full sun on his rooftop.  Japanese summer can be terribly hot and humid. I was literally melting on his rooftop and thermometer registered 37°C. This fern Pyrrosia hastata was clearly adaptable, the leaves curled backwards exposing a beautiful rusty brown patch of spore bearing bodies (above photo, view of the underside). The potting media was almost bone dry. I thought it would make a good companion plant together with succulents.

This is a photograph of a well watered specimen from the top. 
This species come from Southern China and extend to Southern Korea and Japan. It grows on exposed rocky places. This explains its tolerance to both extreme summer and winter temperatures. Eastern Asia experienced wet summers and dry winters. And hence it is a summer grower.  So far, it has given me many new fronds. It has also went through a couple of missed watering as it was placed at less frequent corner.  These unintentional drought regime would have killed most ferns.  

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