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Re:unidentified Fern

       To: <Aquatic-Plants at actwin_com>
       Subject: unidentified Fern
       From: "William King" <wking at micromuse_com>
       Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2001 17:53:04 +0100
       Importance: Normal

I bought a Fern from the LFS, which I hoped was Bolbitis sp. But I'm pretty
sure it isn't.    It has a sort of silvery underside, with a slightly darker
upper side.    The Fern is covered in small stiff scales, from the stalk to
the end of each branch (somewhat similar to a club moss Maybe?).   The whole
plant is very stiff/brittle which makes me wonder if it should be grown
emersed.   I'd really like to know if this is the case, as it is a really
pretty plant, and I'd like to give it optimal conditions.    The LFS, is
just a regular shopping centre shop and nothing special, so I suspect that
someone out there must have it as well, or at least know what it is.


William King (a keen APDer in London, England)

It IS a club moss.  From your description, I know exactly what it is.  I
have seen that species growing in Northern Wisconsin and in Massachusetts.
It has no business being under water and will slowly die and turn brown.
Once a tropical fish store in Boston had a tank full of them, and I played
the innocent, asking the clerk where that plant came from and whether or
not it was easy to grow in a tank.  The clerk replied that they came from
"some river in the Amazon", and that they were easy to grow.  Every once in
a while someone will try to get rich quick by pulling up a bunch of
backyard weeds and selling them to local pet stores as aquatic plants.  I
once saw this happen at a tropical fish store in Milwaukee, but the people
working there knew their aquatic plants well enough to recognize this as a
scam.  In other fish stores I have seen violets and dandylions for sale.

Paul Krombholz, in steamy central Mississippi