Saturday, 18 February 2017

Hart's Tongue Fern

If you've walked along the Hollow ways or around the old quarries you might have noticed these ferns growing on the side. It is called hart's-tongue fern (Asplenium scolopendrium) which is a widespread evergreen across Britain preferring shaded locations. 

It's name comes from the medieval word Hart, meaning deer, and the frond shape resembling their tongues. It's striking appearance means that even in France it has the same common name "Langue de Cerf"!

The 'scolopendrium' part of it's name is also Latin for centipede which refers to the little marks on the underside of it's fronds which look like centipede legs. It is an unusual fern due to having these un-divided fronds.
Left: Underside of the fronds showing the pattern 
Right: a closer view of the fern

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