“The ferns constitute an ancient division of vascular plants, some of them as old as the Carboniferous Period (beginning about 358.9 million years ago) and perhaps older.” (Encyclopaedia Britannica)
“Ferns first appear in the fossil record about 360 million years ago in the late Devonian period, but many of the current families and species did not appear until roughly 145 million years ago in the early Cretaceous, after flowering plants came to dominate many environments. The fern Osmunda claytoniana [interrupted fern] is a paramount example of evolutionary stasis; paleontological evidence indicates it has remained unchanged, even at the level of fossilized nuclei and chromosomes, for at least 180 million years.” (Wikipedia)
Both photos taken at the Philbrick Cricenti Bog in New London, NH, this week.
Wednesday Vignette is brought to us by Flutter & Hum.
Ferns are my favorites! In fact, if I could only grow one type of plants, ferns would be it! I just love them! Our native Sword fern (Polystichum munitum) is one of my top ten plants – it’s evergreen, and as tough as can be. It even weathers our hot dry summers. It might get a little browned at the edges, but powers right through. That alone is a testament to its durability.
Those ferns provide a striking contrast amongst the green of the woods.
It is impossible to imagine that ferns that are here now were around that long ago. That was WAY long ago!