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MAIDENHAIR SPLEENWORT

Asplenium trichomanes

Spleenwort Family [Aspleniaceae]  

Spores:
spores8sep spores8sept spores8Oct

category
category8Ferns
status
statusZnative

5th Aug 2004, A wall at Grange Over Sands. Photo: © RWD
Loves growing on old walls.


11th July 2006, A wall at Minton, Church Stretton. Photo: © RWD
In gardens it can add a decorative touch to walls when transplanted into them.


5th Aug 2004, A wall at Grange Over Sands. Photo: © RWD
Individual leaves are 5 to 20cm long.


19th May 2004, A wall at Elterwater, Little Langdale. Photo: © RWD
Leaflets are short, about 1cm long, and on each side of a central blackish stalk, and getting shorter towards the end of the stalk.


31st July 2007, A wall at Silverdale, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Leaflets are slightly roundly toothed and opposite each other in pairs (un-like Alternate-leaved Maidenhair Spleenwort.


10th June 2009, Smardale disused Rly Line, Yorkshire. Photo: © RWD
Spores on underside of leaflets ripe between september and october. Note withered old stem with brown leaflets below.


10th June 2009, Smardale disused Rly Line, Yorkshire. Photo: © RWD
Spores in two herringbone-pattern rows on each side of leaflet


10th June 2009, Smardale disused Rly Line, Yorkshire. Photo: © RWD
Spores in the nooks of semi-transparent folds. Stalk round and blackish.


Some similarities to : Green Spleenwort but that has green stalks and mid-ribs (rachis), rather than blackish, and to Rusty-back but that has alternate leaflets attached to the mid-rib along their widest part rather than at a single point as in Maidenhair Spleenwort.

Inhabits old walls and rock faces, concentrated mainly in the west of the UK, but is found in all places. Far more common that is Green Spleenwort, which, in the UK, occurs only in the west. The central park of the blackish stalk has scales.

No close relation to: Maidenhair Fern or Maidenhair Tree [plants of a similar name].


There are three sub-species, two sharing the same common name, Maidenhair Spleenwort:

  • Lobed Maidenhair Spleenwort (Asplenium trichomanes subsp. pachyrachis) which has lobed leaflets.
  • Maidenhair Spleenwort (Asplenium trichomanes subsp. quadrivalens) which has symmetrical oblong (rectangular-ish) leaflets.
  • Maidenhair Spleenwort (Asplenium trichomanes subsp. trichomanes) which has asymmetrical leaflets.
It is not known if any of the above photographs correspond with any of these; the two sub-species of Maidenhair Spleenwort are slightly less ubiquitous that the pure-bred, whereas Lobed Maidenhair Spleenwort is only found in very few localities in the UK. All three are very similar and are often distinguished only with difficulty, the size of the spores being the only truely reliable way.


There are several hybrids and hybrids of sub-species:

  • Alternate-leaved Spleenwort [Asplenium × alternifolium] (A. trichomanes × septentrionale)
  • Asplenium × clermontiae (A. trichomanes × ruta-muraria)
  • Asplenium × confluens (A. scolopendrium × trichomanes)
  • Asplenium × lusaticum (A. trichomanes ssp. quadrivalens × trichomanes ssp. trichomanes)
  • Asplenium × staufferi (A. trichomanes ssp. quadrivalens × A. trichomanes ssp. trichoman)
Once again, it is un-known if any of these hybrids correspond with any of the above photographs.


  Asplenium trichomanes  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Aspleniaceae  

Distribution
family8Spleenwort family8Aspleniaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Asplenium
Asplenium
(Spleenworts)

MAIDENHAIR SPLEENWORT

Asplenium trichomanes

Spleenwort Family [Aspleniaceae]  

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