Plant of the day: coffee fern

A brown scrap of leaves clings to a rocky cliff, strung together on threadlike stems. Though this little fern looks thoroughly dead in the last gasp of autumn heat it’s actually still alive. The green leaves of this perennial fern turn brown in late summer, giving coffee fern or coffee cliffbrake (Pellaea andromedifolia) its common name.

You can tell this fern from the similar-looking birdfoot cliffbrake because it has rounded leaves, rather than leaves that come to a point. When the leaves are not dried out, you can see that each leaflet rolls under at the edges (shown in the photo, below).

Pellaea_andromedifolia2

Coffee fern in winter lushness

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Native, Plant of the day

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s