Freitag, 10. Juni 2011

Plant of the Day (June 10th, 2011) - Matteuccia struthiopteris (L.) Tod.

After a long time, I want to present you a fern again. This fern is Matteuccia struthiopteris (L.) Tod. from the Onocleaceae. It one of only two species of the Genus Matteuccia. In English, the fern is called “Ostrich fern” or “shuttlecock fern”, while in German, we called it “Straußenfarn”.

 M. struthiopteris - habitus (sterile fronds)

Normally this fern reaches heights between 50 and 170 centimetres. It's sterile fronds grow in a funnel-shaped rosette. They are bright-green and wide laceolate. Each frond is strongly narrowed to the base. The lower leaflets are curved around the Rachys.

 M. struthiopteris - habitus (sterile fronds)

The fertile fronds are located in the centre of the rosette; surrounded by the sterile fronds. They are brown, smaller and look like the feathers of an ostrich, what gave the species also it's name. The sporangia (Sori) are sitting in two rows on the ventral side of the fronds.

M. struthiopteris - sterile frond. Here, you can see
the curved leaflets (arrows)

M. struthiopteris is widespread all over the northern hemisphere (circumpolar distribution). It prefers wet, sandy soils, which are rich of nutrients. So, you can find it for example at lakesides, floodplains or small rivers. I found this one at the lakeside of Lake “Ümmingen” in Bochum, Western Germay.

 M. struthiopteris - sterile frond

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