Ferns Having Babies

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“There’s something wrong with my fern! It has dots all over the leaves. It must be some sort of disease! What should I spray it with?”

I was sitting at our county extension’s Master Gardener Help Desk, answering questions when the call came in. The caller was quite agitated, afraid that her prize fern was on the verge of passing into the great garden in the sky. It took me some time to calm her down and explain that those black dots, neatly lined up in rows, were in fact a sign of health, and that her fern was not only thriving, but was on the brink of parenthood. Yes, those little bumps contained a zillion baby ferns, so to speak, in the form of spores.

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Moss, the Weird Plant

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Moss. To those of us in Colorado, moss conjures images of soft green blankets cushioning the forest floor, or carpeting the north side of a tree in a verdant forest. To my daughter in western Washington, moss is that soggy green mat choking out the turf in her shady backyard, or keeping the shake roof too wet, allowing rot to set in. But love it or disparage it, moss is one fascinating plant.

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