Chaparral Fern Project

Saratoga horticultural research endowment

Chaparral Fern Project

Saratoga Horticultural Research Endowment

November Update

November 30, 2020

The ferns have been in the ground for a full year, bringing an end to the horticultural trial portion of the project. We have only had one rain event this month bringing 0.4 inches of rain. This was not enough to bring the Pentagramma triangularis out of dormancy in either location, which was rather disappointing since they looked so good for the first half of the year.

The ferns in the well-draining soil in the communities are generally performing better than those in the on the east-facing slope. All of the Selaginella bigelovii on the slope are partially dormant, with some very pale green stems but many of the stems are nearly white; those in the communities are mostly bright green. Similarly, most of the Myriopteris covillei on the slope are dormant, while those in the communities are mostly green, with some pushing out new growth. The Pellaea mucronata also show less vibrancy in their foliage color than those out in the communities, and little new growth, while three of the five that received weekly water in the communities are now seeing new growth. The Pellaea andromedifolia in the communities are beginning to push out quite a bit of new growth, while those on the east-facing slope are just beginning to break dormancy.

The Dryopteris arguta have continued to perform well in both locations.

There will be one additional blog post on the final outcome of the trials.

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