Q: Why is Asplenium bulbiferum commonly called Mother Fern or Hen and Chicken Fern
A: Asplenium bulbiferum produces offspring, known as bulbils, on top of its leaves. The “baby ferns” fall to the ground and may develop roots and become a new fern if the growing conditions are suited for growth, which is why this fern is commonly called Mother Fern or Hen and Chicken Fern
Q: What is a semi-hardy fern?
A: From the Fern Grower’s Manual, Revised and Expanded Edition, by Barbara Joe Hoshizaki and Robbin C. Moran, Timber Press, 2001, Ferns are classified into four groups: hardy, semi-hardy, semi-tender, or tender. This classification refers to a range of the coolest temperatures a fern can tolerate. While many ferns can endure short periods of lower temperatures, or may fall on the border in between these categories, this classification identifies a general temperature preference for a specific fern. “A semi-hardy fern usually tolerates nighttime temperatures above 40℉ but can survive periods of freezing temperatures if short and not too severe.”
Q: Are the brown spots on the underside of my fern leaf insect eggs?
A: The brown spots on the underside of the fern leaf are spores which is how ferns reproduce, they are not insect eggs. Sporangia is a specialized structure that holds the spores and develops in clusters called sori which may appear as black dots, lines, or rusty patches and arranged in symmetrical or scattered patterns, or completely cover the lower leaf surface.
Q: What is the rusty dust on my fern leaf?
A: Ferns reproduce by spores. Sporangia is a specialized structure that holds the spores and develops in clusters called sori which may appear as rusty patches, black dots, or lines and arranged in symmetrical or scattered patterns, or completely cover the lower leaf surface. The rusty dust on the fern leaf are spores, part of the fern’s life cycle.