Gen. Fil.plate 111A. 1842
Habitat: On and around rotten stumps and decomposing litter in damp forests and open baylands.
Small individuals of Actinostachys pennula have sometimes been called A. germanii, but plants conforming to A. germanii are merely at the end of a morphological series; they are probably juvenile. Each juvenile has a large bulbous gametophyte remaining attached (a so-called "tuber") that is sometimes mistaken for the stem. Not only is the persistent gametophyte mistaken for a stem, but in the large forms of typical A. pennula the stem is not a solitary structure. Instead it resembles a compact, intergrown bush, made up of numerous tiny, narrow stems, usually less than 1 mm diam., that proliferate from old leaf bases—a type of cauline organization apparently unknown in any other living fern but possibly found in the fossil genus Tempskya. Measurements for plants in the North American flora are all in the lower parts of the range for the species. Actinostachys pennula is among North America's most unusual ferns, a highly treasured species, sought by field botanists who must, however, respect its rarity.
|Author||Warren H. Wagner Jr. +|
|Basionym||Schizaea pennula +|
|Common name||Ray spiked fern +|
|Habitat||On and around rotten stumps and decomposing litter in damp forests and open baylands. +|
|Illustrator||John Myers +|
|Synonym||Actinostachys germanii + and Schizaea germanii +|
|Taxon name||Actinostachys pennula +|
|Taxon parent||Actinostachys +|
|Taxon rank||species +|
|Volume||Volume 2 +|