click on image for detail view
Western Licorice Fern, Detail View
glycyrrhiza--click on image for detail
edition, Giclee, Arches Watercolor paper, 11 by 14 inches
by 7 inches
Western Licorice Fern (Polypodium glycyrrhiza)
Polypodiaceae ~ Licorice Fern Family
One of several licorice ferns found in the west,
Western Licorice Fern occurs from the San Francisco Bay area
of California north to Alaska, and from the coast east to the
Sierra Nevada, Cascades, and coastal mountains to the north.
Its growth habit is both upright from the soil and hanging from
cliffs or as epiphytes on trees. One of its relatives, Leather-Leaf
Fern (Polypodium scouleri), occurs along the coast
from Oregon south to Baja California. Leather-Leaf Fern can
be distinguished by its leathery fronds and decidedly larger
terminal pinnae (leaflets). All members of this genus have "naked"
sori; that is, the clusters of spore cases (sporangia), called
the sori, are not covered by a membranous flap (the indusium).
Licorice Ferns are lovely in the garden but they are best seen,
in my opinion, as the natural decoration on Big Leaf Maples
(Acer macrophyllum) in western rainforests.