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Tree Ferns, Golden Gate Park

Tree ferns, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

One of the very cool, and very unexpected, discoveries that we made in Golden Gate Park was the tree ferns. Coupled with this discovery was the discovery of the path to the Lily Pond, an oasis of relative quiet, so near to the traffic that passes on two sides, yet so far away. The tree ferns visually transported me to some prehistoric time.

According to the Wikipedia link above, tree ferns are included in the order Cyatheales, a taxonomic division of the fern subclass, Cyatheatae. Although we do not know how many species of tree fern there are (one of the many things that we do not know), the estimate is about a thousand species. Tree ferns occur in tropical and subtropical areas, including rainforests in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Lord Howe Island, and other nearby islands. Other genera even occur in southern Europe.

Yet another thing that we do not know, according to Wikipedia, is why tree fern species are not more widespread, given that they reproduce with spores and their height allows spores to get into the wind stream.

One thing that I DO know, is that the tree ferns in Golden Gate Park are an exotic surprise that dwarf the humans walking quietly beneath them and shelter smaller ferns and lilies beneath their gentle fronds.

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

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