FERTILE AND STERILE FRONDS LEAF-LIKE AND SIMILAR;
28. EBONY SPLEENWORT
Asplenium ebeneum (A. platyneuron)
Maine to Florida and westward, on rocks and hill-sides. Nine to eighteen inches high, with blackish and shining stalks.
Fronds.—Upright, narrowly oblanceolate, fertile fronds much the taller, once-pinnate; pinnæ usually alternate, oblong, finely toothed, the base auricled on the upper or on both sides; fruit-dots many, oblong, nearer midvein than margin; indusium silvery till maturity.
The slender fronds of the Ebony Spleenwort hold themselves with a sort of rigid grace which suggests a combination of delicacy and endurance.
Portion of fertile frond
It is an attractive plant with an elusiveness of habit which serves, perhaps, to increase its charm. Its range is from Maine to Florida and westward; it is said to prefer limestone soil, and my past experience has proved it a fairly common plant, yet so far this summer, in many expeditions in a part of the country rich in limestone, I have found only one specimen,
Fertile pinna magnified while last year along the roadsides of Long Island I found its black-stemmed fronds standing erect and slim in crowded ranks under groups of red cedars. In other years it has abounded in localities of a different character, sometimes following its little relative, the Maiden-hair Spleenwort, into moist ravines or along