|Hart's-tongue Fern, Asplenium scolopendrium. On Hayes churchyard wall, 2 December 2013.|
The top one is well-known. The Hart's Tongue grows in many damp, shady places, whether natural or man-made. The "frond" of this fern is a imple flat blade, with no divisions.
|Rustyback, Asplenium ceterach. On Hayes churchyard wall, 2 December 2013.|
|Maidenhair Spleenwort, Asplenium trichomanes. On Hayes churchyard wall, 2 December 2013.|
To survive high on a wall, a fern must be able to withstand drought and recover when moisture returns. The extent to which these ferns can do this affects where they grow. The Hart's Tongue can not withstand drought, and does best at the base of the wall on the shady side. Even there, the specimens are quite small. It does not grow on the drier side at all.
The Rustyback and the Maidenhair Spleenwort grow up and down the wall on both sides, but they are larger and healthier on the shady side. In a dry summer, Rustybacks curl up and both species look dead, though they are not. The lively specimens shown here are on the shady side, and we have had a long wet spell, so they are at their best.