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Resurrection Fern (Pleopeltis polypodioides)

Resurrection Fern on Tree Trunk Among the interesting ferns found at the Arboretum is the Resurrection Fern which can be observed on several Eastern Red Cedar trunks along the Cemetery Ridge Trail. It also occurs on rocky ledges off the trails. The fern is an epiphyte (or air plant) - a plant that uses another plant as a substrate but does not depend on that plant for food, nutrients, and water as does a parasitic plant.

Resurrection Fern

During dry periods, the fern's fronds appear shriveled. The common name is based on the fern's ability to expand quickly (i.e., resurrect) in response to a rainy period, such as the rain we had at the end of August. The fern obtains its water and nutrients directly from rainwater and the wet bark or other substrate on which it grows. Resurrection Fern is widely distributed in Tennessee and the Southeastern U.S.

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University of Tennessee - Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center
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