You can see how thickly these plantlets can grow on the fronds by looking at some of the images on this Google search.
I was looking around yesterday, examining my various young ferns and other plants, and came across what may turn into a rather remarkable fern: a variegated Woodwardia orientalis.
|Some of my baby ferns. I know, not very big. The one of interest here is in the center, 3 rows from the back.|
|The variegation is most visible at the base of this frond, the first to show variegation. About halfway up is a big patch of glare, not variegation.|
|A closer look at the base of the frond, marbled with cream.|
Sometimes variegation can appear randomly, on only one leaf, and not continue onto the rest of the plant. Happily, this mutation appears to be continuing. The latest frond, coming directly after the first one to show variegation, also appears to be marbled. I'll have to wait for more fronds to develop to judge the true stability of this mutation. It may be only a part of the crown that carries the variegation and it just happened that two arose from the mutated portion subsequently. If it continues to produce variegated fronds all the way around the plant, I should have a stable mutation, but if I get all-green fronds in a portion of crown, I'll have a fern with multiple personality disorder.
|The newest frond, with variegation just visible as subtle pinkish cream marbling.|
The stats on Woodwardia orientalis:
- Hardy to USDA zone 8a at least. Possibly lower
- 2 feet high by 4 feet wide, potentially larger under ideal conditions
- Prefers light shade, regular water, neutral to slightly acidic soil rich in organic mater
- Propagate from spores or plantlets produced by mature fronds
Even if it proves unstable, I live for surprises like this. That's why this Woodwardia orientalis is my favorite plant in the garden this week.
The favorite plant in the garden meme is hosted by Loree of Danger Garden. Be sure to follow the link to see her favorite and check the comments to see what other bloggers are admiring in their gardens this week.