Fern experts?

Discussion in 'Plant and Tree Identification' started by Nancy_in_GA, Jul 11, 2006.

  1. Nancy_in_GA

    Nancy_in_GA Well-Known Member

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    Hi, it's me again (the Empress Tree person). I thought I'd try asking about this fern-type plant I've been trying to ID for a long time. It grows in full shade, dry, poor soil, very low to the ground, 2 or 3 inches high, stays green all winter.

    Distance shot (spreads out in patches):

    http://home.earthlink.net/~nlyons545/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/fern1.jpg

    Close-up with a blossom(?) (look in the left center of the picture):

    http://home.earthlink.net/~nlyons545/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/fern2.jpg

    Maybe it isn't technically a fern, and that's why I've had so much trouble identifying it.

    Nancy
     

  2. Nancy_in_GA

    Nancy_in_GA Well-Known Member

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  3. blue gecko

    blue gecko Well-Known Member

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    Glad I could help! B
     
  4. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    i have been wondering about this stuff for a long time. i am glad someone posted this. we always called it windy pine (wine-di... as in it winds around stuff). some folks like to make wreaths from it.
     
  5. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

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    In days gone by, medicine men from various tribes would collect the pollen from them and kep it in a pouch and when they wanted to impress someone they would dance around a fire and take a pinch of pollen out and throw it in the fire and WHOOSH, the fire would explode like you threw gas into it, up in the air.
     
  6. Wildcrofthollow

    Wildcrofthollow Well-Known Member

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    To tag along on woodspirit's bit of info...

    They used to make flash powder for cameras out of the pollen from the stuff. There is a moratorium in VA on picking it, it takes nearly thirty years to germinate and grows mostly by vegetative reproduction. If you find it in the woods look around, even if it covers acres, it is all probably the same plant.
     
  7. tillandsia

    tillandsia Well-Known Member

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    Lycopodiums (like ferns) do not produce flowers, therefore they do not have pollen. They reproduce by spores (like ferns). It is true that the spores were used as flash powder. Woodspirit, your description of the medicine men was really interesting!
     
  8. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

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    If you pick one of the clubs and put a lighter to it the flame will dance a bit too!
     
  9. Nancy_in_GA

    Nancy_in_GA Well-Known Member

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    Just checked in to let you know I've been reading all your comments and appreciate the information. I'm going to try burning the clubs/spores in the fall.

    Nancy
     
  10. blue gecko

    blue gecko Well-Known Member

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    If I remember correctly this plant grew to amazing heights in prehistoric times in much the same way that horsetail did.
    I never thought about it having turpines in it. Might make a good survival fire starting material. B
     
  11. tillandsia

    tillandsia Well-Known Member

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  12. blue gecko

    blue gecko Well-Known Member

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    WOW that's quite a demo!