Pied Beauty

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise him.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Foliage Friday: Kangaroo Fern

Kangaroo Fern on my shady back porch.
I'm so happy with this fern!  It seems to tolerate my benign neglect: sometimes overwatered, sometimes underwatered.  I bought it in early spring and it has more than doubled in size.  While I don't have the characteristic spores on the underside of the leaves yet, the plant itself has grown very well.  I'm just beginning to get the fuzzy rhizomes that (perhaps) look like kangaroo's paws. 

No spores yet!

Not sure why this one is called "Kangaroo Fern."  It could be the fuzzy rhizomes, but I also read that the shape of the leaf looks vaguely like a kangaroo's foot.  In this case, the botanical name is fairly informative:  Microsorum pustulatum.  The sori are the bodies on the underside of the leaves that carry the spores.  They must be very small, hence microsorum.  Pustulatum means "covered with blisters." 

This plant is supposed to be able to tolerate a zone 8 winter, and I live in zone 9A.  I like it on the porch, though.  Maybe next spring I'll divide it and plant some in the shade garden, on a trial basis.

1 comment:

  1. I am a huge fan of Gerald Manley Hopkins and think he is the BEST poet.