Tuesday 6 December 2011

Umbrella fern

Tongariro National Park, North Island. New Zealand

The tree ferns in NZ are absolutely spectacular, indeed a silver fern leaf is the national emblem. However, here I'm going to show you how a relatively small humble fern unfurls itself.
The umbrella fern Sticherus cunninghamii grows only up to 50 cm up in montane areas, forms dense mats and it unfurls itself most gracefully.  I loved its striking symmetry and took lots of pictures. Below is one of my collages ending with a photo of the final fronds.

Stages of unfurling leaves of the umbrella fern
As you can expect the tree ferns are much bigger, in fact rather majestic. I've been collecting some pictures  and plan to show you some in the future.

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