Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 86.djvu/42

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PSM V86 D042 Tree ferns at bottom of valley.jpg

Tree Ferns at Bottom of a Valley.

trees are Marattias and Dunaeas, with Nephrodiums and Aspleniums of many varieties. Gleichnias and Davallias fringe the trails, while Lomarias, Trichomanes and Polypodiums twine about the tree trunks and epiphytic Acrostichums, Elaphoglossums, Polypodiums and Lycopodiums settle on the stems or branches of Cyathea and other trees. The beautifully delicate Hymenophyllum and Trichomanes form thick carpets over damp cliffs, and over living or dead trunks. Even high up on trunks or branches they may form dense tufts or lace-like curtains. These filmy ferns here take the place, in part, of the mosses of our northern forests, on soil, rock and trunk. But the mosses themselves are here also to war with their competitors for standing ground and sunlight. Mingled with Collema and other lichens, the mosses form spongy tufts