Pioneer Valley Fern Society

Something Different!

Oak Fern & a Fern Ally

Northern Oak Fern & Dwarf Scouring Rush

Feel pretty confident identifying our local ferns? Time to start identifying the Fern Allies! Fern Allies include the spikemosses, clubmosses, quillworts, whisk ferns, and horsetails. They are related as vascular plants that reproduce by dispersal of spores, and have an alternation of generations. This photo shows the Northern Oak Fern and the Dwarf Scouring Rush growing together near the Green River. The latter is the smallest of the Horsetails (Equisetum), and uncommon in our area. The Oak Fern is not a fern we commonly find either. So this is a special pair of relatives! There are 8 different horsetails that can be found in MA. Not too many to learn!