Lis hosted us at her home on the Carp Rd. for a very interesting afternoon of learning about our native ferns. First we gathered in her studio for an introduction. Most of us being beginners in this study, it was a very welcome way to start learning about this rather complicated group of plants. We learned how they were classified, how they reproduced, both sexually and asexually, how some are dimorphic with spores (in sori) on a separate fertile frond (like Ostrich and Cinnamon Ferns) while others have only one type of frond which usually contains sori on the underside (like Lady Fern, one of our most common ferns). Lis had examples of many different ferns for us to observe and handle and she explained the key points to look for in identifying each type.
After our introduction, we headed out to the extensive shady gardens where we were able to practise what we had learned. Most of us were able to identify some but realized that it’s a steep learning curve and we are lucky to have left with some new knowledge of this tricky field of study.
Thanks Lis for a great afternoon and for the snacks and lemonade which gave us a good chance to chat and get to know one another better after our hard work was finished!