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The Baltimore Sun

Letter: In search of a fern in Harford

Editor:

Recently a group of fern enthusiasts met in Susquehanna State Park.  They came from New York, Philadelphia, Delaware, Washington, D.C.; Montgomery County, Baltimore City and Lancaster County.

I was the sole representative from Harford County. We met to observe, record, and discuss ferns as seen in their native habitat. The group was delighted with the Hart's Tongue fern, first spotted in the park by the Worthley Botany Class several years ago. This is the only natural occurrence of this fern in the mid-Atlantic area. The Blunt-lobed Woodsia was found neatly tucked away in the stone wall near the mill. As we made our way down Stafford Road we encountered Interrupted Fern, Lady Fern, Sensitive Fern, Christmas Fern, also a massive 8-foot clump of Common Polypody staring down at us from its perch on top of a boulder. We were pleased to find the magnificent hybrid Leed's Wood Fern in a wet area along the road. Leed's Wood Fern was recorded for this location by the late Dr. Clyde F. Reed, of Darlington, in his book The Ferns and Fern Allies of Maryland and Delaware.

Am writing this letter to the editor because we need help. We have recorded the Glade Fern Diplazium pycnocarpon, in Baltimore and Lancaster counties, but not Harford. The Glade Fern is a deciduous, clump-forming fern which favors calcium rich soils. It can be found among limestone boulders of an undisturbed forest. Have you seen the Glade Fern in its native setting?  If so please contact me so we can document it.

Samuel W. Jones

Forest Hill

atlantic@iximd.com 

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