Page:Parsons How to Know the Ferns 7th ed.djvu/49

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they are long, are conspicuous on account of the unusual size of the lowest pair of pinnæ.

A common plant in the rich August woods is the Virginia Grape Fern, with its spreading leaf and branching fruit-cluster. The rather coarsely cut fronds of the Silvery Spleenwort are also frequently met with in the same neighborhood. Occasionally in their companionship we find the delicate and attractive Narrow-leaved Spleenwort.

August is the month that should be chosen for expeditions in search of some of our rarest ferns. In certain wild ravines of Central New York, at the foot of shaded limestone cliffs, the glossy leaves of the Hart's Tongue are actually weighed down by the brown, velvety rows of sporangia which emboss their lower surfaces. Over the rocks near-by, the quaint, though less unusual, Walking Leaf runs riot. Perhaps in the crevices of the overhanging cliff the little Rue Spleenwort has secured a foothold for its tiny fronds, their backs nearly covered with confluent fruit-dots.

On the mountain-ledges of Northern New England we should look for the Green Spleenwort, and for the Fragrant Shield Fern. Along rocky mountain-streams Braun's Holly Fern may be found. In wet woods, usually near the coast, the Net-veined Chain Fern is occasionally conspicuous.

More southern localities must be visited if we wish to see in its home the Hairy Lip Fern, whose most northern stations were on the Hudson River (for I do not know if this plant can be found there at