Pyrrosia sheareri

Epithet is after Shearer.

Evergreen, 11/2 to 2V2 ft. (45 to 75 cm).Zones 7 to 10.

description: The rhizome is short-creeping and not wiry. Succulent pea-green stipes are at least V4 in. (6 mm) in diameter, covered with fawn-colored, downy stellate hairs and are one-third or more of the frond length. It is flat, but not grooved, on the upper surface. Simple blades unfurl in shimmering silver fleece and at maturity are leathery, dark green, and frequently cordate at the base. The contrasting, prominent midrib and parallel vein extensions are continuations of the green stipe color. Sori without indusia, but ringed with minute starry hairs, are abundant between the rows of veins.

range and habitat: In typical Pyrrosia fashion, this species grows on rocks and trees in Taiwan, china, and Vietnam.

culture and comments: I was given a plant in the 1980s. It was in an ornamental pot and remains so today, minus periodic divisions that have been shared as gifts. In spite of the

Starlike fingers of Pyrrosia polydactyla fan out horizontally in a gathering of ferns in containers.

An airy canopy of the linear leaves of Acer palmatum 'Koto No Ito' filters the light over the sturdy young fronds of Pyrrosia sheareri.

vulnerability of pot culture, this specimen has survived as a strapping plant through winter cold temperatures that plunged to below 10°F (-12°C). With its unconventional appearance, it is a center of attention for visitors, but kindly needs little in the way of attention from the gardener. Porous, humus-rich soil, an occasional nip from the hose, and an annual trimming of spent foliage keep it in good health and display-ready. The snowy dusted new growth is especially beautiful against the backdrop of the previous year's forest-green fronds. Wherever it is planted, be it a container or garden site, it will serve artfully, and with low maintenance, as a focal point and/or a counterpoint for more delicate companions. Spores mature here in late winter, casting billows of yellow powder on the surrounding foliage. They are best sown when fresh. Unfortunately, while they produce a nice layer of prothalli, very few of these develop into sporelings. And those few sporelings take their time, as in two years or so, to make a 6-in. (15-cm) plant. Although the plant spreads slowly, it can be divided. Expect a waiting list of interested friends.

than its co-epiphyte. Its sterile fronds are rounded, more or less 1/2 in. (13 mm) across, while its fertile fronds are of the oar shape typical of pyrrosias but in this species scaled small, suiting the plant. It is an easy grower in pots filled with horticultural granola (a coarse and crunchy mix) or as a mounted display. (Description by George Schenk.)

Pyrrosia rasamalae is native to Sumatra, Malaysia, Java, Borneo, and Luzon, where it inhabits outcrops, forest trees, road cuts, and trail banks, in part shade. The roots form a pad that fans out shallowly on stone, bark, or soil. The pad is easy to peel off its original place, together with the humus affixed to the roots, and is easy to re-establish by wiring it to a shingle cut from a harvested tree fern trunk. This species is engaging for its slim, foot-long (30-cm) leaves covered, while they grow out from the plant's base, with a down remindful of peach fuzz, a down softly yellow at first, then frost-gray. The maturing frond drops its fuzz, revealing a surface that is glabrous and olive-green. (Description by George Schenk.)

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