Leaning Oaks is home to two species of swordfern. This one, Polystichum imbricans is the smaller and more drought tolerant of the two. Both are attractive, evergreen ferns. The Latin name imbricans, means overlapping, like the shingles on a house overlap, which describes the way the leaflets grow on this fern. Here this species grows on the rock outcrops and exposed cliff face. Our plants vary quite a bit in their vigour from small plants with just a few fronds growing in the cracks in the rocks, to a couple of large clumps that were fortunate enough to start life in deeper pockets of soil. As one might expect from a plant that faces severe drought, the leaves are more leathery and covered in a thicker waxy cuticle that the bigger Western Swordfern.
Two biologists on a beautiful property armed with cameras, smart phones and a marginal knowledge of websites took up the challenge of documenting one species a day on that property. Join along! Posts and photographs by Leah Ramsay and David Fraser (unless otherwise stated; started January 1, 2014.