Weeping Fern

Lepisorus excavatus ?

Weeping Fern, Lepisorus sp., photo © by Michael Plagens

Growing epiphytically on a tree trunk at Kapenguria, Kenya. July 2014.

In humid environments ferns, orchids and other plants are able to grow upon the structures of other plants. These are called epiphytes. Without roots in the soil they must obtain water and nutrients from rain and debris that falls upon them. An intricate base of dead rhizomes and dead leaves may help capture and retain dead leaves, wind-blown soil, and leavings of birds or other animals. This material becomes mulch that retains water also becomes a microhabitat similar to soil but perched up in the branches.

Weeping Fern, Lepisorus sp., photo © by Michael Plagens

Ferns reproduce by means of spores. The spore producing structures are called sori (plural) and in this species are located on the underside of the fronds. The fronds are simple, i.e. not pinnately divided.

Pteridaceae -- Fern Family

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 18 May 2015