27. MOUNTAIN SPLEENWORT
Connecticut and New York to Georgia. A small rock fern from two to eight inches long, with stalks brown at base.
Fronds.—Ovate-lanceolate in outline, somewhat leathery, cut into oblong pinnæ, the lower ones of which are cut again into more or less oblong, toothed divisions, the upper ones less and less divided; rachis green, broad, flat; fruit-dots linear, short; indusium thin, hidden at length by the sporangia, which mature in July.
With us this plant is decidedly rare. New York and Connecticut are given as its northern limits. I have found it only in one locality, in the neighborhood of a mountain lake in Ulster County, N.Y. Though growing here somewhat abundantly, the fern is so small that, unless your eyes are trained to search every cranny in the hope of some new find, you are not likely to notice it. Even with trained eyes you may readily fancy that the narrow chinks in the cliffs which rise sheerly from the lake are merely patched with moss. But when you have pulled your boat close under the shelving rocks,