FERTILE AND STERILE FRONDS LEAF-LIKE
suggested the bristly looking plant which one finds later in the summer.
This fern reverses the usual order of things, being gray-haired in youth and brown-haired in old age, with the result that in May its effect is a soft, silvery green. But even in August, if you chance upon a vigorous tuft springing from some rocky crevice, despite its lack of delicacy and its bristle of red-brown hairs or chaff, the plant is an attractive one.
Environment has much to do with the charm of ferns. The first plant of this species I ever identified grew on a rocky shelf within a few feet of a stream which flowed swift and cold from the near mountains. Close by, from the forked branches of a crimson-fruited mountain maple, hung the dainty, deserted nest of a vireo. Always the Rusty Woodsia seems to bring me a message from that abode of solitude and silence.
55. BLUNT-LOBED WOODSIA
Canada to Georgia and Alabama and westward, on rocks. Eight to twenty inches high, with stalks not jointed, chaffy when young.
Fronds.—Broadly lanceolate, nearly twice-pinnate; pinnæ rather remote, triangular-ovate or oblong, pinnately parted into obtuse, oblong, toothed segments; veins forked; fruit-dots on or near the minutely toothed lobes; indusium conspicuous, splitting into several jagged lobes.
The Blunt-lobed Woodsia is not rare on rocks and stony hillsides in Maine and Northern New York.