Posts Tagged ‘fern’

Distinguishing Parsley Ferns (Cryptogramma spp.)

Parsley ferns (Cryptogramma spp.) are relatively small rock-loving ferns, which are sometimes known as rock-brakes. Unlike our other rock ferns, spore-bearing structures are on separate fertile fronds that are usually taller than the sterile fronds. There are two species of parsley ferns in the Cascades. American parsley fern (C. acrostichoides) is common throughout the Western Cascades and is found elsewhere in western Oregon. It is found primarily at low to middle elevations. Cascade parsley fern (C. cascadensis) is found only at higher elevations, mostly in the High Cascades. Both species have also been seen in the Wallowas. The third species in Oregon, Steller’s rock-brake (C. stelleri), is a rare inhabitant of the Wallowas, although its range stretches across much of the northern US.

Left: Cascade parsley fern in the Calapooyas; Right: American parsley fern at Table Rock Wilderness

Left: Cascade parsley fern in the Calapooyas; Right: American parsley fern at Table Rock Wilderness

For a number of years, I’ve been uncertain of my identification of Cascade parsley fern. Recently (see More Discoveries along the Calapooya Crest), I got a great lesson in distinguishing our two Cascade species from the expert, Ed Alverson, who first described Cascade parsley fern in 1989 (see Cryptogramma cascadensis, a New Parsley-Fern from Western North America,” in the American Fern Journal, Volume 79 Number 3, pp. 95–102). In addition to genetic differences, there are several morphological characteristics that can help separate the two species in the field. Read the rest of this entry »

More Discoveries along the Calapooya Crest

Cascade gras-of-Parnassus (Parnassia cirrata var. intermedia) is one of my favorite wildflowers and a wonderful bonus this late in the season.

Cascade grass-of-Parnassus (Parnassia cirrata var. intermedia) is one of my favorite wildflowers and a wonderful bonus this late in the season.

Ever since our early June trip to the meadow along Road 3810 on the south side of Loletta Peak (see Another Exciting Day in the Calapooyas: The Sequel), John Koenig and I had been planning to return to see the later blooming plants, especially the Cascade fringed grass-of-Parnassus (Parnassia cirrata) that we found there. Just before we had planned to go, Ed Alverson e-mailed me about the quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) we had discovered there. He’s been studying the scattered populations on the west side of the Cascades in Oregon and Washington. The timing was perfect, as we were able to take Ed along on August 12 to see the population in what we were now calling “Aspen Meadow.” We had been somewhat concerned with all the fires down in Douglas County, especially the Potter Mountain complex burning just east of Balm Mountain (thankfully not actually on Potter Mountain). But other than some drifting smoke above, we had no problems reaching our destination and enjoying what was an otherwise lovely day. Read the rest of this entry »

Further Exploration of the BVD Trail

On the second day (June 3) of my brief overnight trip to the North Umpqua area, I headed up to the Twin Lakes trailhead, but my destination for this trip was the former BVD trail, accessed from the same area. While I did spend a couple of hours over at Twin Lakes at the end of the day, I was really more interested in looking at rock plants, especially after my fabulous trip to Pyramid Rock the day before (see Peak Bloom at Pyramid Rock). I was not disappointed. There were a great many beautiful plants in bloom. And because I had been camping just a few miles from the bottom of the road, I was already out walking at 8:30am and had lots more time than usual to poke around. My goal was to explore beyond the main meadow I’d been to several times before. Looking at the Google Earth image, it is clear that there are a lot of openings, both large and small, along this steep, south-facing slope.

Perhaps the most outstanding display of the day was from the numerous silver lupines (Lupinus albifrons), which were all over the meadow and rocky areas.

Perhaps the most outstanding display of the day was from the numerous silver lupines (Lupinus albifrons), which were all over the meadow and rocky areas. I do love purple!

Read the rest of this entry »

First Trips to Pyramid Rock and Loletta Gravel Pit Rocks

Sierra cliffbrake (Pellaea brachyptera) at Pyramid Rock

Sierra cliffbrake (Pellaea brachyptera) at Pyramid Rock

I thought I might be done with reports for the season, but the weather is holding, so yesterday (September 11)  I went back through the Calapooyas on my way back from speaking to the Umpqua Valley chapter Thursday night. Someone once told me about the Lewisia columbiana on Pyramid Rock, so that’s been on my to do list for quite a while. I’ve been up to Reynolds Ridge many times, but I hadn’t been past Bullpup Lake on Road 300, so I was happy that the road was in such good shape. Hunters all over the place yesterday, and one guy right in front of me stopped to shoot out of the car @#&*^!! Luckily he turned around and left and I didn’t hear anyone else actively hunting in the middle of the day although I did chat with a few old timers. Read the rest of this entry »

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