Wednesday, 4 December 2013

High Elms Polypody

Fern, Polypody, Polypodium species (or hybrid).  High Elms, 26 November 2013.
Fern, Polypodium species (or hybrid).  High Elms, 26 November 2013.
Last time I showed a Broad Buckler Fern that is tripinnate.  This fern is much simpler in structure.  The pinnae come straight off the main frond stem, the rachis, so it is described simply as pinnate.  There are three native species of Polypody, but it is not easy to pin down a species by eye.  The pointed pinnae suggest that this should be Polypodium interjectum, Western Polypody, but I cannot be certain.

This one was growing on a moss-covered log on the south-east slope of a wood at High Elms.  Facing south-east, you might expect it to be sunny and dry, but the dense cover must allow this slope to stay damp or there would not be this cover of moss. 

I saw several fungi on this walk, including a nice growth of Turkeytail, which often puts on a good show.

Trametes versicolor, Turkeytail   High Elms, 26 November 2013.
Trametes versicolor, Turkeytail   High Elms, 26 November 2013.
Apparently this can be used medicinally, dried and made into a tea, but I would not recommend any herbal medicine as there can be many complex chemicals in them and the dosages are likely to vary unpredictably.  That is on top of the general note of caution about eating fungi found in the wild.  Plants often contain things which repel or harm creatures that want to eat them!

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