Field of Science

Friday Fabulous Fern - Sort of

TPP missed another Friday, sorry, sports fans, a lodging that advertised free WiFi made it as difficult as possible to connect and the lap top did not want to cooperate, so without a real keyboard, no blogging.  A popular area near Rotorua NZ is just called "redwoods", and darned if it isn't a planted grove of California redwoods!  The oldest trees were planted in 1901, so they are now well over 100 and decently big trees.  There may be Ewoks here as walkways and platforms are everywhere, hundreds of meters of them.  Like a real redwood grove, there is not much of an understory, mostly ferns, mostly tree ferns, and quiet.  Hundreds of people walk, run, bike, and generally recreate in this area daily, but you know what none of them ever see?  Well, you need to travel with TPP if you want to see neato things that escape everyone else's attention.
Every 3d or so tree fern had a ferny epiphyte growing upon and within its trunk, and although TPP has seen this plant before, never was it so common.  The ferny plant is Tmesipteris (mez-ip-terr-is), a whisk fern. It's only close relative is Psilotum (seye-low-tum), which is considerably better known.  TPP is not happy calling this plant a fern, although it has common ancestry with ferns somewhere.

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