Ferns Unfurling

Eliza Waters

IMG_4971 Sensitive Fern (Onoclea sensibilis)

The unfurling of fern fiddleheads in spring is one of the things I look forward to every year. To me, each one is a work of art. Above is a lovely reddish-bronze Sensitive Fern (Onoclea sensibilis) named for its quick demise when touched by frost.

Fiddleheads are perfect examples of a Fibonacci spiral, a mathematical sequence that builds from 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, etc. Each number is the total of the previous two. The whole Universe can be defined mathematically, the way plants grow, our body works, everything, which I find pretty fascinating. But I digress…IMG_5119IMG_5120 - Version 2IMG_5121 Above are several examples of Interrupted Fern (Osmunda claytoniana), that start out quite wooly, unfolding into rough, chartreuse clusters of beaded mini-ferns before opening their fronds completely. The name comes from the fertile pinnae that occur about halfway up the stem, which mature and fall…

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