Pioneer Valley Fern Society

Revisiting a Friend

Mountain Spleenwort

We recently drove down to CT to visit a lovely patch of Mountain Spleenworts (Asplenium montanum). I think they may be the prettiest of the spleenworts we have seen, both in the shape of the leaflets and the blue-green color, especially against the rock that surrounds them. Despite its name, it was not high up on a mountain, but at only 240' elevation. But it does grow in crevices and ledges of acidic rock. Most of the spleenworts in our area (Maidenhair, Walking, Wall-rue) prefer basic to calcareous rock. Ebony spleenworts generally grow on more acidic rock or soil, and also in the cracks of old mortar in stone walls. They are all wonderful to see!

Chadde (Northeast Ferns 2nd edition) shows Mountain Spleenwort as occurring in Berkshire and Worcester counties in MA, portions of CT and NY, and in parts of PA. We are grateful that a fern friend told us where we could find this beautiful fern, and we remain on the lookout to find some around here.

This is a reminder, for those who are interested, that our last public fern hike of the season will be this coming Friday, November 24th from 1-3PM at Mt Toby in Sunderland. We will be looking at trees and winter ferns on a hike up to the caves. Meet at the parking lot off Reservation Rd. See the poster link on the calendar page. Great alternative to shopping!