Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Other Low-Lying Plants

Besides lichen, moss and resurrection fern really benefitted from the recent rains.

Moss does grow in the desert.  Much of the time it is dormant and dead looking.  Very quickly after a rain it turns green and begins to make food for growth.

Now, if I'm not mistaken, there are male & female flowers needed for moss to reproduce.  Sometimes they are found in different parts of one plant and sometimes in different plants.  The above picture is moss, fairly close up.

Here is the resurrection fern - AZ Spikemoss - a member of the spikemoss family.  To the far right is more moss.  The leafy plant in between is a liverwort, most likely thalloid liverwort.

Here is a closeup of the spikemoss.  The name Resurrection Fern comes from the way this plant curls up, exposing the brown, dead-looking underside in periods of drought.  Shortly after a rain, it opens up appearing to come back from the dead.  Some hillsides appear to be carpeted with it and really look green and healthy after a rain.

I don't know the name of this fern right off.  Probably Woodsia phillipsii.

This fern may be Argyrochosma or Silver Fern.  Not the best shot, but the stems and leaves are both downy.

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