Pioneer Valley Fern Society

Fern ID at 40 mph

Interrupted Ferns

The Interrupted Ferns (Osmundastrum claytonianum) this time of year are so striking, many people can recognize them as they drive along the road. This is only for passengers, not the drivers!

I know most of you folks can recognize Interrupted Ferns from a distance, especially now when the fertile parts of the fronds are so obvious. But it is fun to test yourself a little as someone else is driving and you are looking out on the landscape. What other ferns can you identify from a distance and maybe in a moving car? Cinnamon Ferns are pretty obvious this time of year too, with the nice round clump of ferns and the beautiful golden to cinnamon colored fertile frond spikes in the middle of the clumps. Other distinctive ferns might include Bracken (tall and three-parted blade), Sensitive, Christmas, perhaps Ostrich, and maybe Royal when the fertile fronds stand out. And it does not have to be driving; walking, running or hiking along are perfect opportunities to identify the ferns in your neighborhood, on your commute, or at a new place.

Wishing you all happy ferning as the ferns are growing so tall now! We are still deciding on our next fern walk destination. Will decide soon.